Super Bowl preview: Who will bring home the Lombardi?

Cooper O'Kelly, Sports Editor

The Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes will take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tom Brady in the most highly anticipated sporting event of 2021 so far, Super Bowl LV. This matchup is highlighted by the quarterbacks I just mentioned, Mahomes being the new face of the NFL and Brady being arguably the best to ever do it, but the QBs have some help. Both KC and Tampa have star-studded teams on offense and defense, with weapons on both sides of the ball, and I’ll be breaking down how these weapons will help each team.


Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs Offense

Dominant superstar, the face of the league. Super Bowl LIV MVP, and winner of the league MVP within his first four seasons in the league. The best quarterback in the league, in my opinion, Mahomes can get it done with both his rocket arm and buy time by scrambling with his legs. He’ll be a surefire nightmare for the Buccaneers defense come Sunday.

Mahomes balled out during the regular season but kicked off the playoffs with a subpar game against the Browns, in which he also suffered an injury, throwing for 255 yards and only one touchdown. He came back and  bounced back in a big way against the Bills in the AFC Championship  by throwing for 325 touchdowns and 3 touchdowns, looking awfully scary and fully healthy. While the Chiefs tend to pass the ball an awful lot, they still find ways to get players involved in the run game. A three-headed running back attack featuring Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Le’Veon Bell, and Darrel Williams is particularly able to thrive in the redzone and goal-to-go situations. Speedy wide receivers also get involved, as head coach Andy Reid loves to sprinkle in jet sweeps and end arounds when he can.


Kansas City D

The two most prominent stars on the defensive side of the ball for the Chiefs are defensive tackle Chris Jones and defensive back Tyrann Matheiu, and both could look to make big impacts on Sunday in different ways. Jones, along with the rest of the D-Line will look to slow down the Buccaneer run game involving Ronald Jones/Leonard Fournette and hopefully hit Brady in the backfield. Matheiu will likely be all over the field, doing anything he can to get tackles for loss or pass break-ups and ultimately picking off Brady (like in Week 12).

When playing each other early on in the season, Buccaneers pass catchers Mike Evans and Rob Gronkowski had really good games but I don’t really think this changes the way the Chiefs defense chooses to match-up against them. Tampa Bay has quite possibly the most star-studded offense in all of football, so for the Chiefs it’s not really about focusing on one player as it changes nearly every week who could go off. However, whether Brady is throwing to Antonio Brown or Chris Godwin or anyone else, it’s absolutely essential for the Chiefs to get pressure upfront because once TB12 gets too much time, it’s over.


Tom Brady and the Buccaneers Offense

Most Super Bowl rings of all time, the GOAT. Four time Super Bowl MVP, and three time league MVP in 21 seasons. At 43 years old, Brady was still able to throw for over 4,600 yards and 40 touchdowns and put up MVP caliber numbers. After spending his whole career in New England, entering his first season with the Buccaneers people questioned if Brady would be able to win without Belichick. Here he is.

As I mentioned before, TB12 played very well throughout the regular season but he hasn’t looked that amazing thus far in the playoffs. Since his monster performance against the Football Team, Brady hasn’t cracked the 300 yard mark (only put up 199 against New Orleans) and is coming off a three interception game against the Packers. However, these numbers don’t scare me away from Brady entirely. I think it’s really hard to just toss out all the playoff and Super Bowl experience Tom has, and a few rough games don’t make him any less of a threat to the Chiefs.


Tampa Bay D

Lavonte David and Devin White anchor the middle of the Buccaneers defense, as they are one of the best pairs of linebackers in all of the NFL. While these two may not look to stick to Tyreek Hill, they’ll still have their hands full. Their two main priorities I’m sure will be attempting to suppress Travis Kelce, as well as making sure Mahomes stays in the pocket (two difficult tasks). David and White have some help up front however, as Tampa has a very talented defensive line led by big names like Jason Pierre-Paul and Vita Vea. These two along with the rest of the line, should look to capitalize on the Chiefs’ offensive line injuries and try to hit Mahomes and shut down the Chiefs before they get going.

 Earlier in the regular season when these two teams matched up, the Tampa defense got torched for 462 yards and 3 touchdowns. In order for the Buccaneers to have a chance at winning this game, they need to double-team Tyreek Hill (who accounted for all three touchdowns the first time around) and focus on not getting burnt by him and the deep pass in general. The only issue with doing that is that it may mean more open looks for the Chiefs to get the ball to Kelce, their star tight end, or Mecole Hardman, their other speedster. That’s really the hard part of beating the Chiefs. They have so many weapons on the offense, it’s hard to put more focus on one without the others having too much wiggle room to make easy plays. 



Super Bowl LV will be a good game between two really good teams, but one of them has to win. It’s really, really hard to bet against Tom Brady in the Super Bowl but I just can’t see the Buccaneers, let alone any other team, being able to hang around with the Chiefs. Tampa would need to play its best football possible, at the same time of Kansas City playing subpar in order for them to have a chance. The Bucs have a better defense than the Chiefs, but Mahomes is just too good and he ends up winning another ring and SB MVP. 

Chiefs 35, Buccaneers 24.