The 2002 Vs. 2020 Debate

May 20th, 2021

A very intense TAMPA TWO right here with Tampa Bay legend Derrick Brooks and The Sage of Tampa Bay Sports, columnist Ira Kaufman.

Who’s better — the 2020 Bucs or the 2002 champions? The great insight is presented by Converged Technology Professionals. More fun from The Identity Tampa Bay & Joe.

17 Responses to “The 2002 Vs. 2020 Debate”

  1. Medicated Pete Says:

    The 2020 Bucs are the swinging dingalings in this town now.

  2. SlyPirate Says:

    Rice and Sapp were all-time great. You want to block them with Smith and Stinnie. Not gonna happen. They would have gotten to TB12 and disrupted the offense. 2002 would win this game.

    The 2021 version of the Bucs may be a different story.

  3. Micky Moose Says:

    2002 was very special, but I was blown away by the 2020 Superbowl defensive performance. I think it was even better than 2002 and I can’t believe I’m saying that. Go Bucs

  4. Alanbucsfan Says:

    The 2020 Bucs D held Mahomes and company to 3 fg’s. I think that offense was a little better than 2002 Bucs offense. And Alstott would be so busy with the 2020 DLine and White, he wouldn’t even know where David was on the field.
    Mr Brooks would need 3 pick 6’s in order for 2002 Bucs to beat 2020 team.

  5. Buxszntkt Says:

    Joe do they have stats from 2002, or now, average time to get to quarterback per play. Did Sapp and Co. reliably get to Gannon in 2.3 seconds. I rewatched the game prior to this years Super Bowl with my 22 year old who never saw that game and those guys did blow up the o-line. Don’t know how that Raiders o-line compared to ours.
    This is a debate for a sleepy May Day.

  6. Brandon Says:

    2002 Bucs D outscored the best offense in football 21-14. They held that same #1 offense to a total of 269 yards… and they got 172 yards of their own on INTs. Also forced two fumbles… and please don’t forget, that 39 yard TD to Jerry Porter that was correctly called an incompletion at first was clearly not a TD on review but somehow the league saw it differently. That TD was a gift… and really the Bucs D outscored them 21-7 and gave up 230 yards of offense. Sorry, 2002 wins. Tougher team, tougher division, more regular season wins, more dominant in the playoffs.

  7. Greg G Says:

    I actually just watched the 2002 SB yesterday because I was wondering this same thing. It’s a really hard call. I will say this, that 2002 defense was ridiculously lights out. They through up a stat that showed that the 2002 defense held opposing QBs, across the whole effing season (OMG!!), to an average of 48.8% completion percentage. That is utterly unheard of. The joke from Al Michaels was that that percentage was below the cut point for most teams for a QB. Just sick.

    On the other hand, the 2020 offense, particularly by the SB was so potent, and our 2020 defense was absolutely hitting it’s stride. So maybe the combination of having a #1 offense and a #6 defense in 2020 is greater than our 2002 #1 defense and like #20 something ranked offense. Not sure.

    I will add this, a key component to the 2002 Bucs offense success in SB 37 was running the ball. Frankly, they don’t put up the points they did without that component. No one can convince me that that 2002 offense gains even 50 yards against a Vita Vea healthy 2020 Bucs D. That 2020 D turns that 2002 O into a one-dimensional passing team by the middle of the 2nd quarter.

    The other thing to remember about the 2002 SB is Gruden’s familiarity with the Raiders. Lynch and Brooks both said in multiple interviews that by the middle of the game they knew what plays the Raiders were going to run. Yikes. So I’m not sure the stats from that SB are relevant to this comparison.

    Either way, it’s a damn fun debate!

  8. 1sparkybuc Says:

    The GOAT with this offense would have been too much for the 2002 D. Brad Johnson lacked the weapons to make a dent in the 2020 D. The 2020 team is much more talented across the board, is better balanced, and has more depth. How many starters from 2002 would still be starters on the 2020 roster? Beyond a possible handful on defense…..not many. We have the most complete team in franchise history right now. Nobody was talking about the 2003 team going undefeated. It’s foolish IMO, but that’s a conversation being had about the Bucs today. It’s a long season, and there’s too many variables to consider at this point.

