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January-23-2003,
NFL HANDICAPPING NOTEBOOK...By "Easy" Al Monte

SUPER BOWL XXXVII at SAN DIEGO

OAKLAND (13-5) VS. TAMPA BAY (14-4) Bucs coach Jon Gruden meets his old team. Tampa Bay got Gruden from Raiders for hefty sum of four draft picks and $8 million back in February.

Bill Callahan, who had served as Gruden`s assistant for seven years with Eagles and Raiders, was promoted from offensive coordinator to head coach.

Both teams are 12-6 vs. the spread.

Raiders lead the series with the Bucs 4-1.

In the last meeting, the Raiders beat the Buccaneers 45-0 on Dec. 19, 1999, at Oakland.

Both teams are 1-1 against common opponents. The Bucs beat the Rams but lost to Steelers. Raiders won in Pittsburgh but lost at St. Louis. The Buccaneers are 5-7 in postseason, while Raiders are 25-17 (including 3-1 in Super Bowls). Tampa Bay led NFL in total defense and allowed league-low 196 points, fifth fewest since 16-game schedule was instituted in 1978.

Raiders led league in total offense (389.8 yards per game), yards passing (279.7) and scored 450 points, second most in NFL.

Raiders WR Jerry Rice led NFL`s No. 1 offense in receptions (92) and yards receiving (1,211), along with seven TDs. He owns a Super Bowl record with 7 career TDs.

Raiders. offense allowed 36 sacks in regular season, while Bucs allowed 41. Both Bucs and Raiders defenses recorded 43 sacks in regular season.

The Bucs led league with 31 INT.s and tied for first in turnover differential at plus 17. The Raiders were one of five teams with fewer than 20 giveaways (19), and had plus 12 differential.

The Raiders are 26-11 at Qualcomm Stadium (25-11 regular season, 1-0 playoffs).

This is the third Super Bowl to be played in San Diego. Washington beat Denver 42-10 in 1988 and Denver beat Green Bay 31-24 in 1998.

It is the seventh time with only one week between conference championship games and Super Bowl. Oakland is the fifth different AFC team in the Super Bowl over the last five years.



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