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Tally ho, the dogs are loose!

Jan 21, 2003 6:12 AM

Turn back the hands of time.

That is what Father time, Al Davis, attempted to do at the beginning of the season. So far, the clock is right on schedule. Like platform shoes and bell-bottoms, the old guys like Jerry Rice, Rich Gannon, Bill Romanowski , John Parella and Rod Woodson are back. They’re playing beat the clock. And this Sunday, when the clock strikes 3:18 PST, the Raiders will play for Super Bowl XXXVII.

There’s only one remaining obstacle for Father Time to knock down. And, it says here, it’s going to be a rough one.

Bucs (+7) vs Raiders: Jon Gruden, the head coach that Davis dealt away, is on his way to San Diego for a showdown with his old boss. He’s coming coast to coast with possibly the most! Most hard hitting defensive players. Most linebackers and defensive linemen able to run down and pressure quarterbacks. And players with most quotable one-liners.

But Warren Sapp’s sound bites alone will not win the Super Bowl. The Bucs will need to continue to be impressive on both sides of the ball.

It’s the best offense versus the best defense. The Bucs have the best D and historically, more great defenses have won championships than great offenses. I’m sticking with Tampa Bay’s quick D-line and linebackers, very smart secondary and best tacklers in the NFL bar none.

Look for Bucs’ D to short-circuit the offensive fireworks of Rich Gannon. Pressure on the QB will be the key to the game. Bucs’ D will hurry Gannon’s rhythm and force the mistakes that ultimately cost Oakland the Super Bowl.

It must be Super Bowl fave season. Because I hear Warren Sapp and the defensive dawgs of Tampa Bay howling at the moon.

Enjoy the hunt!