In a recent interview, Tampa Bay Buccaneers great Keyshawn Johnson claimed that he believed that his 2002 Bucs team would beat the current Bucs team in a good old fashioned head to head matchup. Johnson is most certainly wrong.
While it is certainly undeniable that the ’02 Bucs team was stacked from front to back, as evidenced by the fact that many of the names from that team have found their way to Canton, there is glaring difference between the ’02 team and the one that just won the Super Bowl at one position; quarterback.
While most of the ’02 and current Bucs teams are extremely similar, especially when looking at things such as blitzing ability as well offensive talent, it is really only the QB position that sticks out in a major way.
With absolutely no disrespect to Brad Johnson, the quarterback of the ’02 team, he is objectively no Tom Brady, as I’m sure Keyshawn Johnson would willingly admit. So it would seem that the question of who would win a head to head matchup between the current and ’02 team would come down to which QB a person thinks would score more against the other team’s defense.
Can Tom Brady score more against the ’02 defense, or can Brad Johnson score more against this defense? And lets be frank, even that run game from the early 2000s in Tampa would struggle with this front seven.
By all available evidence, the betting money would certainly have to be on the current team, simply due to the fact that Brady has proven time and again that he can find a way to score on nearly any defense, even ones as legendary as the one that took the field in 2002.
Now, if there were ever to be a defense that could really give it to Brady, it would certainly be the ’02 team’s. However, it would seem, based on Brady’s history, that he would more likely come away with the win, which is why the current team should get the advantage.
As always with these kinds of arguments, there is a certain amount of nostalgia and bias that goes along with everyone’s position, so it’s no surprise that Keyshawn said what he said. The reality is that both teams were and are fantastic, and all football fans should just sit back and enjoy the show.
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