Super Bowl LV: Chiefs vs Buccaneers Preview
It’s the most wonderful week of the year, Super Bowl Week. This year is set to be the Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tom Brady’s impressive 10th Super Bowl appearance. Festivities for the two teams kicked off today with virtual media availability. Always a fun time to watch players showing off their personalities. The big game is set to kick off Sunday, February 7th at 6:30 PM EST.
Super Bowl LV will be a regular-season rematch. The two teams faced off in Week 12, where the Chiefs were able to hold on to an early lead down in Tampa for the win. Both teams had a pass-heavy offense in their Week 12 game. Patrick Mahomes completed 37 of 49 (75.6%) whereas Tom Brady completed 27 of 41 (65.9%). Tampa Bay had a rough third quarter with 2 turnovers. The Chiefs got lucky in the turnover department only fumbling the ball once. Mahomes threw a pair of interceptions which were negated by defensive penalties on the Buccaneers. Each team had 3 passing touchdowns. When it came down to it, the Chiefs had just a big enough lead after the first quarter. The Bucs ran out of time to complete the comeback victory.
Kansas City Chiefs (14-2)
The Chiefs were, once again, a team that everyone took note of. Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid make an incredible coach-QB pairing. Mahomes has had an incredible season, his completion percentage is at 66.3%. With 38 touchdowns thrown and only 6 interceptions in the 15 games he played on the year. The Chiefs are always a force with their speed, especially with WR Tyreek Hill, who had a 75-yard touchdown during their regular-season game vs Tampa. Sammy Watkins is also someone to watch on the field. He has 421 receiving yards on 37 receptions. Tight end Travis Kelce has collected just over 1400 yards and 11 touchdowns in the 15 games he appeared in during the regular season. KC has a consistent running back duo with Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Le’Veon Bell. The dynamic duo has over 1000 rushing yards and an additional 396 receiving yards.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5)
Tampa Bay was able to fly under the radar as a powerhouse all season, despite having one of the most well-rounded offenses in the league. Often times looking like the team forgot to practice with the number of drops by the offense and total inconsistency from their defense. Tom Brady finished the regular season with a 65.7% completion percentage. He bumped up his touchdown’s thrown to an impressive 40, while also accumulating 12 interceptions. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are such an incredible WR tandem, totaling 20 of the team’s touchdowns this season. Rob Gronkowski has definitely seen some decline in his play, catching the ball only about 60% of the time, however, he is just as clutch and important as ever. He’s always been an incredible blocker and still lays it all on the line to get the next first down or touchdown.
For the Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes has reportedly been dealing with a turf toe injury, on top of the concussion, heading into the AFC Championship Game. Neither his concussion nor toe seemed to be a bother to the star QB. Two players on the Chiefs are currently in COVID-19 protocols, definitely not ideal heading into Super Bowl week. However, Ian Rappoport reported that neither player has tested positive, as long as they remain negative, they will be seeing the field in the Super Bowl. KC will also be without tackle Eric Fisher who went down with an Achilles injury during the AFCCG. Bell is listed as questionable with a knee injury on the bye-week injury report. There’s a chance that Edwards-Helaire will see the majority of the rushing action on Sunday.
As for the Buccaneers, WR Antonio Brown has been out with a knee injury since before the NFC Championship Game and is officially listed as doubtful on the Bucs bye-week injury report. Tampa Bay may also be without safety Jordan Whitehead who is dealing with both a shoulder and knee injury. Whitehead ranks 4th in tackles on the team this season, a large blow to the Tampa defense. Safety Antoine Winfield (ankle) and LB LaVonte David (hamstring) are listed as questionable, which is the best news for the Bucs defense.
I always say that it’s hard to beat the same team twice in a singular season. Now it will come to a head on the league’s biggest stage. It will be a night to remember as a football fan. Two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks going head-to-head, again, in their careers. This will be the first time in NFL history that the Super Bowl will be held at a team’s home field. It will be a tough feat for the Chiefs’ offensive line without Fisher, they’ll need an answer for the Bucs front seven. Tampa needs to focus and let Brady’s leadership showcase itself. Andy Reid has seen Brady in the postseason a few times before and lost every time. Most notably in Super Bowl XXXIX, most recently in 2018 with the majority of the same team he leads on the field now.
-Jess Donahue (@jldx392)