Tom Brady will appear in his tenth Super Bowl when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Kansas City Chiefs on February 7. This will represent the first time a team has hosted a Super Bowl in its own stadium, as the sites are chosen several years in advance, but no team has made the championship as the host until this year.
Tampa Bay made it to the Super Bowl with their upset of the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship, and the Kansas City Chiefs also looked like they might get upset, falling behind Buffalo 9-0 in the early going of the AFC Championship. However, the Chiefs completed yet another postseason comeback, finishing with a 38-24 victory.
Take a look at our early thoughts on this matchup between Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes.
Super Bowl LV (February 7)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Kansas City Chiefs
When: Sunday, February 7, 2021, 5:30 pm ET
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
Radio: Westwood One
JAZZ Sports Odds: Chiefs -3.5 / Total 57 *
Why the Buccaneers Will Win
Over their last six games, the Buccaneers offense has averaged 35.7 points per game – about ten more points than the Chiefs have averaged. Tampa Bay’s defensive coordinator, Todd Bowles, worked with Chiefs coach Andy Red in Philadelphia. So he could have insights into what Reid might do in certain situations, and that could help him plan out a scheme to slow down Mahomes. However, it seems that when Mahomes is locked in, he can get the ball up and down the field at will. Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaquil Barrett should be able to mount pressure on Mahomes as they did against Aaron Rodgers, which will allow Tampa Bay to play stronger coverage.
It is also impressive how much Tampa Bay has kept forcing turnovers and turning them into points. They turned both of their takeaways into touchdowns against Green Bay. Against New Orleans, four turnovers turned into three Tampa Bay touchdowns, and they also cashed in a turnover for a touchdown against Washington. That gives them 41 points off takeaways in these playoffs.
Why the Chiefs Will Win
The Chiefs looked vulnerable in the second half of their divisional round win over Cleveland, even before Mahomes went down with a concussion. Their offense had stagnated, and the Browns were coming back. The Chiefs’ much-maligned defense had a couple of solid stands, though, and then the Chiefs were able to use a collection of blitzes and mixed coverages to confuse Josh Allen, stifling one of the hottest offenses in the NFL.
The Chiefs will also look to pressure Tom Brady. He had the #30 QBR in the NFL, out of 33 qualifying quarterbacks, when he was under pressure. When the pressure goes away, though, he jumps all the way up to fifth. The Tampa Bay offensive line will need to have another strong week against a Kansas City defense that is likely to take some chances.
The Final Word
I’ve been more than impressed with the way Tom Brady has taken a team that had some weapons but needed a terrific leader and brought them to the team’s second Super Bowl appearance. The weapons he has around him on offense are considerable – but you can say the same thing about Patrick Mahomes and that Chiefs offense. Mahomes has been waiting since the AFC Championship two years ago for another shot at Brady, and I see him getting the upper hand this time.
*Odds are subject to change.