After taking a year off from the Super Bowl, Tom Brady made his return, this time at the helm of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They face off against the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV Sunday, Feb. 7 at 6:30 p.m. EST.
The Buccaneers took the scenic route to the Super Bowl as a Wild Card team. They knocked off the NFC East champion Washington Football Team 31-23 to begin their trek. In the NFC Divisional Round they smacked around the New Orleans Saints 30-20 before handing Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers a Lambeau loss in a 31-26 victory in the NFC Championship.
Kansas City, as the No. 1 seed in the AFC, got to remain at home for its two playoff wins. A 22-17 victory in the Divisional Round over the Cleveland Browns was followed by a relatively easy 38-24 win over the Buffalo Bills in the AFC title game. Mahomes and the Chiefs are now vying to become the first team to repeat as Super Bowl champions since Tom Brady did it with the New England Patriots during the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (16-2)
The Chiefs finished the 2020 regular season as the NFL’s best offense, rolling up 6,653 total yards. They were No. 2 in yards per play at 6.3 and No. 6 in points scored. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes wrapped up his fourth season in the league with a 14-1 record as a starter. Mahomes completed 66.3 percent of his passes for 4,740 yards, 38 touchdowns and six interceptions. He sat out the last regular season game as the Chiefs had already secured the top AFC seed.
Kansas City finished as the league’s 14th best passing defense and 21st ranked rushing defense.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (15-5)
Tampa Bay was the third best team in the league in points scored this season, piling up 492. They finished as the No. 7 overall offense and were seventh in yards per play. Tom Brady, in his first year with the Buccaneers, went 11-5 as a starter, completing 65.7 percent of his passes for 4,633 yards, 40 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
The Bucs were the 21st ranked passing defense and the top ranked rushing defense.
As much history as there is in this game, no legacies are on the line. Brady had secured the title of the best quarterback of all time and only solidified it this season by taking a moribund franchise like the Buccaneers to the Super Bowl. We can call this a team sport all we want, but pretty much this same squad went 7-9 with Jameis Winston at QB a year ago. Now, they’re playing for a Lombardi Trophy.
Mahomes has already won a Super Bowl and, in that, his legacy is also set. All he can do now is build on it by stacking them up like the man lining up across from him Sunday. This will probably be the only Super Bowl match up between Mahomes and Brady and the winner gets the historic bragging rights. If there is a player that has a shot at matching or exceeding Brady’s legacy it’s Mahomes, and a head to head win will do a lot when that conversation comes up 15-20 years from now.
The Chiefs have been the best team in football for the last two years. While Tampa Bay has earned its spot in the Super Bowl, it’s difficult (but not impossible) to see a scenario in which Andy Reid doesn’t claim his second Super Bowl victory.
Chiefs 31, Buccaneers 23