NFL Power Points: Bucs finish on top

Thanks to their dominant victory in Super Bowl XXXVII, the Bucs vaulted ahead of the Raiders.

Updated: January 28, 2003, 11:41 AM ET
By By Ryan Early
The one-sided Super Bowl caused a 5.5 point swing in the final Power Points as the Bucs vault ahead of the Raiders with the Vince Lombardi Trophy in tow. In a season when most defenses had no answers to the pass-heavy offenses, the Bucs not only stymied opponents but scored points themselves. It only made sense that the Bucs' D would score three touchdowns in the biggest game of the year. The complete domination of the Raiders pushed Tampa Bay's defensive rating up to 12.7, almost twice the rating of the No. 2 Eagles. The only negatives in the Super Bowl were a blocked punt and a botched field goal, which caused their special teams rating to fall 0.8 points.

The Raiders' poor outing lost them the title of No. 1 offense that they held so very briefly over the Chiefs. Their defensive rating dropped from third to fifth after giving up 20 first-half points followed by an 89-yard drive, culminating with a touchdown to start the second half. The loss must be especially hard on the Raiders, who overcame the league's hardest schedule to still get home-field advantage in the playoffs only to lose to their former coach in the Super Bowl. To make matters worse, they face a slew of difficult salary-cap decisions that will require several of their better players to be making plays in a different uniform next season.

Below is the final Power Points table for the 2002 season. There have been some adjustments to the ratings of the teams that did not make the playoffs, as changes to playoff teams filter through the league. Since recent games are weighed more in the Power Points formula, any changes to teams' ratings should be minor.