By David Peto ‘23
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the Super Bowl LV champions after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9. Tampa Bay quarterback, 43-year-old Tom Brady, played effectively and secured his seventh Super Bowl title, more than any other player or franchise in NFL history. The Buccaneers’ offense, led by head coach Bruce Arians and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, was able to produce 340 yards against an ineffective Chiefs defense. Kansas City’s offense struggled all night, largely due to the Buc’s pass rush; Mahomes was sacked three times and threw two interceptions on top of multiple rushed passes. Kansas City went without a touchdown all night for only the second time in Mahomes’ career.
The Chiefs got out to an early lead with a 49-yard field goal, but the Buccaneers soon bounced back with an 8-yard touchdown connection from Brady to tight end Rob Gronkowski. The second quarter featured another Chiefs’ field goal and Brady to Gronkowski touchdown, plus a Brady passing TD to Antonio Brown. Following the disappointing halftime show starring the Weeknd, much of the same entailed, with both teams scoring a field goal and Tampa Bay’s Leonard Fournette scoring on a 27-yard rush in the third quarter. The Buccaneers defense held firm in the fourth quarter, as they prevented the Chiefs from scoring any points despite Kansas City driving into scoring position multiple times.
Tampa Bay clearly dominated the game, and the reasons for their win are plentiful. Offensive coaching was flawless with Tampa harassing Kansas City’s weak linebacker unit and drawing up expert red zone plays. As good as the Buc’s offense was, their defense was even better–the defensive line got to Mahomes with ease, and the secondary came away with two interceptions.
Kansas City lost due to three simple reasons, their offensive line, dropped passes, and penalties. With an overwhelmed offensive line, Mahomes did not have his usual amount of time and space to target Tyreke Hill and Travis Kelce. He was sacked three times, threw two interceptions, and was pressured a Super Bowl record 29 times. When he was able to get a pass off, his receivers often let him down. Hill dropped a would-be touchdown, Darrel Williams dropped a fourth-down conversion, and Kelce dropped an easy first-down. The nail in the coffin was the penalties, with a total of 11 for 120 yards.
The biggest impact of this game was Brady being cemented as the greatest NFL player of all time. He holds 91 individual NFL records, most notably including 7 Super Bowl rings, 5 Super Bowl MVPs, 264 career wins, 91,653 combined passing yards, and 664 combined touchdowns. Even with a resume like that, the 43-year-old future hall of famer is not finished yet, stating post-game, “We’re coming back. You all know that.”