Will Oakland's No. 1 offense
raid Tampa's top D?
For the first time ever, the NFL's best offense is squaring off against its best defense in a Super Bowl
Updated: January 22, 2003, 2:44 PM ETBy by Craig A. Rolling, STATS. Inc.
A popular adage in the NFL is that "defense wins championships," but Las Vegas bettors and odds-makers apparently do not agree. For the first time ever, the NFL's best offense is squaring off against its best defense in a Super Bowl, and Vegas currently has the high-flying Raiders as four-point favorites against the suffocating defense of the Buccaneers. Because such a matchup is unprecedented in Super Bowl history, it's hard to predict which top-ranked unit will hoist the Lombardi Trophy on Sunday. However, a search of all playoff games since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger yields five previous postseason matchups that pitted the league's No. 1 regular-season offense against the No. 1 regular-season defense. Let's take a look at what happened in those contests of strength versus strength:
ESPN TOP HEADLINES
- Muhammad Ali hospitalized with pneumonia
- Chargers FG caps 2nd-half rally over 49ers
- Eagles' playoff chances hurt as Redskins win
- Big-play Jackson questions 'naive' Eagles D