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 ET
By 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:


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