Super Bowl 55 Preview: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Super Bowl 55 Preview: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

by February 6, 2021 0 comments

The lifetime matchup between Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady is tied at 2-2. The ultimate tiebreaker will occur Sunday, February 7, in Super Bowl 55, with Brady hosting the first-ever Super Bowl home game in NFL history. While past and future collide, some fans will be more focused on the duration of the National Anthem or their buffalo wings than the final score itself. Either way, with fans in the stands and millions watching around the world, this could be one of the better Super Bowl matchups in the last decade.

No matter the result, Super Bowl 55 will be a legacy-defining game. If Brady can secure his seventh ring in his first season with Tampa Bay, he will likely leave Raymond James as the consensus Greatest Of All-Time. If Mahomes can defeat the “GOAT”, the Chiefs will become the ninth team in NFL history to repeat as NFL champs and the first since Brady’s Patriots in 2003-2004. Two rings in his first four NFL seasons would set Mahomes well on his way to surpass Brady as the greatest winner in league history and cement his status as one of the most talented players to ever touch a football. 

“I’m rooting for Tom Brady. We’ve had some great communications and he is such a special human being. We were privileged to have him here for two decades, and he’s one of the finest human beings I’ve ever met. I really hope he wins Sunday,” said Patriots owner, Robert Kraft. 

Tampa Bay head coach, Bruce Arians, took time out of his press conference to acknowledge the greatness of Mahomes. 

“There is absolutely nothing about (Mahomes’) game that isn’t better than most,” said Arians. 

Even NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke to the greatness Brady has shown over the last two decades. 

“Tom Brady has shown he’s probably the greatest player to ever play the game… Everyone just plays better around him,” said Goodell. 

Setting the legacy discussions aside, the marquee matchup is between the speedy Tampa Bay defense and the high-powered Kansas City offense. 

2020 Season Statistical Overview

Kansas City Chiefs

Offense:

YPG: 5th

Passing YPG: 1st

Rushing YPG: 16th

PPG: 6th

Defense: 

YPG: 16th

Passing YPG: 14th

Rushing YPG: 21st

PPG: 11th

Tamp Bay

Offense:

YPG: 7th 

Passing YPG: 2nd 

Rushing YPG: 27th

PPG: 3rd

Defense: 

YPG: 6th

Passing YPG: 21st

Rushing YPG: 1st

PPG: 8th

Tampa Bay’s biggest strength on defense matches up against the area the Chiefs rely on the least for scoring and overall yards per game. Against the Green Bay offense, the Buccaneers allowed 346 yards passing and allowed a 50-yard touchdown pass to deep threat Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Given the 203 yards the Buccaneers allowed to Tyreek Hill in one single quarter during their Week 12 matchup, there needs to be a renewed focus on limiting the deep ball on Sunday. 

With Devin White and Lavonte David healthy and once again playing at an elite level, they will receive the assignment of limiting Chiefs’ tight end, Travis Kelce, who finished the regular season with the second-most receiving yards in the NFL (1,416). Kelce surpassed 80 yards receiving in 13 of the 18 games so far this season, including 82 yards on eight catches in Week 12 against the Buccaneers. With rookie safety Antoine Winfield Jr. still not practicing at 100 percent, White and David may receive the main responsibilities for shadowing Kelce. David and White struggled in the NFC Championship Game against Packers’ tight end Robert Tonyan, something to watch closely on Sunday. 

With all-time great Rob Gronkowski lining up across from Kelce, the Kansas City leader recognizes what is at stake for his legacy as well. 

“It’s a little bit personal, man,” Kelce said. “It’s got to be that way. You know I’m here and I’m playing this game to be the best.” 

With his seventh ring on the line, all the international attention will be on Brady. The 43-year-old has averaged 25 points per game in his six Super Bowl victories, with 315 yards per game and two touchdowns per contest. With more than half a season played in the Super Bowl alone, Brady will absolutely have to outperform his averages if Tampa Bay wants to keep up with Kansas City. Luckily, Brady has a better core of weapons at his disposal than ever in his career. With Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Gronkowski, Antonio Brown, Leonard Fournette, and Ronald Jones flying around the Tampa Bay turf, Brady can finally rely on his playmakers in key moments down the stretch. 

Game Info

Date: February 7, 2021

Start Time: 6:30 PM ET

Location: Tampa, FL

Stadium: Raymond James Stadium

TV Info: CBS

Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook 

Points Spread: TB +3.5 (-125) | KC -3.5 (+105)

Moneyline: TB (+140) | KC (-175)

Over/Under: O 56 (-110) | U 56 (-110)

The Super Bowl is the best sporting events to bet on every single year. With the ability to bet on the coin toss, the length of the national anthem and the Gatorade color used to shower the victor, the basic lines may seem mundane. Either way, the over seems like a solid bet on Sunday. The Chiefs posted 38 points on the average Buffalo passing defense two weeks ago, and Brady’s full array of weapons will look to attack the weaker Chiefs’ linebacker and defensive back units. The spread and Moneyline are anyone’s guess, but this Super Bowl is destined to be a high scoring affair. 

 

Prediction

“Do we have time to run Wasp?”

These seven words changed the course of Super Bowl 54, and ultimately the deep corner route designed for Hill would give Kansas City the momentum to beat the San Francisco 49ers. That same exact play was used in the 2018 NFC Championship game against Brady’s New England Patriots and has changed the course of countless games for Andy Reid’s Chiefs in the last three years. 

With Mahomes and Brady facing off again, fans of both teams need to stay as cool, calm, and collected as possible. Brady and the Buccaneers have jumped out to some impressive leads in their 2020 campaign, and the Chiefs are no stranger to destroying seemingly insurmountable deficits in the blink of an eye. Given the advantage in the passing game and the ability for Tyrann Mathieu and the Chiefs secondary to limit Brady as much as possible, Super Bowl 55 should go to the reigning champs. 

Final Score: Kansas City Chiefs 31, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27


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MJ is the host of "Next Man Up w/MJ Hurley" and "eXamining the XFL" MJ is also a reporter at Fansided for Oakland A's and at XFL Board.

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