Super Bowl LV was a shock to many—except the players who were participating.
To begin with, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has played two Super Bowls, including this one, and he only has four years under his belt.
On the other side, as most know, is Tom Brady. Super Bowl LV was Brady’s 10th Super Bowl appearance. Yes, double digits. He leads NFL history, with John Elway’s five appearances far behind him. A win at this Super Bowl means more Super Bowl wins for Brady himself than any franchise and Brady walking away with seven championship rings.
For the first time ever, the Super Bowl was played at a stadium that belonged to one of the participating teams. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosted, which is the last thing the Chiefs want: Brady on his home turf. Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay was almost filled to the brim. Don’t worry: most seats were occupied by cardboard cutouts, which you could buy and customized yourself for $100 before the game. However, the 25,000 fans present, who were predominantly Buccaneers fans, still made their noise.
Brady totally outdueled Mahomes. The legend completed 21 out of 29 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns. He had no interceptions as well. His committee backfield (meaning they shared the ball) lifted him up as well. Ronald Jones II had 12 carries for 61 yards, and Leonard Fournette continued his impressive playoff streak by rushing for 89 yards on 16 attempts and found the end zone once.
The receiving core for the Buccaneers, Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, seemed like they were not even playing. Evans and Godwin combined for three catches and just 40 total yards. Evans’ only catch was for 31.
The show was stolen from Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski and Antonio Brown, two veterans who were not very productive during the regular season.
Brady’s best friend from New England, Gronk had two touchdowns for a total of 67 yards. The chemistry between Brady and Gronk is unbreakable.
Ex-Steelers wide receiver phenomenon Antonio Brown appeared in his first Super Bowl in 2011 against the Packers but lost. Brown tallied just one reception for one yard. A whole decade later, he’s won his first well-deserved Super Bowl and scored a touchdown.
The Buccaneers defense showed up and backed Brady by pressuring Mahomes many times. Ndamukong Suh tallied 1.5 sacks in the outing.
The Chiefs were a disaster. Mahomes completed 26 out of his 49 attempts with two interceptions—definitely not something the fans are used to. Antoine Winfield Jr. and Devin White had the picks. Mahomes and Travis Kelce still had their connection with 10 passes and 133 yards. However, no touchdowns for him or Tyreek Hill, as they contained Hill to just seven receptions and 73 yards. Hill put up over 200 yards and three touchdowns last meeting between the two times. Tampa needed their revenge on him and got it.
The running game was also missing in action because Clyde Edwards-Helaire had just 64 yards on nine carries. The Chiefs did not find the endzone once and had to rely on their kicker, Harrison Butker, to give them points. Butker was three for three on the night, with his longest field goal from 52 yards out.
The final score on the night was 31-9 in the Buccaneers’ favor. Brady will now soak up the sunshine in Tampa this offseason with just three ringless fingers. Mahomes will be back without a doubt, but how much more does Brady have left in him? Brady has once again defied all odds and lengthened the gap between himself and the second greatest quarterback ever… unless Mahomes someday tops his career.