It’s that time of year again as Super Bowl LV between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is just six days away. A non-traditional Super Bowl buildup could lead to one of the all-time great matchups in the games’ 55-year history.
On one side, you have the Chiefs, the defending Super Bowl Champions, led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes who is looking to add a second title to his resume in just his third season and to lead the first team since the 03, 04 Patriots to back-to-back titles. On the other side, you have for the first time in NFL history the host city’s team is in the Super Bowl as the Bucs will play at home at Raymond James Stadium. In order to earn the “home” game, the Tom Brady led Bucs went on the road to take down the Washington Football Team, then Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, and finally, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.
Mahomes Vs. Brady
There’s no question Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady are the two best quarterbacks in the game today. It’s amazing that this will be Brady’s 10th Super Bowl appearance and Mahomes is a loss to Brady short of starting his career with three-straight appearances. Neither team would be in the position they are in without their respective quarterbacks. In today’s game that is the most important position on the field and without one you lose. Which makes it easy to understand why the “QB battle” is one of the biggest storylines entering the Super Bowl.
There is a lot of history on the line with this game for obvious reasons. Brady can add to his legacy by winning his seventh title and Mahomes could start to grow his career even more with a Super Bowl win. The last time Brady and Mahomes faced each other in the playoffs, was the 2018 AFC Championship. That game had a dramatic finish as the Patriots would end up winning the game 37-31 in overtime and punching their ticket to their ninth Super Bowl with Brady under center. Two weeks later came title number six and a year later, Mahomes got his first taste of Super Bowl glory.
Andy Reid And Tom Brady Meet Again In The Super Bowl
In addition to going toe-to-toe in the AFC Championship in 2018, Brady also has a playoff history with Andy Reid during his time with the Eagles when they met in Super Bowl 39. Brady and the Patriots would get the better of Reid and the Eagles, led by Donavan McNabb, for their third title in four years. That was the icy on the early part of the Patriots Dynasty. Now, 16 years later, Reid could be starting a new dynasty with the Chiefs with Brady standing in the way.
As for the game itself, it’ll probably come down to the final play. In their matchup during the regular season, the Chiefs beat the Bucs 27-24 after the Bucs fell behind early after a historic first quarter by Tyreek Hill. Mahomes threw for 462 yards and three touchdowns while Brady threw for 345 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions. That game was also played in Tampa, however, this time, the stakes are a bit higher.
Why Will the Bucs Win this Game?
The Bucs will win this game because of the quarterback. As great as Mahomes has been, there is no one better than playoff Brady. In addition, the Bucs defense has hit their stride in the final weeks of the season, culminating (so far) in a five-sack performance of the soon-to-be NFL MVP, Aaron Rodgers, in the NFC Championship Game. I expect the same on Feb 7th against the Chiefs. They have to make Mahomes feel uncomfortable and force turnovers. We know Brady and the offense will deliver when given the opportunity. With the injuries on the Chiefs’ offensive line, the Bucs have the tools to exploit the weaknesses and get to Mahomes as they did Rodgers.
At the end of the day, I think the Bucs win 27-23 with a defensive stop at the end of the game.