LOSS - Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24 Oakland Raiders 31
Tampa Bay concluded the 2008 regular season against the Oakland Raiders, coach Jon Gruden's former team, and the team they beat in Super Bowl XXXVII. Tampa Bay needed a victory, and a loss by Dallas to clinch a wild card playoff berth.
The first quarter was a defensive battle, with both teams struggling to cross midfield. Early in the second quarter, Johnnie Lee Higgins returned a punt for Oakland to the Tampa Bay 40. Michael Bush scored a touchdown run, the first rushing touchdown given up by the Buccaneers at home, to give Oakland a 7–0 lead. Jeff Garcia followed up with a 10-play, 80-yard drive, including a 29-yard pass to Michael Clayton.
Both teams started the third quarter with 3-and-out drives. Ont the next drive Jeff Garcia connected for a 25-yard pass to Carnell "Cadillac" Williams, then a 58-yard bomb to Clayton for a touchdown. Nearing the end of the third quarter, Tampa Bay again went on a long scoring drive, capping it off with a Matt Bryant field goal, and a 17–14 lead.
With 12:25 remaining, JaMarcus Russell was intercepted by Sabby Piscitelli at the 5-yard line. Piscitelli returned the ball 84 yards to the Oakland 11. Two plays later "Cadillac" Williams was in the endzone for his second touchdown of the day.
A pass interference call on Will Allen moved Oakland to the Tampa Bay 12-yard line, and led to a Raiders touchdown. Leading 24–21 with just under 10 minutes to go, Tampa Bay looked to run the clock out. "Cadillac" Williams rumbled for 28 yards, but fell with an apparent serious knee injury, the second of his career. Tampa Bay ultimately turned the ball over on downs at the Oakland 33. On the very next play, Michael Bush busted through the Buccaneer defense to score a go-ahead, 64-yard touchdown run. After a Jeff Garcia interception, and a late Oakland field goal, the Buccaneers fell to the Raiders 31–24, and thus once again the home team hosting the Super Bowl will not play in it, having failed to even make the post-season.
With a disappointing finish, Tampa Bay's season ended at 9–7. Head coach Jon Gruden and General manager Bruce Allen were fired January 16, 2009.
- REFEREE: Ron Winter
- UMPIRE: Ruben Fowler
- HEAD LINESMAN: Jim Mello
- LINE JUDGE: Tom Stephan
- SIDE JUDGE: Tom Hill
- FIELD JUDGE: Duke Carroll
- BACK JUDGE: Richard Reels
- REPLAY OFFICIAL: Ken Baker
- CAMERA OPERATOR: not documented
- RAIDERS: 10:36-2Q Bush 4 run (Janikowski kick)
- BUCCANEERS: 05:38-2Q Williams 9 run (M.Bryant kick)
- RAIDERS: 00:30-2Q Schilens 3 pass from Russell (Janikowski kick)
- BUCCANEERS: 10:03-3Q Clayton 58 pass from Garcia (M.Bryant kick)
- BUCCANEERS: 14:51-4Q M.Bryant FG29
- BUCCANEERS: 11:27-4Q Williams 8 run (M.Bryant kick)
- RAIDERS: 09:53-4Q Higgins 12 pass from Russell (Janikowski kick)
- RAIDERS: 07:03-4Q Bush 67 run (Janikowski kick)
- RAIDERS: 01:09-4Q Janikowski FG25
- WR: #89 A. Bryant
- LT: #70 D. Penn
- LG: #78 A. Sears
- C: #52 J. Faine
- RG: #75 D. Joseph
- RT: #65 J. Trueblood
- TE: #88 J. Gilmore
- TE: #81 A. Smith
- WR: #84 J. Galloway
- QB: #07 J. Jarcia
- RB: #24 C. Williams
- LE: #93 K. Carter
- DT: #95 C. Hovan
- DT: #71 J. Haye
- RE: #90 G. Adams
- SLB: #59 C. June
- MLB: #51 B. Ruud
- WLB: #55 D. Brooks
- LCB: #31 P. Buchanon
- RCB: #20 R. Barber
- SS: #21 S. Piscitelli
- FS: #36 T. Jackson
- 3 Bryant, 9 Bidwell, 19 Hilliard, 22 Smith, 24 Williams, 25 Talib, 26 Allen, 30 Nicholson, 33 Cook, 35 Askew, 43 Mack, 48 Economos, 50 McCoy, 57 Hayward, 58 Black, 71 Haye, 76 Zuttah, 80 Clayton, 86 Stevens, 91 White, 98 Sims
DID NOT PLAY
- 12 McCown, 79 Mahan
- 8 Griese, 10 Jackson, 11 Johnson, 56 Wilson, 77 Lee, 87 Clark, 94 Chukwurah, 96 Petersone
- BUCCANEERS: Williams 12-78, Dunn 10-37, Garcia 3-10, Askew 1-0.
- RAIDERS: Bush 27-177, Fargas 6-11, McFadden 1-2, Russell 1-2.
- BUCCANEERS: Garcia 33-17-257-1-1.
- RAIDERS: Russell 21-14-148-1-2.
- BUCCANEERS: Williams 5-37, A.Bryant 3-77, Clayton 2-87, Stevens 2-28, Hilliard 2-20, Dunn 2-4, Askew 1-4.
- RAIDERS: Higgins 6-52, Schilens 3-46, Miller 2-34, McFadden 2-10, Bush 1-6.
- BUCCANEERS: Piscitelli 1-84.
- RAIDERS: Baker 1-0.
- BUCCANEERS: C.Smith 3-78.
- RAIDERS: Miller 4-90, Gunheim 1-9.
- BUCCANEERS: C.Smith 2-16, Hilliard 0-0.
- RAIDERS: Higgins 4-67.
- BUCCANEERS: Adams 1-3.
- RAIDERS: Gunheim 1-2.