It didn't take long for the Buccaneers to prove who wanted to win this game more as Tom Brady won his seventh Super Bowl title.
The Chiefs struck first on a 49 yard field goal from Harrison Butker to go up 3-0 early in the first quarter. But the Buccaneers came back on the very next drive, gaining 75 yards on eight plays, and we saw Tom Brady connect with Rob Gronkowski for the first of two scores on the day. Tampa never let their foot off the pedal after that scoring drive, and they never relinquished the lead from that point on. The Bucs went on to easily win Super Bowl LV 31-9.
Rob Gronkowski now has at least one reception in 5 Super Bowls, which is the most in #NFL history https://t.co/16YVjf4EKC— NFL Stats (@NFL Stats) 1612743772.0
The dream matchup between Brady and Mahomes ended up being a bit of a letdown, but don't put this all on the Chiefs' quarterback. Don't forget that they entered the Super Bowl fresh off losing starting left tackle, Eric Fisher, to a season-ending injury in the AFC Championship game against Buffalo. It could have been the final blow to an offensive line unit that was already without most of its starters most of the season.
Jason Alexander hoodie playing behind the Chiefs offensive line https://t.co/qwOWAt9RHD— Korked Bats (@Korked Bats) 1612746294.0
The Bucs defense shouldn't be overlooked, as they stifled one of the most prolific offensive units the league has ever seen. Tyreek Hill was held to just two catches for 13 yards until he caught his third pass with 1:13 left in the third quarter.
Tyreek Hill gave Antoine Winfield Jr. the peace sign in the regular season 👀 Winfield got the last laugh.… https://t.co/8XfJnL8lc7— Bleacher Report (@Bleacher Report) 1612753385.0
Although we should credit the work Todd Bowles' defense did in coverage, it was their pass rush that suffocated Mahomes throughout the game forcing him to constantly be running for his life outside the pocket and taking frequent visits to the turf.
How about that Bucs defense, though? https://t.co/334qyLKfb4— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Tampa Bay Buccaneers) 1612751602.0
The combination of Jason Pierre-Paul, Vita Vea, Ndamukong Suh, Steve McClendon, and Shaq Barrett was too much for the Chiefs' makeshift line to handle, and they sacked Mahomes three times during the game.
Penalties also played a huge role in preventing the Chiefs from getting back into contention. They accumulated eight penalties for 95 yards in the first half, which is now the the record for most in Super Bowl history. Kansas City finished the game with 11 penalties costing them 120 yards.
The Chiefs committed eight penalties in the first half. The MOST in a first half in Super Bowl history 😮 https://t.co/FPG2EcitUn— Sports Illustrated (@Sports Illustrated) 1612748332.0
On the other side, it was quite a different story. Brady felt in complete control from start to finish. The experience that he has in these big moments was evident from the moment that the Chiefs took the early lead.
Tampa was able to control the entire pace of the game by winning in the trenches on both the offensive and defensive ends. Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones II benefitted from their offensive line opening up big running lanes all night as they both averaged above five yards per carry. Fournette finished with 89 yards on 16 carries with a touchdown, and Jones had 61 yards on 12 carries.
Never to be outdone in a Super Bowl with his best bud TB12, Rob Gronkowski shocked the world by contributing two touchdowns on six receptions and gaining 67 yards through the air. In an offense that features Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Antonio Brown, very few could have expected Gronk to lead the team in receiving. Especially since it was just a year ago that he was hosting Wrestlemania during his short lived retirement.
IT’S OFFICIAL! GRONK IS THE GREATEST 24/7 CHAMP OF ALL TIME! @RobGronkowski @WWE https://t.co/2GT7PYhsw4— Mick Foley (@Mick Foley) 1612754088.0
It was only the second time in Mahomes' professional career that he's been held without a touchdown in a game. Maybe even more unbelievable is the fact that this is the first double-digit loss in Mahomes' pro career. Even though we didn't get the shootout we were hoping for, we at least got reassurance that Patrick Mahomes is human. He finished 26/49 for 270 yards and two interceptions. If you just saw the box score, you'd probably think it was a typo.
Pat Mahomes trying to find an open receiver https://t.co/THDsZwwO1P— Complex Sports (@Complex Sports) 1612750030.0
For Tom Brady, however, it was just another day at the office. Capping off another improbable year standing on a stage with confetti falling all around him while thanking his teammates and holding the Lombardi trophy. The 43-year-old quickly responded to whether he'll be back next season and said that both he and the Bucs plan to be back here next year. Judging by Tampa and Brady's performance in Super Bowl LV, they just may prove him right.
"I'm coming back." - @TomBrady #SBLV | @Buccaneers https://t.co/P7gl5xMf76— NFL (@NFL) 1612755178.0
No matter what the future holds for Tom Brady by winning his seventh Super Bowl, he becomes not only the winningest player in league history but has more championship wins than the two organizations with the most championship wins (those being the Pittsburgh Steelers and Brady's former team, the New England Patriots, with whom Brady won the first six of his championships).
At this point there really isn't a reason to hate Tom Brady anymore. It's rare that an athlete can separate him or herself so far from the rest of the competition and do it for so long. Even if you rooted against Tom Brady because he beat your team every time he played them, by now he's done it to everyone's team.
