Super Bowl LV Preview

Michael Howes ‘22, Co-Editor, Sports

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It is a warm September Sunday, with virtual school just beginning. The world is starting to function like normal again, yet not everything is normal yet. You sit down on your couch, maybe your bed, and turn on NFL RedZone. Or maybe, you go on your laptop and visit the website Crackstreams. You relax, get a snack to eat, and enjoy the fact that NFL football is back, after a long nearly six months since that faithful March 13 where everything seemed to be put on hold.  

Remarkably, this season was able to play out the way it has, with every single game that was scheduled being able to be played, albeit that not every single game was played on the originally scheduled date. There have been countless moments where fans were put on the edge of their seat, worried that this season, which was a distraction for many, would be put on pause because of the virus. But the league powered through these issues and many teams did a remarkable job in limiting the spread, including the Seattle Seahawks, who had an impressive zero players test positive during the season.  

And now, we are here, Super Bowl LV. It one of the most intriguing matchups of all time to occur; All-time great Tom Brady and the Buccaneers versus the young superstar Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. This is not the first time these teams faced off this season. In week 12, the Chiefs beat the Buccaneers 27-24 in Tampa Bay. Tyreek Hill had an amazing game with 269 receiving yards and three touchdowns. You’d have to think the Buccaneers defense will have a better plan for Hill this game. Patrick Mahomes also played remarkably this game, with 462 yards passing and 3 touchdowns, all to Hill as mentioned earlier. Defensive backs Tyrann Mathieu and Bashaud Breeland had big games, with 2 interceptions and 3 pass deflections combined.  

However, this time, I think things will be different for a multitude of reasons. For starters, the Buccaneers will be playing at home in Raymond James Stadium. This will be the first time in NFL history that a team will play in their home stadium in the Super Bowl. This home field advantage is something that will have a huge effect on the game I believe, just like when LSU played the national championship last year in the Super Dome. The Chiefs, who have been at home for all this postseason, will have to travel for the first time, while the Buccaneers, who have been on the road for the postseason, will get to play at home.  

 Second, it is extremely difficult to beat a team multiple times in one season. For starters, no AFC team has ever beaten an NFC team twice in one season. The Buccaneers with their divisional-round win over the Saints showed that in general, it is hard to beat a team multiple times in a season after the Saints beat them twice in the regular season. 

 Third, the Buccaneers have significantly improved as a team since the loss to the Chiefs in the regular season. Before the loss, the Bucs averaged 29 points per game and allowed 23. Since that loss, they have averaged 34 points per game and allowed 20. A clear improvement.  

 Finally, whether you believe it is because he is the GOAT, or because you think he is extremely lucky, Tom Brady has been put into very fortunate situations to win, and this year is just another example. In the past, plays such as the Malcolm Butler interception, the Tuck Rule, or Dee Ford lining up offsides have benefitted Tom Brady in ways that other players might not be lucky enough to see. Despite averaging only 24 points per game in the Super Bowl, his 6-3 record can be seen as a product of his defenses allowing only 22 points per game. Once again, Tom is in a fortunate situation with a stacked receiving core and a defense that has allowed 20 points per game in the last 7 games as previously mentioned.  

 

Score Prediction: Buccaneers 27, Chiefs 24