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January-16-2003,
NFL HANDICAPPING NOTEBOOK...By "Easy" Al Monte

DID YOU KNOW? TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (13-4) AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (13-4) Both teams are 11-6 vs. the spread. The Eagles lead 7-4 in the series (including playoffs). The Eagles beat the Bucs 20-10 on Oct. 20, 2002 at Philadelphia. In the last postseason meeting, the Eagles beat Bucs 31-9 (wild-card round), Jan. 12, 2002 at Philadelphia. Tampa Bay`s last two playoff losses have come at hands of Eagles. The Bucs did not score a touchdown in either of those games and lost by combined 52-12. Both teams went 2-0 vs. common opponents this year. Tampa Bay led NFL in total defense and allowed league-low 196 points, fifth fewest since 16-game schedule was instituted in 1978. The Bucs` 31 points last week vs. 49ers were most in franchise playoff history. Philadelphia has won 14 of last 15 NFC games. The Eagles scored franchise-record 415 points this year. The Eagles are looking for their fifth consecutive home playoff win. They have not allowed a TD in last three playoff games at Veterans Stadium. The Bucs broke its 0-for string in cold weather -- below 40 degrees at start of game -- this year. Here`s how the Bucs have done in the past with temperature in parentheses. Dec. 5, 1976 -- Pittsburgh 42, Tampa Bay 0 (28). Nov. 26, 1978 -- Chicago 14, Tampa Bay 3 (38). Dec. 12, 1982 -- N.Y. Jets 32, Tampa Bay 17 (23). Nov. 13, 1983 -- Cleveland 20, Tampa Bay 0 (32). Dec. 2, 1984 -- Green Bay 27, Tampa Bay 14 (33). Dec. 1, 1985 -- Green Bay 21, Tampa Bay 0 (30). Dec. 7, 1986 -- Chicago 48, Tampa Bay 14 (37). Nov. 6, 1988 -- Chicago 28, Tampa Bay 10 (33). Dec. 11, 1988 -- New England 10, Tampa Bay 7, OT (18). Dec. 24, 1989 -- Pittsburgh 31, Tampa Bay 22 (39 in Tampa). Dec. 23, 1990 -- Chicago 27, Tampa Bay 14 (11). Dec. 14, 1991 -- Chicago 27, Tampa Bay 0 (28). Nov. 29, 1992 -- Green Bay 19, Tampa Bay 14 (32). Nov. 28, 1993 -- Green Bay 13, Tampa Bay 10 (29). Nov. 26, 1995 -- Green Bay 35, Tampa Bay 13 (34). Dec. 17, 1995 -- Chicago 31, Tampa Bay 10 (34). Nov. 23, 1997 -- Chicago 13, Tampa Bay 7 (29). Jan. 4, 1998 -- Green Bay 21, Tampa Bay 7 (28). Nov. 19, 2000 -- Chicago 13, Tampa Bay 10 (37). Dec. 24, 2000 -- Green Bay 17, Tampa Bay 14, OT (15). Dec. 31, 2000 -- Philadelphia 21, Tampa Bay 3 (34). Dec. 29, 2002 -- Tampa Bay 15, Chicago 0 (38). TENNESSEE TITANS (12-5) AT OAKLAND RAIDERS (12-5) The Titans went 10-6-1 against the spread, while the Raiders were 11-6. The Raiders lead the series 24-16 (including playoffs and games vs. Oilers). The Raiders beat the Titans 52-25 on Sept. 29, 2002 at Oakland. In the last postseason meeting, the Raiders beat Oilers 27-7 (wild-card round) on Dec. 28, 1980 at Oakland. Both teams went 2-0 vs. common opponents. Tennessee after a 1-4 start, are NFL`s hottest team, winning 11 of last 12 games. The Titans are 5-3 on road. Tennessee QB Steve McNair and Coach Jeff Fisher have a 3-1 career record vs. Raiders. Since the 27-point loss to Oakland, Titans have given up only 16.2 points per game. Oakland has won eight of its last nine following four-game losing streak. Oakland was 7-2 at home and has won five of last six home playoff games. Raiders led league in total offense (389.8 yards per game), yards passing (279.7) and scored 450 points, second most in NFL.



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