By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG
For two weeks we heard nothing but Mahomes vs Brady. New kid vs GOAT. New legacies vs old legacies. But what we soon discovered, and were not all that surprised by, is that it was more than just the quarterbacks who made an impact on the field. In the crazy world of Super Bowl mania, no matter how the media spins it, it’s still a team sport.
It’s not like I don’t understand the reason for the hype. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is, almost without question, the greatest QB to play the game versus Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the fantastically talented, young superstar of the league. A possible changing of the guard right before our eyes.
However, as we all know, it takes a full team to win a football game, especially in a game of this magnitude. It takes great plays on both sides of the ball. While most analysts and fans picked Kansas City to win, the Buccaneers found the perfect balance of good offense and strong defense, defeating the Chiefs 31-9.
Thank you #ChiefsKingdom for all the support. Wasn’t the way we wanted it to end, but we will be back! ????????
— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) February 8, 2021
It wasn’t the game many expected. Kansas City had proven over and over that no matter what the deficit, Mahomes and crew could bring them back to win the game. Tonight, there were too many obstacles to overcome, the biggest being the Tampa Bay defense. The Chiefs had no answer, no adjustment, to the constant pressure coming from the Buccaneers line, or the coverage of Chiefs receiving corp.
Mahomes had been battling a turf toe injury, and as the game wore on, you could see it was bothering him. That could have been due to the fact he was regularly running from pressure, or for first downs, but by the third quarter, he was visibly limping. Injuries were also an issue on the Chiefs offensive line, where they were missing multiple starters.
Yet, it was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that stole the show. They came in as the 5 seed, playing all their playoff games on the road. While the defense showed us in the NFC Championship game that they were a force to be reckoned with, Brady and the offense weren’t overpowering other teams. That was not the case in the Super Bowl.
SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS! ???????????? pic.twitter.com/X2slO2g6xW
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) February 8, 2021
This Tampa Bay offense looked sleek, polished, and frankly, unstoppable. Brady had thrown multiple interceptions in the previous playoff games, but tonight, not one. Brady threw for just 200 yards, but the run game was a huge help with running backs Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones II running for a combined 150 yards.
But that defense… they proved once again the offense gets you to the Super Bowl, but defense wins Super Bowls. If you are a defense lover, this was a fun (albeit lopsided) game to watch.
So where do these teams go from here? Well, Tom Brady is not going to Disneyland, but he will get to say it in the commercial as he was named MVP of the game. Many thought tight end Rob Gronkowski may win MVP, due to his 2 touchdowns, but it was Brady that stole the honors. The rest of the Tampa Bay team is in great shape going into next season, with many of the key players returning to the team next year.
Going into 2021, the Chiefs are a little strapped for cash when it comes to the cap, but definitely have ways to work around it. Most importantly, Mahomes is under contract for the next 100 years… kind of. Kansas City looks to be a dominant team for the perceivable future in the AFC West, and even the AFC.
Follow Dayna on Twitter // @DaynaOG