Although Brady seemingly intends to play until he's 50, the truth is eventually he won't be able to lead a team to a Super Bowl anymore. That will certainly make a lot of people rejoice, but for now we should really appreciate the fact that we've gotten to watch one of the best athletes in history be the definition of consistency and excellence for two decades. And he ain't done yet.
We will have the rare opportunity to see a championship game that includes the implication of the proverbial passing of the GOAT title if Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs are able to defeat Tom Brady's Buccaneers in Tampa.
Not only would this make Kansas City back-to-back Lombardi Trophy winners, but it would mean that Mahomes was able to knock off the greatest to ever do it at the quarterback position on arguably the most talented team he's ever been a part of (sorry New England, but you should've treated your man better). Mahomes, who signed the largest contract in sports history following Kansas City's championship win last year, had plenty of expectations to live up to. He has delivered in a big way on their path to repeat as world champs this season.
Patrick Mahomes is adding to a STACKED resume ➖ Super Bowl champ ➖ Super Bowl MVP ➖ 2 AFC titles ➖ MVP ➖ 3x Pro Bo… https://t.co/DtwpvmzQqZ— Bleacher Report (@Bleacher Report) 1611548087.0
Mahomes finished inside the top 5 in passing yards (second) and passing touchdowns (fourth) easily even with a few weeks of struggle during the regular reason. The same can be said of the 43 year old Brady as he finished third in passing yards and second in passing touchdowns with 40 on the season nearly matching his age.
Brady who is in his 20th NFL season now has been around long enough for two generations of football fans to be very familiar with who he is and what he's about, and that can be summed up in one word which is winning. He is the winningest quarterback in the history of the NFL and became the first individual player to win six Super Bowl rings. Now with a chance to add a seventh ring with Tampa Bay, the GOAT knows that he is going to have to make a few plays in this game to beat the Chiefs. The expectation going into this game is that we'll see a shootout, and with these two offenses it's a fair assessment.
Tom Brady is headed back to his 10th Super Bowl 😲 https://t.co/xQTeDQUhvQ— ESPN (@ESPN) 1611530644.0
The Chiefs led the league in average yards per game during the regular season and Tampa Bay ranked third in average points per game with 30.8 and trailing just behind them in sixth place were the Chiefs with an average of 29.6 points per game. On paper these are the two most talented offenses in the league and it's a dream game for NFL fans that want to see touchdowns. But touchdowns aside, the focal point of this matchup is going to be Brady versus Mahomes. As Nate Burleson said immediately following the Chiefs win over Buffalo on Sunday night, it sets up a contest of the GOAT versus the Kid (a term for a baby goat) and believe that we are ALL here for it.
Every generation has their chosen GOAT, but it's never guaranteed to see an event like this we still get to see two players of this caliber squaring off in a championship game. A lot has to fall into place to find ourselves in a situation like this, and after a year like 2020, someone up there must be looking out for us sports fans. Fans will often get into arguments about who would win in a hypothetical matchup all the time. Who would win in a game between Jordan's Bulls and LeBron's Heat teams? Could Tyson knock out Ali? Who wins in a head to head Super Bowl matchup between Brady and Mahomes?
Well we get to find out the answer to one of those timeless questions in two weeks at Super Bowl 55 in Tampa Bay. For Brady he came into this season with the looming question as to whether or not much of his success can be traced back to Bill Belichick during his tenure with the Patriots. It seems like we've written Brady off many times throughout his 20 seasons, and he just continues to get better. At this point it seems fair to call into question whether Brady has some kind of Benjamin Button disease causing him to reverse age.
"Can I say hi to my son?" This Tom Brady interaction 🥰 (via @NFL) https://t.co/0Df7jr702i— ESPN (@ESPN) 1611531168.0
One could argue that due to Brady's advanced age that we aren't seeing Mahomes facing off with the best version of Tom Brady we could've seen, but Brady's stats say otherwise. Furthermore, Brady has passed the eye test all season, rarely showing his age and instead dropping dimes all over the field to his talented receiving core that includes Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Antonio Brown.
Mahomes and the Chiefs will likely enter this game as the favorites to win their second consecutive Super Bowl, but one thing that we've learned about Tom Brady throughout the years is that you can never count out number 12, especially in the playoffs, and especially when the Lombardi is on the line. You only earn the title "GOAT" by ruthlessly dominating the competition year over year and there's never been anyone that has put the pads on that has been a better winner than Tom Brady.
No matter who wins, as fans we will get treated to a spectacular showcase of what the NFL can be. It's not just X's and O's and touchdowns and goal line stands. It's the stories that make sports great. Just like the Madalorian is a western viewed through a Star Wars filter, this is a tale of two gunslingers headed toward the final duel. Two legacies enter, but only one will leave with the the title. That title will no longer just be the GOAT, but BAMF.
Even though we get a little bummed when the NFL season comes near the end, it's bittersweet because it also signals our favorite sporting event of the year- THE SUPER BOWL.
Man, there is literally nothing we don't like about that day. Whether our team makes it to the final or not (Nah, we're lying, we're always a little salty) is beside the point- Super Bowl Sunday is a day for pals, beers, and lots of yelling at the TV.
If you're anything like us, you've been making this season even more nail-biting by putting some of your hard-earned cash on your favorite team. But, if you haven't dabbled in sports betting yet, we're here to tell you that it's not too late.
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