Super Bowl LV Preview: Who will win the big game?
February 4, 2021
We started out with 256 regular season games consisting of 32 teams playing 16 games each. Then there were 18 teams eliminated, and 14 reamined in contention for the Lombardi Trophy. Slowly the weaker teams got knocked out of the race until we reached 2, The Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Only the best teams remain, to determine who really is the NFL’s prized team. Each played a long and hard season, winning many close games and facing many challenges to reach this point. What makes the Super Bowl stand out from other major sports championships? It’s one and done. There is only one game where each team can try their best, and only one will leave a Super Bowl ring in their legacy. This provides for many entertaining Super Bowls that are worth watching. The games are always close, and I will break down what each team has gone through this season and what they need to do to win this game.
The Road to the Super Bowl
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had arguably an extremely odd season in NFL history. During the 2019-2020 season they had one of the most explosive offenses. They could easily score 30 points a game, but they often self-destructed with Jameis Winston. One of the best ways to sum up his season last year “he is the only QB that could get the Bucs into those dire situations by throwing 4 INT but then he can throw 4 TD and is the only one that can get the Bucs back into those games.” Knowing that they would not be able to make a postseason run with Winston, the Bucs let him go and went after the GOAT (who was in free agency). When the day came that Brady announced he will sign with the Bucs all Patriots fans hearts dropped. However, the moment they signed Brady on, the Bucs became one of the Favorites for the Super Bowl. Then came the first regular season game came between the Saints and Bucs. Although everyone hoped that this game would be a classic, the Bucs looked out of sync against the Saints and many compared it to a high school team playing against and professional team. It was quite ugly and critics started to question if the Bucs were fakers, but they acknowledged that since it was the first time Brady was in a new system, he might struggle with chemistry for the first few weeks. They went on to steamroll the Panthers and Broncos and squeak out a win against the Chargers. Then they had a Thursday Night date with the Bears- who were always known for being mediocre. The critics questioned the Bucs again when Tom Brady made a critical mistake in the latter part of the game, while producing one of the best memes of 2020.
However, they continued to keep in mind that the Bucs still needed to build their chemistry to become an elite team. Tampa Bay then had a quick turnaround, annihilating both the Packers and Raiders; but when they barely closed out a win over the Giants, people started questioning them again. That’s when the real troubles started: the Bucs lost 3 of their next 4 games. The only win they got was against the Panthers. They lost to the Saints quite terribly, as they did against the Rams and Chiefs. This time the defense looked awful, letting up 38 points to the Saints and 200 yards against Tyreek Hill (from the Chiefs) in one quarter. Questions started rising. Were the Bucs actually contenders? Were they even going to make the playoffs? After the loss to the Chiefs though, it seemed like something kicked in for the Bucs. I don’t know what it is but something started to click for Brady and they went to win their next 7. He threw for 19 TD and 4 INT in his last 7 games and led the Bucs to 3 hard fought playoff victories on the road. Brady has proven time and time again that he is the GOAT and can lead a team to victory. To wrap up their season in a nutshell, it has been a rollercoaster for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and they are on a high hopes to win one last game.
Kansas City Chiefs
This Chiefs team is one of the scariest teams that we have seen in the past years of the NFL. Patrick Mahomes has been the key to this offense for the past 2 years and he was the key to this offense again. He has already had a HOF career, arguably. What makes the team even scarier is that they didn’t lose any major pieces in the offseason and added two of the most versatile RBs- Le’veon Bell and Clyde Edwards Helaire. One of the only weaknesses they have is that they’ve never had a sustainable run game. Sure Clyde and Bell didn’t put up amazing numbers, but they got the job done when needed.The real firepower of the Chiefs lied within their receiving corps of Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. Both 1,000+ yard receivers and Travis Kelce broke the record for TE receiving yards with 1,416 yards (1,416!). Tyreek Hill was tearing up defenses vertically with 15 TD on the year. Patrick Mahomes has had another MVP type season, and he could have won the MVP if Aaron Rodgers wasn’t a thing. The Chiefs were on a roll during their first 4 games, only getting into a close game with the Chargers. Their only real loss of the season was to the Raiders, by 8 points. Luckily, they weren’t hammered too hard considering that the Raiders were playing out of their mind during that game. (Most people also understood that the most elite teams are going to lose a few games.) The Chiefs went on to steamroll their next 3 games, beating each team by at least 2 scores. Then the “troubles” started for the Chiefs. First they only won by 2 against a very fiesty Panthers team with CMC, ok fair enough. Then they had another close game against the only team that beat them, the Raiders who are a high scoring offense, ok fair enough. Then they went in a Super Bowl 55 preview where we had one of the craziest stat lines out of Tyreek Hill.
It seemed like the Chiefs offense kicked into another gear during the first quarter of that game, and it seemed like the lacked that gear in that past few games. They continued to close out the regular season, even though it seemed like they were missing a dominant side and winning their games by only one score. This had a lot of people questioning if the Chiefs could even make it to the Super Bowl. But once they got to the playoffs and started to absolutely wreck the teams, all questions were absolved. Besides the scare against the Browns, it’s been pretty smooth sailing. To paraphrase, the Chiefs have been dominant at times, and average at other times, so it’s a matter of what we we are going to get to see this time. In order to bring home a Super Bowl ring though, they need to be playing their most dominant side on the field.
