Super Bowl LV is set.
The Kansas City Chiefs will defend their title against Mr. Super Bowl, Tom Brady, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in a matchup between the two previous Lombardi Trophy-winning quarterbacks. The storylines practically write themselves and with two weeks to go, there will be plenty of time to dissect them all.
Here are some of the early storylines as we begin the countdown to Super Bowl LV:
Bucs Playing At Home
For the first time in the 55-year history of the Super Bowl, the team residing in the host city will participate in the game. The Bucs, of course, needed three-straight road wins to get here but they will make history when they step on to Raymond James Stadium field for kickoff. Coming off a 7-9 season in 2019, the possibility of that happening for the Buccaneers was slim until Brady signed in March and changed the fortunes of the entire organization.
Brady vs. Mahomes
For the first time in the Super Bowl era, the two previous Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks will meet in the big game. Brady (SB53) and Patrick Mahomes (SB54) have met four times thus far with the record knotted at two games apiece. However, Brady holds the edge in the only playoff matchup between the two when they met in the 2018 AFC Championship game. That, to this point, is Mahomes only playoff loss.
Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell
Neither player played in their respective Championship Games, however, the two Steelers castoffs will finally get a chance to play in the Super Bowl. Antonio Brown, of course, found his way to Tampa following brief stints with Oakland and New England and a long stay on the unemployment line. Le’Veon Bell, after an unspectacular time with the Jets, found a new home with the defending champions this season. No word yet on the status of either player but an under-the-radar storyline heading into the game.
Brady has already been mention in this piece but he deserves a section all to himself. At 43-years-old, he is going to his 10th(!!) Super Bowl. That’s twice as many as the next quarterback. If it sounds absurd, it’s because it is. In addition, this will be his fifth appearance in the last seven seasons and he hasn’t gone two consecutive seasons without winning a Super Bowl since the 2012 and 2013 seasons. As great as Mahomes career has started, he’s gained little ground, if any on Brady’s title of greatest of all time. And if Brady wins in two weeks…
— Full Press NFL (@FullPressNFL) January 25, 2021
Run It Back?
The Chiefs are looking to become the first team since the 2003-2004 New England Patriots to win back-to-back Super Bowls. Previously, the Denver Broncos won in 1997 and 1998. The last time a team not led by Tom Brady had a chance to win back-to-back championships, Russell Wilson and the Seahawks fell just short against… Tom Brady. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, after an impressive 14-2 regular season, will have an opportunity to buck that trend and forge their identity as the next great team in the league.
Offensive Weapons Galore
Neither team comes in with a shortage of offensive weapons. The aforementioned Brown and Bell were key cogs for a Pittsburgh Steelers team and are mere roleplayers on their respective teams. Mike Evans. Tyreek Hill. Chris Godwin. Travis Kelce. And on, and on, and on. Both teams are loaded with the two best quarterbacks in the league. League MVP notwithstanding. However, both quarterbacks and offenses will have to earn it because the talent doesn’t stop on the offensive side.