What other weapons pose a threat to Tampa Bay? Can the Chiefs get to Tom Brady? You can find answers to those questions and more in our question and answer session below.
1. It’s incredible how good Patrick Mahomes is. Even when the Chiefs seem to not be playing so great, the offense finds a way to rally around him and pull off a victory. Is it all Mahomes, the supporting cast on offense, Andy Reid knowing what plays to call and when, or a combination of the entire offensive unit?
I honestly think that it’s a little bit of everything. Andy Reid is the perfect coach for Patrick Mahomes, just like Patrick Mahomes is the perfect quarterback for Andy Reid; Tyreek Hill is the perfect wide receiver to match Patrick Mahomes’ arm strength; Travis Kelce’s ability to play against zone defense and make things happen during broken plays also assists Mahomes’ insane ability to play out-of-structure. It really is several matches made in heaven. Is it a reach to say that this particular receiver, tight end, coach and quarterback combo is the best ever assembled? Probably not.
2. The Chiefs defense was 19th overall in sacks during the 2020 regular season, but recorded four sacks on Josh Allen in the AFC Championship game where two came in the final quarter to help seal the victory for the Chiefs. Do you see the same kind of pressure during the Super Bowl after getting to Tom Brady just once during the regular season?
Getting to Tom Brady is tough. Even if do you somehow get pressure, he’s savvy enough to get rid of the ball or throw a shoulder fake. Seriously, a 43-year-old shouldn’t be that hard to sack! The good news for the Chiefs is that the defense tends to play better in the postseason. Chris Jones and Frank Clark especially seem to love the spotlight of the NFL Playoffs. The other plus for Kansas City is that we have a guy called Steve Spagnuolo calling the defense. Hasn’t he got a history with Brady in the Super Bowl or something? I can’t see the Chiefs having Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck level success, but it will still be fun to watch Spags vs Brady II.
3. Let’s say the Bucs are able to limit Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce while containing Patrick Mahomes to inside the pocket. How else can Kansas City make life miserable for Tampa Bay’s defense?
If the Bucs’ defense does this, we might as well hand the Lombradi Trophy over to Tampa right now. Andy Reid is the best at putting his receivers in favourable situations, but I even think that might be a bridge too far. More often than not, it’s Mahomes’ ability to perform out of the pocket that brings the other guys into the frame. Demarcus Robinson, Byron Pringle and Sammy Watkins are all good players but none have proved that they can win consistently, especially enough to make that much difference.
4. How should the Buccaneers offense attack Kansas City’s defense? How does the Chiefs secondary matchup against the Buccaneers receivers now and are there any vulnerabilities in that unit?
I would say run the football, but the thought of the Chiefs losing to a Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones led offense makes me want to throw up. If the Bucs are having success against Patrick Mahomes, then slow methodical drives may just do it.
If, however, the Bucs find themselves in a shootout, Brady will need to account for Tyrann Mathieu before anyone else. We all knew the Honey Badger was a good player when he first arrived in Kansas City, but I don’t think any of us realized that he’s not just good, he’s phenomenal. If Brady can identify what Mathieu’s responsibilities are pre-snap, he should then go after the cornerback furthest away from #32.
In terms of matchups, Bruce Arians should definitely go for strength vs weakness. Mike Evans had a quiet game in terms of yards first time round, yes, but this time I would line him up against Charvarius Ward and just let him go to work.
5. How do you see this game playing out?
The weather forecast makes me a little nervous. All the talk of the greatest QB matchup of all-time could just end up being a battle of Leonard Fournette vs Clyde Edwards-Helaire unless the weather improves. Frankly, no one wants to see that. That being said, I’m going to make a prediction assuming that both Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes are weatherproof.
This is a game full of superstars and playmakers, but ultimately the Chiefs have the biggest superstar in this game (a sentence which is crazy to type for a game involving the G.O.A.T). I’ve gone past the point of betting against Mahomes because he just doesn’t have bad games. Will the Bucs make his life uncomfortable at times? For sure. But what we do know about #15 is that he always delivers - I’ll continue to back Pat until I’m proven otherwise.
Chiefs 38, Bucs 24
P.S. - Let them fire the cannons. The Bucs have earned it.
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