Disappointed, frustrated, shocked.
That’s what all of Kansas City is probably feeling right now after Super Bowl LV.
Tom Brady completed 21 of 29 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns, and the defense completed dominated Patrick Mahomes and the rest of the Chiefs’ offense, winning 31-9 in blowout fashion. It was only the fifth career game in which Mahomes did not throw a single touchdown. He went 26 of 49 for 270 yards with zero touchdowns and two interceptions.
Meanwhile, it was a nearly perfect performance by the 43-year old Brady, who is only adding to his future Hall of Fame resume at this point. He has more Super Bowl rings (7) than any other franchise in NFL history. He was poised while in the pocket, hardly made an inaccurate throw, and showed just why he can be considered the greatest of all time.
As for the Chiefs, it was undoubtedly the worst game they’ve had in the Mahomes era. And despite that, there was a crucial moment in the game where it looked like momentum would shift in their favor against the Buccaneers. Down 7-3 in the first quarter, the Bucs stormed down the field and, facing 4th & Goal at the one-yard line, opted to go for it instead of kick a field goal. But the Chiefs defense stuffed them, forcing a turnover on downs.
However, Kansas City was unable to capitalize on the stop, and would not be able to regain a lead for the remainder of the game.
Missing starting LT Eric Fisher, as well as three other starters on the offensive line, exposed Mahomes, and the Buccaneers’ vaunted defense took full advantage. Shaq Barrett, Vita Vea, Ndamukong Suh, and Jason Pierre-Paul bull-rushed through the depleted line throughout the duration of the game, giving Mahomes little to no time to make a throw. He was pressured 29 times during the game, a Super Bowl record.
And as for the secondary, it was a whole different atmosphere from Week 12, when they were torched by the Chiefs. WR Tyreek Hill, who had 269 yards and three touchdowns in the Week 12 victory, had only seven catches for 73 yards in the Super Bowl, and linebacker Lavonte David and Devin White held Travis Kelce in check as well. Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed for 64 yards, and averaged 7.1 YPC, one of his best outputs in recent weeks, but it wasn’t until the second half when he really started to roll.
But on Sunday night, it was all about Brady and the Buccaneers.
If before the season you said that Brady would not only win the Super Bowl, but win it with the Buccaneers, people would think you are crazy. But that’s not all. Add in having Rob Gronkowski come out of retirement after two years, Antonio Brown joining the team in the middle of the season, and Leonard Fournette also getting a second chance with said team. To make matters crazier, all three players scored touchdowns in the Super Bowl.
But it wasn’t just because the Bucs were firing on all cylinders. It was also because, despite some very questionable calls over the course of the game, the Chiefs were not only sloppy, but they looked lost, and were completely undisciplined.
Especially Tyrann Mathieu, who seemed to be chirping like a bird all evening long. The Chiefs were penalized eight times for 95 yards in the first half, yet another infamous Super Bowl record belonging to the Chiefs. Mathieu jaw-jabbed with multiple players on Tampa Bay, including Brady, who wasn’t hesitant to strike back.
There were two controversial pass interference calls (both on Mike Evans) that left millions of fans watching in angst over the officiating. The latter of the two calls in particular received massive criticism, as it led to a first-and-goal situation at the one-yard line. A Brady-to-Brown touchdown would then make the game 21=6 before the half, and by then, it already seemed like it was over.
Perhaps the most “sweet, sweet karma” moment of the game came in the fourth quarter. After a failed fourth-down conversion at the Buccaneers’ 11-yard line, star rookie safety Antoine Winfield Jr. taunted in Hill’s face, drawing a penalty. The taunt was a response from when Hill taunted Winfield Jr. in Week 12.
Tampa Bay controlled the clock, dominated at the line of scrimmage, and outgained Kansas City. In all phases of the game, the Buccaneers beat the defending champion. As previously seen against the Browns in the AFC Divisional round, the Buccaneers found out how to expose the Chiefs’ offensive strategy. Put pressure on the offensive line, and cut off the running lanes in the middle.
The Chiefs have a whole off-season to get ready to bounce back. It wasn’t a bad season by any means. After all, it’s their second Super Bowl appearance in two years, and they were one win away from making three in a row. The team is young, talented, and are led by a great coach in Andy Reid.
There’s lots of work to be done, but congrats to the Chiefs on a good season.
As for the Buccaneers, Brady is coming back next season, and he continues to add to his accolades winning his fifth Super Bowl MVP Award (no one has more than three).
(Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)