Super Bowl XXXVII Buccaneers 48 Raiders 21
As many sports fans and writers predicted, Gruden's prior knowledge of the Raiders was a major factor in the Buccaneers' win in Super Bowl XXXVII. The most damaging piece of evidence is NFL Films footage of Tampa Bay defensive back John Lynch telling his teammates during the game that almost all of the plays ran by Oakland's offense were plays that Gruden (who that week even played the part of "Rich Gannon" by playing QB with the scout-team offense) specifically told them to look out for. Better still for the Buccaneers was that Oakland hadn't changed their audible-calling signals that Gruden himself had installed, thus tipping off plays repeatedly. As a result, Tampa Bay dominated Oakland, outgaining them in total yards (365 to 269), rushing yards (150 to 19), first downs (24 to 11), offensive plays (76 to 60), and forced turnovers (5 to 1).
The Raiders had a great chance to score a touchdown early in the game after cornerback Charles Woodson intercepted Buccaneers quarterback Brad Johnson's pass on the third play of the game and returned it 12 yards to the Tampa Bay 36-yard line. But 6 plays later, Tampa Bay defensive end Simeon Rice sacked Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon on third down, forcing Oakland to settle for kicker Sebastian Janikowski's 40-yard field goal to give them a 3-0 lead.
Buccaneers kick returner Aaron Stecker returned the ensuing kickoff 27 yards to the 29-yard line, then appeared to fumble the ball. Although the officials initially ruled that the ball was recovered by Oakland's Eric Johnson, the play was reviewed by instant replay and the fumble was overturned, and thus Tampa Bay retained possession.
On the first play of the drive, Brad Johnson completed an 11-yard pass to receiver Joe Jurevicius. Johnson's next 2 passes were incomplete, but he then completed a 23-yard pass to Jurevicius on third down to advance the ball to the Oakland 37-yard line. Running back Michael Pittman then rushed for a 23-yard gain to the 13-yard line. However on the next 3 plays, the Raiders defense limited the Buccaneers to a pair of incompletions and a 1-yard run. Kicker Martin Gramatica then made a 31-yard field goal to tie the game, 3–3.
Later in the period, a 17-yard punt return by Raiders defensive back Darrien Gordon gave Oakland the ball at their own 49-yard line. Gannon then threw an 8-yard pass to running back Charlie Garner to reach the Tampa Bay 43-yard line. But on third down, Buccaneers safety Dexter Jackson intercepted Gannon's pass at the 40-yard line and returned it 9-yards to near midfield. Then nine plays after the turnover, Gramatica kicked his second field goal from 43 yards to give Tampa Bay a 6–3 lead.
Jackson intercepted another pass on the Raiders' next drive and returned it 25 yards to Oakland's 45-yard line, making Jackson the first player ever to record 2 interceptions in the first half of the Super Bowl. However, the Buccaneers were unable to take advantage of the turnover and were forced to punt. Fortunately for Tampa Bay, they got a big assist from their punter Tom Tupa, who managed to pin Oakland all the way back at their own 11-yard line with his punt. The Raiders could not move the ball either, losing 1 yard on 3 plays with their ensuing drive. Tampa Bay punt returner Karl Williams then returned Shane Lechler's punt 25 yards, giving the Buccaneers great field position at Oakland's 27-yard line. Aided with Pittman's gains of 6 and 19 yards, the Buccaneers scored their first touchdown on a 2-yard run from fullback Mike Alstott, increasing their lead 13–3. Then with 3:45 left in the half, Tampa Bay drove 77 yards, assisted by 3 defensive penalties against Oakland and a pair of catches by Alstott for 28 total yards. Johnson finished the drive with a 5-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Keenan McCardell to give the Buccaneers a 20–3 halftime lead.
Tampa Bay continued to dominate the game for most of the third quarter. The Buccaneers forced the Raiders to punt on the opening drive of the second half. Next, Tampa Bay marched 89 yards on a 14-plays drive that took 7:52 off the clock, and ended with Johnson's 8-yard touchdown pass to McCardell to increase their lead to 27-3. Then on the second play of Oakland's ensuing drive, Buccaneers defensive back Dwight Smith intercepted Gannon's pass and returned it 44 yards for a touchdown, making the score 34-3.
After giving up 34 unanswered points, Oakland finally managed to drive 82 yards down the field and score on a 39-yard touchdown pass from Gannon to receiver Jerry Porter. Although he was initially ruled as being out of bounds when he caught the ball, it was determined that Porter had one foot in the end zone and used it to drag the other foot out. The two-point conversion failed, so the Raiders were still down 34-9.
The Raiders' touchdown seemed to fire up their defense, who forced the Buccaneers to a fourth down on their ensuing possession. Oakland lineman Tim Johnson then blocked Tupa's punt, and Raiders defender Eric Johnson returned the ball 13 yards for a touchdown. Another two-point conversion for Oakland failed, but Tampa Bay's lead was cut to 34-15.
Tampa Bay responded by moving the ball to the Oakland 9-yard line on their ensuing drive, featuring a 24-yard run by Pittman, but they came up empty after Tupa fumbled the snap on a field goal attempt. A few plays later, Gannon threw a 48-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jerry Rice with 6:06 left in the game, cutting the Raiders deficit to 34–21. Rice became the first player to catch a touchdown pass in 4 different Super Bowls, and third overall to have TDs in 4 Super Bowls (Thurman Thomas and John Elway). The two-point conversion failed when Jerry Porter caught the ball and was forced out of bounds; while the referee incorrectly failed to call the force-out, the actual cause for the incomplete was Porter's failure to maintain control upon hitting the ground out of bounds.
In an attempt to prevent a Raiders comeback, the Buccaneers managed to run the clock down to 2:44 on their ensuing drive before being forced to punt. Then on third and 18 from the Oakland 29-yard line, Tampa Bay linebacker Derrick Brooks intercepted a pass from Gannon and returned it 44 yards for a touchdown, giving the Buccaneers a 41–21 lead with only 1:18 left putting the game out of reach. And a few plays later as the Raiders were now playing for pride, Smith intercepted a tipped pass and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown (the 200th TD in Super Bowl history).
The Buccaneers' defense intercepted five passes, three of which were returned for touchdowns, and recorded five sacks as Tampa Bay scored 34 unanswered points en route to its first Super Bowl victory.
Charles Woodson intercepted Brad Johnson three plays into the game to give Oakland the ball at the Buccaneers' 36. But Simeon Rice sacked Rich Gannon on third down to force the Raiders to settle for Sebastian Janikowski's 40-yard field goal.
On their next nine possessions, the Raiders registered just two first downs and did not run a play inside the Buccaneers' 40 as Tampa Bay scored the next 34 points. The Buccaneers answered Janikowski's field goal with Martin Gramatica's 31-yard boot to tie the game.
Tampa Bay routs Oakland 48-21 for first-ever championship
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The Super Bowl was a nightmare by halftime for the Oakland Raiders -- and then Coach Chucky's horror show got even worse.
Defense did 'em in, baby! And the Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn't need much more.
Head coach Jon Gruden and his Bucs won their first NFL championship Sunday, routing the Oakland Raiders 48-21 in the first matchup of best offense vs. best defense.