Photo courtesy of Tampa Bay Buccaneers
What can you say about quarterback Tom Brady that hasn’t been said?
In his first year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Brady is in the Super Bowl for the 10th time. With a record of 6-3 in prior Super Bowl starts, he’ll become the first quarterback to start a Super Bowl at his home stadium when Tampa Bay hosts the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV on Sunday.
The story line, without question, is the quarterbacks. While Brady is back in the big game, Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes looks to become the first quarterback to win consecutive Super Bowls since Brady led the New England Patriots to consecutive titles in Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX.
As they did against the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Divisional round, the Buccaneers will be looking to avenge a regular season defeat. Kansas City raced to a big lead before holding off Tampa Bay on Nov. 8 at Raymond James Stadium, 27-24.
Mahomes passed for 462 yards and three touchdowns in that victory. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill also had a monster game for the Chiefs with 13 catches for 269 yards and three scores. Brady finished with 345 yards passing and three touchdowns, but threw two critical interceptions in the second half.
Both quarterbacks will have plenty of talent at their disposal. For Brady and the Tampa Bay offense, names to know include Ronald Jones, Leonard Fournette, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski. The Chiefs may be even more talented on offense with Le’Veon Bell, Hill, Travis Kelce and Mecole Hardman.
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Tampa Bay will be at home for the first time this postseason. The Buccaneers won road playoff games over the Washington Football Team, New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers. Not to be overlooked during the playoffs is the play of the defense.
Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul combined for five sacks in the NFC Championship victory over Green Bay. They’ll be facing a Kansas City offensive line that is banged up. Devin White, who finished fifth in the NFL in tackles, has also had an outstanding postseason.
The Chiefs are in the Super Bowl for the second straight season. Last year, Kansas City beat the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV in Miami, 31-20. It rallied with 21 unanswered points to win its first Super Bowl in 50 years.
The road to Super Bowl LV for Kansas City has consisted of victories over the Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills. Defensive tackle Chris Jones and safeties Tyrann Mathieu and Daniel Sorensen are the guys to watch for the Chiefs on defense.
Super Bowl LV will be the first Super Bowl held in Tampa in 12 years. Sunday’s contest is set to kick off at 6:30 p.m. ET. It will air nationally on CBS.
Prediction: Kansas City 31, Tampa Bay 27