Tom Brady’s big move paid off. Brady successfully led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the Super Bowl, and promptly dominated the Chiefs in a blowout affair. After a back and forth affair in the first quarter, the Bucs took off in the second quarter and never looked back. Brady led the way with 201 yards and three touchdowns, and the defense absolutely locked up Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense, as the Bucs coasted to their first Super Bowl in nearly 20 years.
With all the hype surrounding this game, it was somewhat of a letdown to see it be such a blowout performance. The previous Brady vs. Mahomes matchups had been thrilling games that would come down to the wire, so for this to be such a demolition by the Bucs, especially in the Super Bowl, was kind of disappointing. Nevertheless, the Buccaneers imposed their will over the Chiefs throughout the entirety of the contest, and are certainly worthy champions for the season.
It started off with Brady doing something he had never done in his previous nine Super Bowl appearences; score a touchdown in the first quarter. Brady found a familiar face in the end zone in Rob Gronkowski to put the Bucs on the board after the Chiefs got an early field goal.
From there on out it was all Bucs. The Bucs nearly went down and scored on their next drive, only for the Chiefs to make an impressive goal line stand. It wouldn’t matter, as the Bucs would score touchdowns on their next three possessions while the Chiefs could only muster two field goals. Brady found Gronk again for their second score, and then hit Antonio Brown right before the half’s end. Leonard Fournette punched in another long touchdown early in the third, which turned the backend of the contest into a rather dull affair.
For as good as the Chiefs have been since Mahomes took over, this was easily their worst performance in quite some time. Defensively, their second quarter was absolutely awful. Tyrann Mathieu had an interception overturned due to a holding call on the Bucs second drive, which would have been a huge momentum swing. Then the Chiefs forced the Bucs to kick a field goal, only for Mecole Hardman to jump offsides, and gift the Bucs a fresh set of downs. Brady promptly hit Gronk for a score on the next play, which was a huge swing for the Bucs.
The poor discipline from the Chiefs continued onto their next drive. The Bucs had the ball with about a minute left in the first half, and only one timeout. The Chiefs called timeouts on the Bucs first two plays, which proved to only help the Bucs out. The Bucs then benefitted again from the Chiefs poor discipline, as Bashaud Breeland committed a huge pass interference penalty against Mike Evans, which amounted to a 34 yard penalty. Mathieu committed another pass interference penalty in the end zone, and Brady found Brown for an easy score on the next play.
Offensively, the Chiefs struggled to get anything going against the Bucs red hot defense. Mahomes couldn’t find the end zone, as he threw for 270 yards and two interceptions. Half of his yards went to Travis Kelce, who was the only receiver who could seem to get open. The Bucs did a brilliant job taking away the passes down field to players like Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman, and Mahomes struggled to find open guys.
Mahomes also spent most of the game running for his life. As our writer Bret Nascimento noted in our Super Bowl Roundtable, the Chiefs were missing their top two tackles due to injury, and boy did it show in this one. Mahomes was sacked three times, and if it was any other quarterback on the field it probably would have been more. There were a couple of crazy throws that Mahomes was making to just get the ball out of hands to avoid sacks. He couldn’t find open receivers, and he had no time to do it either, which is a recipe for disaster.
So for those keeping track, two of our five writers correctly predicted the winner, while no one was even close to the score. The Bucs hit their top form at just the right time, and it led them to a Super Bowl. After the Bucs first game against the Chiefs, they looked like a middling team struggling to find their way. After their second game against the Chiefs, the Bucs are Super Bowl champs.
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