Super Bowl 55 will feature two of the game’s greatest, active quarterbacks in Tom Brady of the Buccaneers and Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs.
Brady, the 43-year old, six-time Super Bowl winning quarterback, is playing in his tenth final Sunday of the season. He’s doing so on his own terms, as it is the first year he’s played outside of the New England Patriots franchise.
Many questioned who to credit for the Patriots’ success in the last two decades, whether it was Brady or head coach Bill Belichick. Well, Brady’s twenty-first season still has one game remaining, while Belichick and New England closed shop weeks ago, along with the regular season, with a final record of 7-9.
As there are debates regarding ‘the greatest’ in every sport, a unique situation will take place on Sunday, as some fans believe Brady vs. Mahomes is the equivalent to Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James.
Mahomes is playing in his fourth NFL season, but has a resume longer than most players would have in decade-long careers.
The reigning Super Bowl MVP is only 25-years old and has quickly taken over the NFL.
The Texas Tech product would likely make any team a contender, but the Chiefs have surrounded him with some of the strongest weapons the league has to offer on any offense.
With tight end Travis Kelce nearly leading the NFL in receiving yards, one of the fastest players in professional sports in wide receiver Tyreek Hill and first-round rookie running back from LSU, Clyde Edwards-Helaire along with many other key contributors, the Chiefs are loaded offensively.
Such a talented offense looks amazing on paper but will oftentimes not translate onto the field. That’s not the case with the Chiefs.
In the 2020 regular season, Kansas City led the NFL in total offensive yards, yards per game and passing yards per game.
The Buccaneers defense has proven to be one of the strongest units in the league. Though they are able to hold their own, many would argue that they did not carry the team to the Super Bowl. Their offense played a large role in getting the team to where it’s at today.
Kansas City’s offense has found a way to score on every team, some more than others, but Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians shouldn’t rely on his defense to win the biggest game of the year.
Brady had an immediate impact on the team since day one. Raising the level of intensity and seemingly made everyone around him play at a higher level.
The Buccaneers have a solid set of weapons, as well. Most of which were underutilized prior to Brady’s arrival, others joined after the fact.
Wide receiver Mike Evans has been a consistent playmaker for Tampa Bay over the years, but is now finding a set role with a new quarterback. During his media availability leading up to the Super Bowl, Evans talks about how him and Brady communicate in-game.
“Tom, third-down, look to me,” Evans replied. “Or Tom, they’re playing a lot of man [to man coverage] right now, look for me. And he knows that. He’s a real cool guy to talk to. If you want something from him you just got to ask.”
Evans’ 2020 season has not been as productive as previous years on the stat sheet, but he has reeled in a career-high 13 touchdowns and plays an important role for the offense.
Along with Evans are a slew of other pass-catchers such as wide receivers Chris Godwin, Scotty Miller, tight end Cameron Brate and his old friend and former Patriots teammate, Rob Gronkowski. Running backs Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette have also been contributors from the backfield.
The last time these two teams met was in Week 12 of the regular season at Tampa Bay, a contest that the Chiefs won by a field goal.
Though it ended in close fashion, the Buccaneers offense was simply outplayed by the Chiefs offense.
Mahomes out-threw Brady and the Kansas City run game accounted for more yards.
Both defenses for the Super Bowl will be tasked with stopping another high-powered offense, regardless of what team one focuses on.
The real responsibilities are put onto the offenses to make plays count, complete passes, run their routes and hit their gaps. This is expected to be a shoot-out of a game, and one mistake may cost a franchise the Lombardi trophy.