  9. Tom in MadTown Says:

    Why does Brooks continue to wear that hideous jersey? I’d rather see him in Creamsicle Orange if he doesn’t want to wear the jersey from his own SB.

  10. '79 Defense Says:

    Glad that they made this an extended segment. Love the fact that for all long suffering Buc fans, we now have two championship teams and this fun debate. I would have liked to have heard a score from Ira and Derrick.

    I’d go with the ’02 team 20-17.

    2002 champs
    2020 champs
    If they don’t win it all this season, I fully expect them to in 2022.

  11. Swampbuc Says:

    I repeat myself when under stress I repeat myself when under stress I repeat myself when under stress…………..

    2002 rules and 2002 officials, 2002 Bucs win.

    2020 rules and 2020 officials, 2020 Bucs win. Plus 2020 Bucs have Tom Brady. Extra edge,

  12. Pick6 Says:

    I think the 2002 team was more impressive wire to wire….especially on defense making splash plays and closing out games. 2002 team dominated every postseason game as well – as exciting as the Eagles game was, they were actually pretty futile after those first 2 plays.

    This 2020 team is special for a whole bunch of other reasons, including surviving arguably a tougher schedule

    the team had struggled for so long that 2002 almost felt like a hallucination….still, Bucs fans have been through a LOT of bad times, yet we are one of only a few fan bases lucky enough to have a debate like this

  13. JimmyJack Says:

    The Bucs have never had an offense. Not til Licht built one!!! A Epic offense!

    We have been creamsicle bad for 2 full decades.

    The 2002 Bucs were a culmination of greatness. A Team that played great hard-nosed football for a decade.

    The 2020 Bucs came together because they added a pure hero to a good football team. The 2020 Bucs are now an excellent football team.

    The 2002 team is ahead right now because they had a greatness they sustained. We Old fans call it the golden age.

    This is such a fun offseason because the 2020 Bucs are only scratching the surface of their historic impact! They have a real chance to become of of those big time historic teams that folks talk about for years. Ours Bucs truly stand on the door to joining the 70′ Steelers…….the 80’s 49ers……the 90’s Cowboys.

    In 2002 we failed flat on our face. It was disgusting and embarrassing. We folled that up by never winning a single playoff game dor our existence………….Call me nuts but something tells me th ed 2020 Bucs dont go down like that.

    GO BUCS!!! RISK IT BABY!!!!!

  14. JimmyJack Says:


  15. Pete I Says:

    Viewed as a total team effort both wins were impressive but we all knew the 2002 team was going to be good…possibly great. We had no such knowledge of the 2020 team.

    Especially given all that happened in 2020…change QB, Pandemic, no off-season, no pre-season, etc, etc, etc…

    So in my mind 2020 is bigger because it was really unexpected and had to overcome so much more. And of course winning at you own stadium is now part of NFL history and lore.

    2002 got us a place in the history books…2020 got us a chapter in the history books…alongside other firsts.

  16. Brandon Says:

    Passer rating against 2002 Bucs D was 48.4. Read that again. People can sit back and say that the Bucs were familiar with the Raiders offense. While that may be true, the Raiders had two weeks to change plays and audibles… and they probably did but that Bucs team was prepared in EVERY playoff contest. Zero of their games were competitive… ZERO! They crushed the 49ers, dismantled the Eagles, and absolutely dominated the Raiders…. Three of the best offenses in the league reduced to nothing. The 2020 Bucs struggled against the Redskins… overcame the Saints but it still wasn’t close to a blow out, beat the Packers in a fairly close game, and blew out the Chiefs…. just in playoff results alone… the 2002 team was dominant. 2020 was only dominant in the Super Bowl.

  17. Buczilla Says:

    Awesome discussion. Thnx dudes. 😜