Super Bowl LV: Making history again

Quin Norris, Sports Editor

On February 7, 2021 history was once again made in the NFL as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs to earn the franchises second Super Bowl title as well as Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady winning a seventh Super Bowl ring this time without his old head coach Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. 

To start the game both teams poked a prodded one another for a handful of drives before the Buccaneers pushed the ball into the end-zone with a pass from Brady to his long-time teammate Rob Gronkowski. This would help the Buccaneers hold a 7-3 lead at the end of the first quarter. 

The second quarter was one plagued by missed opportunities by the Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver room and a plethora of defensive penalties on the Chiefs. Tom Brady would throw another two passing touchdowns in the second quarter. One would yet again go to Gronkowski and another would find wideout Antonio Brown. In response the Chiefs could only muster another Harrison Butker field goal. 

The third quarter was quite a boring finish as the Buccaneers would score another ten points off a Leonard Fournette rushing touchdown and a Ryan Succop field goal while the Chiefs would once again only get a field goal. 

The fourth quarter would then be a slow bleeding finish that resulted in no team scoring leading to a 31-9 finish. 

The first major takeaway from this game must be the Tampa Bay defense. This team gave up more than 400 passing yards to Patrick Mahomes in the first meeting during the regular season. However, on Sunday night they showed up with a message to send to the rest of the league. A large amount of the team’s success came from the pressure that the starting defensive ends Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh were able to get on Mahomes with just a four-man pressure. This is crucial for attempting to stop the Chiefs because it allows the defense to drop seven men into coverage against the Chiefs loaded receiving core. The next men up are linebacker Devin White and safety Antoine Winfield Jr. who were tasked with covering Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill respectfully and they did an exceptional job with both players getting an interception in the game. 

The next takeaway from the game was the return of Rob Gronkowski catching six passes for sixty-seven yards and two touchdowns which lead the team in all three categories Sunday night. This was quite a pleasant surprise as a fan of strong tight end play. It was easily Gronkowski’s best game of the season and submitted his place as one of the best tight ends the game has ever seen. 

The next shocking takeaway was the struggling hands of the Kansas City wide receiving core. All night the team dropped important pass after important pass despite Mahomes’s best efforts and was quite surprising to see from a team who never really struggles to run an effective passing offense. The most shocking example of this came early in the fourth quarter when Mahomes threw three straight perfect impossible passes that were all dropped by his receivers in the end-zone. 

The final major takeaway from this game is that Tom Brady is without a shadow of a doubt the best quarterback to ever play the game. Sunday night gave Tom Brady his seventh Super Bowl ring. To put that into perspective the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers are tied for most Super Bowl wins by any franchise with six. This means that Brady has won more Super Bowls than any individual NFL franchise. However, Patrick Mahomes is the future of the NFL as last night’s performance was not a reflection of his game as his interceptions came from tipped passes and most of his incompletions came from dropped passes. Not to mention that his injured offensive line would not give him any time in the pocket to try and complete a pass. His game was about as good as it could be. 

If you are a fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers enjoy this win with every moment because these moments do not occur often and your team is built with high value veterans which means you will not have them much longer. However, I fully expect to see the Buccaneers back in the playoffs next season and due to the lack of competition in the NFC right now I would not be shocked if the Buccaneers were right back in the Super Bowl next season. At least with this much talent they should have as good of a shot as anybody. 

My big takeaway from the Chiefs is that they need to use their rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire more often. Edwards-Helaire ran for 64 yards on nine carries. This gives him an average of 7.1 yards per carry. However, only running the ball nine times with your running back when the defense is clearly playing back to take away the deep ball is just bad play calling from the coaching staff. Other than that, there is not much to worry over with this team. They have the allusive franchise quarterback for sure and the team still has a lot of talent. All they need is to sure up the offensive line and this team will continue to contend for rings for the foreseeable future.