Super Bowl LV: 2021 preview

February 4, 2021

On Jan. 24, 2021, the Green Bay Packers faced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the National Football Conference (NFC) Championship and the Kansas City Chiefs faced the Buffalo Bills. After a questionable call from the Green Bay head coach Matt LaFleur to only kick a field goal late in the fourth quarter, the Packers ultimately lost to Tom Brady and the Buccaneers 26-31. The Bills had the lead after the first quarter, but they couldn’t stop Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense and lost 24-38. So, with the championship games completed, Super Bowl LV was set. Many headlines immediately arose on the game as the last two Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks are set to play against each other. On the Buccaneers, you have possibly the greatest football player of all time, Tom Brady, versus the young superstar that has taken the league by storm with his crazy arm, Patrick Mahomes. Can Brady stop the young superstar from leading his team to back-to-back Super Bowl wins?

Tom Brady is possibly the most decorated football player of all time. According to Pro-Football Reference, he has 14 Pro Bowl appearances, three All-Pro selections, three MVP awards and possibly most importantly, six Super Bowl wins. There are only two other teams in the NFL that have as many and there are no teams with more. Sportingnews explains how the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots have the most Super Bowl wins at six wins. The wins that the Patriots have had have all occurred with Brady at quarterback. In this past offseason, Brady decided to move on from the team he had been a part of for so long and signed with the Buccaneers. The team immediately began being discussed for Super Bowl contention. Brady did not start off the season particularly well as he was still working on building chemistry with his teammates, but at the end of the season the team went on a hot streak with Brady used to the team.

Although many people have given the 43-year-old quarterback a lot of credit, Brady is not the only reason why the Buccaneers are in the Super Bowl. The defense was incredible this past season. Tampa Bay had the eighth best defense in the league and the number one ranked rushing defense in the league, according to Pro-Football Reference. This means that the Buccaneers nearly eliminated half of a team’s playbook because it was so difficult to run the ball against them. The offense is of course headlined by Tom Brady however, the offense is full of superstars. First, you have the big wide receiver, Mike Evans, who has easily been a top ten receiver in the NFL every year of his career. He has had over a thousand receiving yards every year of his career. You also have another top wide receiver in Chris Godwin who had a breakout season last year with well over  a thousand yards receiving. A little over halfway through the season, wide receiver Antonio Brown also joined the roster. He has had many off-field issues but just over two years ago, he was listed as the best wide receiver in the NFL. Tight end Rob Gronkowski came out of retirement to join Brady in Tampa Bay. He is possibly the greatest tight end of all time. The Buccaneers also drafted an offensive tackle named Tristan Wirfs who has immediately made an impact at the right tackle position.

So now to the Chiefs. Who do they have going up against Tom Brady? Many teams would likely be worried about a quarterback duel with Brady, but not the Chiefs. Kansas City has Patrick Mahomes. In Mahomes’ first season as a starter for the Chiefs, he threw for over five thousand yards and 50 touchdowns. He won the MVP and offensive player of the year in that season. It was one of the greatest quarterback seasons of all time. In that season he was doing things that some people had never seen before. He was throwing incredibly deep passes accurately. He was throwing sidearm for 30 yards. He was throwing no look passes. He was throwing 50-yard passes on his back foot. It was safe to say that he is a generational talent. Mahomes has not duplicated that 50-touchdown season, but he still has been probably the best quarterback in the entire league. Last year he led the Chiefs to a Super Bowl win, and he led them again this year to a possible repeat.

Just like with Brady and Tampa Bay, Mahomes has a very good team around him. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill is one of the fastest players in the NFL. He is so fast that he creates matchup nightmares everywhere. This year he was selected to be on the All-Pro team, meaning he was one of the best wide receivers in the NFL this year. The Chiefs also have another incredibly fast wide receiver in Mecole Hardman. He not only helps the Chiefs in the receiving game, but he also generates yardage through punt and kick returns. They also have tight end Travis Kelce who was second in receiving yards this season. He also was selected to the All-Pro team. In the two playoff games that Kansas City has played in this season, both Hill and Kelce had over a hundred receiving yards. This feat has never been done before. This receiving duo along with the best quarterback in the NFL makes the Chiefs’ offense nearly unstoppable. Their defense is headlined by safety Tyrann Mathieu. He is often described to be everywhere at the same time. During some plays he is in the backfield stopping the run, then you may see him pick off a pass on the next play. He not only is a great player, as seen with his All-Pro team selection this season, he also provides a ton of energy to the defense and is a very vocal player in the game and on the sidelines.

According to CBS Sports, the Kansas City Chiefs are the current favorites to win the Super Bowl and complete the title repeat. Both teams have high-powered offenses and even though the Buccaneers’ defense may be better overall, the Chiefs look like they cannot be stopped. They have faced tough defenses already in these playoffs and they looked unphased. Although the Chiefs have looked nearly unbeatable, it is entirely possible for the Buccaneers to come out on top because they have Tom Brady. It is difficult to bet against the guy who has more Super Bowl wins than 30 teams in the NFL. Regardless of the winner, it is likely that the game is going to have a lot of offense and is going to be a high-scoring game. Will the Kansas City Chiefs repeat as the Super Bowl Champions or will Tom Brady get his seventh Super Bowl win and further cement his status as the greatest football player of all time?

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