Pirate Bowl Predictions

How about them Bucs?
As much as I love the Raiders, and my heart wants the Raiders to win (sorry), I’m so freaking impressed with how Gruden obviously commands his new team that I have to give the edge to Tampa. It wasn’t as obvious last week in the First Round. This week it’s much more impressive… Philly isn’t weak, Philly has a solid coach and a very solid team, but Gruden prepared his men well. Extremely well. Rumor says he didn’t sleep well last week, I’m thinking Andy Reid slept too well.

Seriously though, Gruden called the right plays, he lulled Philly when he could, tricked them, and made the most of his stellar defense and, most importantly, used his weak offense extremely well. The new Raiders coach had better be tricky himself because:

  1. Oakland is good, but predictable. (But they’re veterans, meaning they’ll be hard to trick and they spot fakes.)
  2. Oakland has a great offense but the best cure against a great offense is “the best defense in the league.” Less impressive is the Bucs weak offense versus Oakland’s only “good” defense. Meaning, the Bucs can make the most of their weak Offense by scoring and eating the clock on short plays (like they did in Philly) and by stuffing the Raiders offense. But the Raiders have to climb a big hill to put points on the board, much less preventing the Bucs from answering.
  3. Gruden knows most of the team. He’s aware of their strengths and weaknesses, maybe even better than the new coach! Couple that with how well he plotted, planned, pumped, and playcalled his team all last weak into their upset win… well, ouch for Oakland.
  4. The Bucs didn’t lose their cool when Philly scored right away. With that crowd noise… man, the fact that they kept it together was impressive.
  5. Come on, really, the Raiders are great but they won yesterday because the Titans turned the ball over too many times at the end. It takes skill to make turn-overs happen, but it takes more skill to play a dominant game at Veterans Stadium.
  6. Ok, one last one in favor of Oakland. The Bucs Special Teams looked fragile on Sunday. Gruden better beef that up.

So, my heart says go Raiders!
But my head says… the Buccaneers will win by a Gruden.

How could your heart, or any other part of your anatomy, pull for a team owned by Al Davis?

We should all be pulilng for the Bucs for the simple civic reason that Bucs fans are less likely to burn down their city.

I totally agree with you Bub. I have been a Raiders fan since I was a wee laddie and I hated to see Gruden leave, but what he has done with the team Dungy expertly groomed is amazing. This was the exact match up I was hoping for and now have no idea who to put my $3.00 on. I am leaning towards the Fucaneers, though. Guess I can’t call them that anymore. And yes, Al Davis is an ass, but, screw that. He puts together a good bunch of leftovers and rejects. He was a moron to run off Gruden.

I’m not sure there’s enough airspace in Florida for the egos of Keyshawn Johnson and Warren Sapp with Super Bowl rings.

I’m taking the Raiders.

Spoken like someone who has been thoroughly corrupted by living in the armpit that is Florida ([size=2]no offense to other Floridians here[/size]). Al Davis is a jerk-off, but if I hated “all the owners that are also jerk-offs” I would have to hate every team including the Packers! ([size=2] I know a guy who owns Packer stock and he’s a jerk-off.)[/size]

I grew up in LA and the Rams sucked when the Raiders moved in. I like Darth Vader, so fans who wear Darth Vader masks are ok in my book. I like Gannon. I’m a Jerry Rice fan. The Bucs were the Pack’s primary divisional rival (in terms of skill) for the past five years. Did you see what the Bucs did to my Packers in early November? Hiring Gruden turned out well, but firing Dungy was still a shitty thing for the Bucs owner to do.

And the number one reason… I think it’s funny when the Buccaneers lose.

Good point, but I’ve been to Oakland and Oakland could use a little burning. :)

Can we start a separate topic for the Super Bowl commercials, for those of us who find pro sports inconsequential and are confounded by the obsessive interest in the athletic prowess of millionaires who have no real association with the cities they play for? :-)

What are you talking about Denny? Pro Football is just a turn based strategy game using Combat’s Mission’s WeGo turn system. Imagine the Raiders as Nazis and the Bucs as Allies if that helps. Really, I do find it odd when obsessive fans of strategy games don’t get football.

I’d prefer if they couldn’t play the game. I don’t want either team to win. The Raiders I hate because I’m a Broncos fan and the Bucs I hate because I think a couple of their players represent everything that’s wrong with Pro Sports. Sapp and Me-Shawn can dry up and blow away for all I care. If they win, we’ll have a neverending stream of crap from Sapp’s big fat mouth.

–Dave

Raiders by ten.

Troy

Jakub and I had this discussion (sort of) on another forum. Here’s how it went down: (Jakub’s comments have dashes in front of them. Mine don’t.)

GX-WarSpite wrote:

  • Coaching: Gruden is clearly the better coach, but
  • his previous team and assistants know him. Of
  • course, he also knows his previous team. Bucs.

Definitely Advantage Bucs. The Raiders didn’t hire a new defensive coordinator in the offseason. They’re still running Bresnahan’s run-stopping defense. Their pass defense isn’t any good, and Tampa’s passing has been great over the last half of the season.

  • Special teams: Tie. Excellent kickers on both ends,
  • good punting and great lines. Raiders are better at
  • returns, Bucs better at stopping them.

