After a four-month-long regular season, three rounds of playoffs, and one rest week before the fireworks begin, Super Bowl LV between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers is coming up on Sunday with a chance to win one of the biggest titles in sports on the line.
The Chiefs, the defending Super Bowl champions led by legendary coach Andy Reid and the biggest current star in the league in quarterback Patrick Mahomes, will have a tough task if they want to repeat as champs.
Quarterback Tom Brady shocked the football world by leaving the New England Patriots after twenty seasons, six Super Bowl titles, and three NFL MVP Awards and heading to the upstart Tampa Bay Buccaneers to revitalize the franchise, which hadn’t made the playoffs since 2007.
So, who will win the big game? Let’s break it down and choose a winner.
The biggest draw of this matchup is the incredible duel that should take place between Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady, arguably the league’s best two quarterbacks.
Not only this, but both teams have elite receiving weapons. Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and Sammy Watkins have been a nightmare for opposing secondaries on the Chiefs’ end, while the Buccaneers’ group including recently un-retired Rob Gronkowski and star receiver Mike Evans don’t fall far behind.
The two teams’ running games might not have much of an impact on the game, but the Chiefs are more of a threat to use their backs both on the ground.
Advantage: Slightly Chiefs
One of the reasons that so many people are choosing a shootout in this game is because neither the Chiefs nor the Buccaneers are quite known for having an elite defense.
Just ask the Tampa Bay secondary about how much it struggled in their first meeting against Kansas City. Tyreek Hill was able to total 269 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns, and Mahomes put up 462 in a 27-24 win.
While neither team has a great secondary, though we do think the Chiefs’ is slightly better, the Bucs do at least have one elite group: its run defense. They allowed fewer yards than any other team in the league, but will it matter against a pass-heavy Chiefs offense?
When it comes to kickers and punters, there is virtually nothing separating these two teams. Both Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker and Bucs kicker Ryan Succop made more than 90% of their field goals this season, while KC punter Tommy Townsend and Tampa punter Bradley Pinion both averaged just over 45 yards per punt.
Both teams are mediocre at returning punts, but KC has had more kickoff return success, averaging 25.8 yards per return and even racking up a touchdown thanks to Tyreek Hill’s work here.
Andy Reid and Bruce Arians are both excellent coaches in their own regard, but we have to give the Chiefs the edge, as Reid has won this level magnitude of game before and has decades of experience while Arians has been a head coach for less than a decade.
This could end up being a Super Bowl for the ages as two of the best offenses in recent league history duel.
It is difficult to pick against a player of Tom Brady’s pedigree, but the Chiefs are a more complete team and come into the game with the confidence of having done this before.
I predict that Kansas City will win a 34-30 shootout.