Defenses make their points
Updated: January 24, 2003, 7:28 AM ETBy By Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com
SAN DIEGO -- The two combatants in Super Bowl XXXVII each scored six non-offensive touchdowns during the 2002 season, and given the potential of two resourceful defenses, it would not be out of the ordinary for the game to feature an untraditional scoring play on Sunday evening.
"Every time I look at this game, it seems like I come back to one huge matchup, and that is (Oakland left offensive tackle Barry) Sims against (Tampa Bay right defensive end) Simeon Rice. I mean, this could be the whole enchilada right there, OK? When Rice gets it cranked up, and he usually plays big in the big games, he is hell on wheels. Sims is one of those guys who has to get everything perfect in pass protection to be effective. You know, perfect footwork, good hand placement. If the Raiders decide to let him out there on an island, and don't give him any help, it could be a real long day. Rice can really 'corner' to the quarterback, and he's always trying to go for the strip, too. He creates a lot of fumbles to go along with all of those sacks. If I'm planning this game from the Oakland standpoint, he is the guy on their defense who I've got to stop."
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