Actually, they’re about even when it comes to returning the ball–Tampa holding an advantage on kick returns, and Oakland holding a SLIGHT advantage on punt returns. However, Oakland has horrendous kick return defense: worst in the league on average punt return defense, actually.

  • The rest?
  • Offense vs. Defense?
  • It will be an epic battle. Even if it’s a blowout,
  • it will be damn fucking interesting. As fancy as
  • Gruden can get with his defensive calls, they’ll
  • mean jack shit if the experienced Raiders offense,
  • particularly with Gannon at the helm, is going to go
  • no-huddle. Any huddle will be a huge advantage for
  • the D. Of course, the Bucs are known for their
  • ability to adjust to audibles and switch coverage on
  • the fly.

Philly tried to get all no-huddle on TB yesterday. What happened? They marched 60+ yards and got picked off–on a great throw, nonetheless–by one portion of Tampa’s awesome secondary. Tampa runs a Cover 2 (generally), and Oakland likes to air the ball out–which, incidentally, doesn’t work overly well against a Cover defense. They’ll need to stick to short passes, and rely on huge yards after the catch. Granted, they’ve got a couple receivers who have the potential to break through for a huge gain… but Tampa’s got the best tackling linebackers and secondary in the game (Brooks and Barber and Lynch and Kelly, and… you get the point).

  • Especially given the problems they’re going to have
  • against the Raiders O-line.
  • In fact, if the Raiders had a bigger running back,
  • they could play some old-school ball and just ram it
  • down the Buc’s throats. As it stands, Garner isn’t
  • big enough to get past the relatively lightweight TB
  • linebackers. The Raiders showed they have the
  • endurance for a full, fought-out battle and I’m sure
  • their O-line could tire the D out. They just don’t
  • have the running back.

Except that Tampa’s defensive line is stupid good. I’d love to see Garner (or even Wheatley) try to bust through Sapp and Darby… who does he hit then? Quarles and Brooks. Then? Lynch. Fun times. Like you (or ESPN) said, though, Garner’s their primary back, and there’s no chance he’ll make it through that line. Watch for Wheatley to get a lot of carries (relative to Garner, that is). The Raiders are strongest through the air, and they’ll have to stick to that if they want any chance of winning.

  • On the other side of the ball, the Bucs can’t run
  • against the Raiders. Unless they’re going to pound
  • three yards at a time with Mike Alstott, there’s no
  • point. Everything on the offense is gonna rest on
  • Gruden’s head and Johnson’s shoulders. The Raiders
  • are excellent in spots (like Woodson & Woodson,
  • Romanowski), and mediocre in others. Good calls by
  • Gruden and smart audibles by Johnson can create some
  • serious mismatches, just like in Philly.

The Bucs can’t run against anyone. They don’t need to. They get some good throws to get them upfield, and then they’ll run Alstott for a 1-5 yard touchdown. Pittman will get a good 50 yards, and that’s all he’ll need.

Consensus: Bucs win.

<<We should all be pulilng for the Bucs for the simple civic reason that Bucs fans are less likely to burn down their city.>>

Ugh. Yeah. Right. This is why Oakland needs to win. Because of stereotypes like this.

I have to pull for Oakland. Being a long-time Packers fan I really really really don’t like the bucs.

I’m so torn, on the one hand, I’d like to see T.Brown and some of the the other vets get their ring and on the other, I’d like to see Gruden get it. Like David Long, I also don’t want to see certain players getting a ring such as Randy Moss… :D

-Contrai

Stereotypes? Don’t you read the news?

Stereotypes? Don’t you read the news?

Don’t you? That article talks about “dozens” of revelers who got out of hand—as opposed to the tens of thousands of Oakland residents who celebrated peacefully that nite.

Man, this kind of shit happens after every major sporting event everywhere in the country (and beyond). But, since it’s Oakland, and that means black people, then, yeah, they must be getting ready to “burn the city down”. Savages!

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Don’t turn this into a fucking racial thing–that’s bullshit. Fact of the matter is, LA and Oakland (LA, even though it’s not their team anymore) will be a friggin mess if the Raiders win the Super Bowl (or maybe even if they lose). Not because Oakland has “black people.” They’ll riot because it’s LA and Oakland.

Didn’t see people in Houston rioting when they won the NBA championships. Or Chicago even. Hell, it may be peaceful, you never know–but you cannot deny that there’s a good chance there will be a juicy riot after the Super Bowl. And in turning this into a racial thing, you’re just coming out looking like the bigot. And the idiot.

Not because Oakland has “black people.” But because it’s warm enough to riot, and the people who riot are stupid enough to do so.

It’s warm enough? Have you been to Oakland lately? It’s freezing. Well, maybe not freezing by East Coast standards. But it’s not warm by any means. And it’s raining this week. Not your ideal rioting city really.

And it’s not me that’s turning into a racial thing. I know there’s a large percentage of sub-moronic Raiders fans who like to break things. But you can’t use a phrase like “burn the city down” and not be evoking (consciously or otherwise) racial images. Let’s not kid ourselves.

And calling me a bigot and an idiot doesn’t do anything to make the conversation any more intelligent/less inflammatory, Tom.

Vern is right.
Sure, he kicked me out of the brotherhood. And, sure, I’m someone’s bitch now. But if there’s one thing Vern knows, it’s his racial issues.

Hey Vern–can I come back now?

Damn. I forgot how to type my own name in prison.

James “Prag” Robson