Congratulations are in order for the NFL. Amidst a global pandemic, that still impacts the league heading into Sunday, the league has managed to pull off the 2020 season, which will conclude Sunday with Super Bowl LV between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Buccaneers will become the first team in league history to play the Super Bowl in their home stadium. However, the Chiefs are three-point favorites with the over/under for the game set at 56 points.
The Buccaneers are the more surprising Super Bowl participant. Despite adding Tom Brady during the offseason, Tampa Bay had to survive a loaded NFC. But after winning three road playoff games, the Bucs have been rewarded with some semblance of home-field advantage in the Super Bowl.
As for the Chiefs, few are surprised to see the reigning Super Bowl champs back in the Big Game. Kansas City finished the regular season 14-2, and that was after more or less conceding a loss in Week 17 while resting several key starters. After surviving a scare from the Browns in the Divisional Round, the Chiefs were far more convincing in a 38-24 win over the Bills in the AFC Championship Game to put them on the verge of winning back-to-back titles.
Pat and His Ma-homies
Last year’s Super Bowl MVP, Patrick Mahomes, is the biggest reason why the Chiefs are favored to win Super Bowl LV. He shook off a concussion and a toe injury in the Divisional Round and looked his best in the AFC Championship Game, completing 76% of his passes and throwing three touchdowns. Of course, it helps to have two of the NFL’s elite playmakers in Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, who have both been unstoppable during the playoffs and for most of the regular season.
If the Kansas City offense has a weakness, it’s likely at the line of scrimmage. With left tackle Eric Fisher suffering an injury late in the AFC Championship Game, the Chiefs have had to reshuffle their entire offensive line. That could be a problem after Jason Pierre-Paul, and Shaquil Barrett combined for five sacks against the Packers in the NFC Championship Game. The Tampa defense has also been unafraid to blitz this season, with linebacker Devin White amassing nine sacks during the regular season.
The Brady Bunch
For the Bucs, Brady remains the key to Super Bowl success. In what will be his 10th Super Bowl, Brady has the experience and pedigree to lead the Buccaneers to victory. Plus, like Mahomes, he has an incredible amount of playmakers around him. The tandem of Chris Godwin and Mike Evans serves as the tip of the iceberg. Antonio Brown, Scotty Miller, Cameron Brate, and Rob Gronkowski are also viable targets. The Bucs have benefited from a resurgence in their rushing attack during the playoffs thanks to Leonard Fournette.
Meanwhile, the Kansas City defense could be the biggest X-factor in this game. The Chiefs are far from an elite defensive team, but they have impact players at all three levels and did a great job of containing Buffalo’s high-powered offense in the AFC Championship Game. On the other hand, Brady threw for 345 yards and three touchdowns against the Chiefs in late November.
Back to Back
The Buccaneers are good enough to put up a fight, but their in-game consistency has been an issue this season. Keeping up with the Chiefs requires near-perfection for 60 minutes, which is a concern for Tampa Bay. Look for the Chiefs to seize control late, ultimately pulling away for their second straight Super Bowl win and covering the 3-point spread.
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