Andrew Dawson, Staff Writer |
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are Super Bowl Champions after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9. The victory crowned the Buccaneers as Super Bowl Champions for the second time in franchise history as they became the first team to win a Super Bowl in their home stadium (Raymond James Stadium). Quarterback Tom Brady was named “Most Valuable Player” (MVP), securing his seventh Lombardi Trophy, two more than any player in NFL history.
At the end of the second quarter, the Chiefs looked like they were making their way back into the game. After trailing 14-3, the Chiefs quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, drove the ball downfield, connecting on several passes to tight end Travis Kelce and wide receiver Tyreek Hill. Kansas City traveled 61 yards in a total of ten plays and was poised to score a touchdown before the end of the first half. But onthird-down-and-6, Mahomes was pressured by outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett, forcing the Chiefs to settle for a field goal. While the field goal may have been disappointing, it cut the lead down to 14-6. Kansas City was in a good position, only being down by one possession, and they would receive the ball at the start of the second half.
However, on the next drive, with 44 seconds left in the half, Brady converted an important first down, making sure the Chiefs could not get the ball back and score before the quarter ended. On the next few plays, the Chiefs secondary committed two crucial pass interference penalties on deep balls to wide receiver Mike Evans. These penalties set Tampa Bay up with great field position, placing the ball on the one-yard line. Then Brady connected to wide receiver Antonio Brown in the corner of the endzone, making the score 21-6 at the end of the first half. This was Brady’s third touchdown pass of the game and the Bucs never looked back.
Brady went on to lead his team to victory after completing 21 of 29 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns, including a pair to tight end Rob Gronkowski and another to wide receiver Brown. Brady’s performance rewarded him his first Super Bowl Championship after leaving the Patriots in 2020. Outside linebacker Barrett stated, “Brady, there’s nothing that he can’t do. New team, new scheme, first year, and going to the Super Bowl and winning it all. He’s the GOAT [greatest of all time] for sure.” Rob Gronkowski also stated, “It’s hands down one of the greatest accomplishments in sports history,” on Brady’s first season in Tampa Bay.
The Bucs defense played an important role in deciding the outcome of this game. Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles devised a game plan that limited the Chiefs’ high power offense. The defense only allowed Mahomes to throw for 270 yards on 49 attempts and two interceptions. They did this by dominating the line of scrimmage, forcing Mahomes to run for 497 yards before getting sacked or throwing the football. Mahomes was sacked a total of three times for 27 yards, making it hard to move the ball down field. Kansas City also had eleven total penalties for 120 yards. After the game, Mahomes said, “They beat us pretty good. The worst that I think I have been beat in a long time.” Mahomes won 16 of his 17 starts this season, before the Super Bowl.
The Buccaneers seem to be the favorites to win it all in the upcoming 2021-2022 season. After the game, Brady made his intentions clear for next season, “Yeah, we’re coming back. You already know that.” Only time will tell if that will be the case but congratulations Tampa Bay, you are Super Bowl Champions once again.