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2003 ‐ Super Bowl XXXVII ‐ Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Oakland Raiders

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers 48
Oakland Raiders 21

January 26, 2003

Super Bowl XXXVII was at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium. The NFC champion Buccaneers (15-4) faced the AFC champion Raiders (13-6). The game was viewed by a record 138.9 million.

The game is sometimes called the “Gruden Bowl.” Jon Gruden coached the Raiders from 1998 to 2001 and became the Buccaneers coach in 2002.

Oakland intercepted a pass on the third play, getting the ball at Tampa Bay’s 36. But Rich Gannon was sacked on third down, forcing Oakland to kick a 40-yard field goal.

Oakland gained just two first downs on its next nine possessions. Tampa Bay added two touchdowns and another field goal to lead 20-3 at halftime.

Tampa Bay scored touchdowns on an 89-yard drive and an interception returned 44 yards to go ahead 34-3 with 4:47 remaining in the third quarter. 

Oakland went on an 82-yard drive and Rich Gannon threw a 39-yard touchdown pass, but the two-point conversion failed.

In the fourth quarter, the Raiders forced Tampa Bay to punt and blocked it, recovering the ball in the end zone to cut the lead to 34-15 with 14:16 left.

Gannon hit Jerry Rice with a 48-yard touchdown bomb with 6:06 remaining to pull to within 34-21.

Tampa Bay ran two minutes off the clock before punting with 2:44 left. The Buccaneers snared two more interceptions, returning both for touchdowns to seal their first Super Bowl victory.

Gruden’s knowledge of the Raiders let Tampa Bay’s defense dominate, netting five interceptions, returning three for touchdowns, and registering five sacks.

Gannon threw a record five interceptions.

Safety Dexter Jackson, who had two interceptions was Super Bowl XXXVII’s MVP.

Around the World on January 26:

  • A police chief, his wife, and guard were slain in Kathmandu, Nepal by suspected Maoist rebels.

Around the NFL in 2003:

  • January 16 – Steve Bornstein was appointed the NFL’s executive VP of Media and the NFL Network’s President and CEO.
  • March 26 – Attendance in 2002 was a record 21,505,138.
  • April 8 – Bears chairman emeritus Edward W. McCaskey died at 83.
  • June 14 – The Frankfurt Galaxy beat the Rhein Fire 35-16 to win World Bowl XI, the first team to win three World Bowls.
  • July 15 – Cowboys president and general manager Tex Schramm died at 83.
  • August 22 – Philadelphia opened Lincoln Financial Field with a 24-12 preseason loss to New England.
  • August 23 – Green Bay opened a renovated Lambeau Field in a 20-7 preseason loss to Carolina.
  • September 17 – Miami was awarded Super Bowl XLI.
  • September 29 – Chicago opened a renovated Soldier Field in a 38-23 loss to Green Bay.
  • October 30 – Glendale, Arizona received Super Bowl XLII.
  • November 4 – NFL Network launched on DirecTV.
  • December 17 – Hall of Fame Browns quarterback Otto Graham died at 82.
  • December 27-28 – Week 17 attendance totaled 1,106,818, a weekend record.

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