OAKLAND -- The Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers share an intense if infrequent rivalry of sorts, with the game results having steep consequences for the losing coach.
A 48-21 win by the Bucs in Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003 was the first domino to fall in the demise of the Bill Callahan era.
The Raiders have won six of the seven regular-season games, with an overtime loss in 1996 playing a major role in the firing of coach Mike White following the season.
The last meeting, a 31-24 win by the Raiders in the 2008 regular-season finale, bounced host Tampa Bay from the playoffs. It led to a contract for interim coach Tom Cable and a pink slip for Bucs coach Jon Gruden, the former Raiders coach and architect of the championship season.
None of that matters to Raiders coach Dennis Allen and Bucs coach Greg Schiano. Both are rookie head coaches of 3-4 teams with an eye on .500 as the two teams meet Sunday at O.co Coliseum.
The Raiders have won two straight following wins against Jacksonville and Kansas City, teams that currently have 1-6 records.
Tampa Bay, which got a few extra days of rest following a convincing 36-17 win over Minnesota in a Thursday night game, represents a step up in class.
"Like coach Allen said, this is a team a lot like us in that they started off slow, have got some momentum and they're hot," quarterback Carson Palmer said.
Of particular concern for the Raiders is converting in the red zone with touchdowns rather than relying on AFC special teams player of the month Sebastian Janikowski to kick field goals.
The Raiders have tallied TDs on 34.8 percent of their trips inside the 20-yard line, 31st in the NFL.
"We want touchdowns," Palmer said. "We've been fortunate. Our defense has played so well we haven't needed seven points on every drive, but there's going to be those games where the other offense is on fire and you'd better score 70 percent of the time when you get down there. We need to improve on it, and we will."
The Bucs defense ranks fifth in the NFL against the run and is giving up an average of just 3.5 yards per carry, meaning the going could be tough for running back Darren McFadden. The Bucs have been susceptible to the pass, a matchup offensive coordinator Greg Knapp hopes to exploit.
"That's one thing we'd like to attack because we've done a good job throwing the ball," Knapp said.
Tampa Bay rookie running back Doug Martin, a first-round draft pick out of Boise State who was born in Oakland and raised in Stockton, has 543 yards rushing and 224 yards receiving, and is third behind only Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice in yards from scrimmage at 109.6 per game.
Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman, similar to San Diego's Philip Rivers, has tall, big-play receivers in Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams and is unafraid to throw high and deep, counting on them to come down with the ball.
Freeman has passed for 1,010 yards and nine touchdowns in his past three games.
"Those are what we call 50-50 balls, it's you and him, one-on-one," cornerback Michael Huff said. "You've can't really scheme around that. You've got to make a play."
Schiano has been impressed with what he's seen of Oakland's defense of late.
"Defensively they've got those two big defensive tackles in (Tommy) Kelly and (Richard) Seymour," Schiano said. "The front seven is going to be a challenge, and (in the secondary) they really seem to know what's cooking. They don't give up many big plays, and that's something we've been kind of living by, so something's got to give."
As for the history between the two teams, Janikowski and punter Shane Lechler are the only Raiders around from Super Bowl XXXVII, and safety Ronde Barber is the lone Buccaneer.
"That seems like a lifetime ago," Barber said by conference call. "It really doesn't seem like the same career."