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Tampa Bay is Super - 2003-01-26


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have beaten the Oakland Raiders, 48-21, to win the National Football Leagues Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego, California. The Tampa defense overwhelmed the Oakland offense.

The two teams traded field goals in the first quarter but soon Tampa took the lead to stay, thanks to two interceptions by defensive back Dexter Jackson.

The Bucs defense scored three touchdowns on the night and contributed to two more scores. Buccaneers Coach Jon Gruden said that his defense deserves to be called the best. "You know, God bless those guys," he said. "They are so good on defense. Against the pass, against the run. They are so athletic. And, when they are seeing a one-dimensional football team I think that brings out the best in them."

Game Most Valuable Player Dexter Jackson said the victory proves something he has always known. "People ask me, "How good is this defense?" I said we cannot say that until we win it," he said. "But, now we have won it and now we say we are a great defense."

Oakland attempted to mount a comeback late in the game, but the Tampa defense would not allow it, picking off two more Rich Gannon passes for touchdowns. Gannon says that every facet of Oaklands offense seemed to fall apart. "Obviously, we did not have our night. But give a lot of credit to the Buccaneers," he said. "They played a great game, but we were just absolutely terrible."

Oakland defensive back Rod Woodson who won a Super Bowl title two years ago with the Baltimore Ravens says the whole Oakland team, not just Gannon, is to blame for the loss. "It is not one individual player who wins or loses championships," he said. "We lost this game as a complete team."

The title comes on Tampa Bay's first trip to the big game.

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