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Analysis: Fox's John Madden


© St. Petersburg Times, published October 29, 2000

The Bucs and Vikings just played two weeks ago, but with division rivals, it's usually not the same type of game.

I've found out when division rivals play the second time, the game is unlike the first one. Whatever you did wrong in the first one, you correct, and whatever you did right, usually it's not there in the second game because the other team has corrected it.

I'm a big believer in confidence; confidence in the way you're playing, confidence in your system, confidence in your teammates. When you lose, you lose confidence and when you win, you gain confidence.

I read where Vikings receiver Cris Carter said he would rather play a team that's lost four straight because there's no way that team can be confident in what they're doing. I agree with that.

The Vikings are only remaining undefeated team in the league and the Buccaneers are admitting some frustration. The team is struggling and scrambling and just fighting for their lives.

I've seen where they said they were 3-4 last year and made the playoffs, but I don't buy it. This is a different ship. They've been 3-4 but they haven't been this kind of 3-4. Last year, they weren't the frustrated 3-4. When they were 3-4, I think they were behind Detroit by a couple of games. They weren't 3-4 with a team that was 7-0 in the division.

They won the division a year ago, but there's no way they're going to win the division this year. This is a different team, a different offense and different chemistry.

It's easy to say Shaun King manages a game well, that he won't win it for you but he won't lose it for you. But at some point, he has to start making plays and they have to start scoring points.

I've always said the best friend of a quarterback is a running game and when you don't get the ball and run it and get first downs and get time of possession it's hard.

I think that hurts their defense too. If you don't run the ball and control the clock, the defense is going to be out there more than it should be.

If you give the Vikings offense too many shots, they're going to get the Bucs defense. The Bucs offense has to help out and let those guys sit down and get a drink of water.

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