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Super Bowl XXXVII was slated to be a battle between the NFL's best offensive team in the Oakland Raiders and the NFL's best defensive team in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Oakland was a 4-point favorite heading into the big showdown at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.
Rich Gannon racked up 4,689 passing yards and 26 touchdown passes running the West Coast Offense for the Oakland Raiders. He had two of the league's all-time greats to throw to at wide receiver in Jerry Rice and Tim Brown as well as a great one-two punch in running backs Charlie Garner and Tyrone Wheatley. Oakland wasn't very strong on defense, but with the league's best passing attack the Raiders put together an 11-5 SU season and made their way through the playoffs to the Super Bowl.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sent four draft picks and $8 million to the Oakland Raiders to acquire Head Coach Jon Gruden over the offseason. Tampa Bay hoped that Gruden could bring the offense to the next level to match the team's elite defense. The offense was far from explosive under Gruden, but Brad Johnson did enjoy a Pro Bowl season with 3,049 passing yards and 22 touchdowns with only six interceptions. The defense was still the star of the show in Tampa Bay though, leading the NFL in points against with 12.3 per game, yards against with 252.8 per game, and interceptions with 31.
This Super Bowl picked up the nickname "The Gruden Bowl" as the head coach's current team was going up against his former team. With the best defense in the NFL and an intimate knowledge of the Oakland Raiders offense that he had built, Gruden drew up the perfect game plan for this Super Bowl. Oakland never looked like a favorite, falling behind 20-3 at the half and eventually losing 48-21. Rich Gannon threw five interceptions, three of which were returned for touchdowns.
Tampa Bay picked up its first Super Bowl victory in franchise history in the blowout win as a 4-point underdog. The total for the game had been set at 44 points, which the Buccaneers went OVER on their own with 48 points.