Patrick Mahomes vs. Tom Brady: QB matchup of the Century
This is possibly the greatest QB matchup that we’ve ever got in Super Bowl history. As many people have said in this past week “It’s the baby G.O.A.T. vs the G.O.A.T.” It’s the face of the NFL vs the future face of the NFL. This is also the first time that we have gotten two Super Bowl MVP QB’s. It’s crazy to think that this is the FIRST time that has happened. But what really is going on in this QB matchup? Well I think its is two completely different styled QB’s. Mahomes is that type of QB that has a lot of firepower to work with, and he is more of a game changer that can shake it up with a few plays. Tom Brady, on the other hand, is someone who manages the game, tempo, and style of it (like a field general). Brady is a much more passive passer, taking the checkdowns when he can and knowing that you don’t always have to go deep to get a good play; he also has a massive amount of experience playing these big stakes games. So, I think it’s going to come down to 2 things- Mahomes has the weakness of lacking experience as well as not being as good at managing a game as Brady is, but Brady is not the type of game-changer that Mahomes is and he can’t make the big plays that that the latter can. These two QB’s are in their prime and this game is going to come down to which one of them can play a better game.
What Each Team Needs to do to Win
Kansas City Chiefs: Confuse Brady with defensive schemes
This is much easier said than done. Brady has been in the league for over 20 years and it isn’t easy to confuse a grandpa like him. However as we have seen in the past, when he is facing confusing defensive schemes he struggles greatly. A lot of the time, if teams use basic blitz schemes, Brady will recognize and make teams pay for it. However, using more complex schemes (if possible), can get to Brady and confuse him; if that happens, the Bucs could be in big trouble. I don’t think either of the defenses will be able to stop the other team’s offense, so I expect this to be a high scoring affair between Bucs and Chiefs. Now like I said earlier, this is no easy task for the Chiefs, but then again, you are in the Super Bowl and I doubt that any task is going to be easy.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Shut Down Tyreek Hill or Travis Kelce
Similar to the Chiefs, this is no easy task for the Bucs. The Chiefs have many stars on both sides of the ball and you can’t possibly stop all of them. So you start at the top of the hierarchy: Patrick Mahomes. There is no way the Bucs can stop him. The next tier consists of Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. If the Bucs can tailor their defense to stop one of these superstars, they are better set up success during this game. Sure, even if they are able to stop one of them, the other one will torch them. Say the Bucs somehow stop both of these receivers (unlikely), other stars on the offense will be produce from the Chiefs. That’s what makes this offense so potent- even if the Bucs’ defense is able to stop one of the superstars, they won’t be able stop the other one- which is a major problem. But regardless, I believed if they are able to shut down one of the Chiefs’ receivers, the Buccaneers will have a better chance of winning the game.
Finally………..Who Will Win Super Bowl LV?
Before I give you my thoughts on who will win, I will provide some (sort-of) expert picks.
Freshman Class President, Ahan Shetty: Chiefs 23 – Buccaneers 27
“I think the Bucs are going to win because they have Tom Brady. He has been in this situation so many times and is so comfortable and dangerous. Tampa Bay’s defense can definitely challenge [Patrick] Mahomes more than Kansas City’s defense can challenge [Tom] Brady.
Freshman, Adithya Balagurumoorthy: Chiefs 27 – Buccaneers 34
“I think the Bucs will win because of two reasons, home-field advantage and Brady. First of all, I do think that home-field advantage is going to play a part in this game. It’s going to be the little things, such as the weather and the field, the Bucs players will be more familiar with the environment which will give them a slight edge, which could be the key in this Super Bowl. Second of all, you have Brady- who is the GOAT. He knows how to handle all the pressure coming in better than Mahomes and simply has more experience them him. ”
Freshman, Brian Auciello: Chiefs 28 – Buccaneers 32
“Tom Brady is the GOAT, and it’s not logical to pick against him. He’s more experienced than Mahomes is and it’ll show at the end of the game. The Chiefs will lead 28 – 18 at the end of the 3rd quarter, and then Brady will lead the comeback. A 9 yard TD to Antonio Brown with 34 seconds left will secure the win for the Bucs and will give Brady his 7th ring
Freshman, Jay Gorgas: Chiefs 42 – Buccaneers 28
“The Chiefs will probably win because of a few factors. They’ve gotten together as a team and unified to become an unstoppable force on the field. The Bucs don’t have that unity though. They have great players on their team but haven’t really gotten together [as a team] and reached their full potential.”
Freshman Chris McGonagle: Chiefs 34 – Bucs 27
“I think the Chiefs are going to win because the last time they played [against the Bucs] Tyreek Hill and Patrick Mahomes killed them [Bucs]. Tyreek went off for 200 yards in the first half, meaning the Bucs won’t be able stop them again.”
My Prediction: Chiefs 38 – Buccaneers 34
I think the Kansas City Chiefs are going to be the Super Bowl 55 champions and be the first team to go back to back since the Patriots in 2005. There are 2 reasons behind my theory: the firepower of the Chiefs offense, and Patrick Mahomes. My hot take is that Patrick Mahomes is going live up to the hype and play better than Tom Brady in this game. He has more weapons than Brady and will be able score easily compared to Brady and his offense. The Bucs defense is what’s going to keep them in this game, they will capitalize off of the Chiefs’ mistakes to score some TD. Otherwise, I don’t think the Bucs offense is going to be able to get anything going. However, I could very well be wrong with my prediction as this should be one of the closest Super Bowls in recent history. My Super Bowl MVP prediciton is going to be the obvious one, Patrick Mahomes, but my “sleeper” pick is going to be Tyreek Hill.
Enjoy watching the Super Bowl LV and make sure to vote on who your pick is!