On Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, the so-called “GOAT” of the NFL in Tom Brady, and the “baby GOAT” of the NFL, Patrick Mahomes, will headline an epic Super Bowl matchup of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Kansas City Chiefs. Remarkably, this will be 43-year-old Tom Brady’s 10th Super Bowl appearance, looking for his seventh championship ring. 26-year-old Patrick Mahomes will be appearing in his second consecutive Super Bowl looking to win back-to-back rings.
Shockwaves were sent throughout the entire NFL this season when it was announced that Tom Brady would be leaving the New England Patriots, the place where he won a record six Super Bowls, to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a team that hadn’t had a playoff appearance since 2007. Enter Tom Brady, who signed a two-year $50 million dollar deal to join the team, and the Buccaneers are in the Super Bowl in Brady’s first year. Interestingly, the Super Bowl will be played at Raymond James Stadium, the home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, making it the first time In NFL history that a team will play in a Super Bowl at their home field.
In the regular season, Brady recorded 40 touchdown passes to go along with 12 interceptions leading the Bucs to a record of 11-5. The team didn’t only rely on Brady for their success, it was a complete team effort. Superstar wide receiver Mike Evans recorded his seventh straight season with 1,000 yards. The offseason addition of Tom Brady’s longtime friend and Patriot teammate Rob Gronkowski paid huge dividends, especially after Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard tore his ACL in week four of the regular season. On the season Gronkowski finished with 45 receptions and 623 receiving yards.
Defensively, the Buccaneers were just as impressive as they were on the offensive end. In the regular season, the Buccaneers had an overall defensive rating of fifth overall against the pass and the first overall rating against the rush. (USA Today)
For The first time in Tom Brady’s career, he had to start the playoffs in the wild-card as an away team. While Brady has played in wild-card games it has always been as the home team. Being the away team was no problem for the Buccaneers as they defeated the Washington Football Team 31-23 in the wild-card round, In the NFC Divisional Round Tampa Bay won 30-20, and in the NFC conference championship game the Buccaneers defeated the Green Bay Packers in a thrilling 31-26 game.
The Kansas City Chiefs’ road to the Super Bowl wasn’t as strenuous as the Buccaneers because they had a first-round buy after having an outstanding regular-season record of 14-2. Patrick Mahomes performed at his usual MVP level during the regular season throwing for 38 touchdowns and only six interceptions. His receivers in the regular season and in the playoffs also played at an extremely high level, most notably Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. Hill showed off repeatedly his lightning-quick speed that saw him catch 87 passes for 1,276 yards in the regular season. Hill’s best game in the regular season came in week 12 of the regular season against the Buccaneers recording 13 receptions for 269 yards. It’s fair to say a lot of fantasy football owners who had Tyreek Hill won their matchups that week. Superstar Tight end Travis Kelce had himself a stellar regular season putting up video game numbers going for 105 catches and 1,416 receiving yards.
On their journey to the Super Bowl, the Chiefs defeated the Cleveland Browns in the divisional round by a score of 22-17. Had Patrick Mahomes not gotten injured in the third quarter of the game with a concussion, the Chiefs would have probably beat the Browns in a more comfortable fashion. However, backup quarterback Chad Henne did just enough to squeak the Chiefs into the next round. In the AFC Championship game, the Chiefs went up against the Buffalo Bills, who proved no match for the Chiefs, especially with a healthy Mahomes under center. The Chiefs beat the Bills handedly by a score of 38-24.
This Super Bowl matchup has the potential to be a classic game, but that is going to depend on several key aspects. For the Bucs to stay in the game and have a chance to win they are going to have to somewhat contain Tyreek Hill. While the “cheetah” can outrun everybody, it will be nearly impossible for the Bucs to win if Hill goes off for 269 yards again. The same goes for the Chiefs defense, they are going to have to be able to contain the Buccaneers wideouts, consisting of all pros Mike Evans, Chris Goodwin, and Antonio Brown.
The only thing to do now is to wait until Sunday and see how this potentially classic game will unfold. Will Brady get his elusive seventh ring or will Patrick Mahomes show that this is now his league and win a second championship in a row?