Two of the greatest quarterbacks in history will go head-to-head when the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Super Bowl LV. Patrick Mahomes secured the MVP award after leading the Chiefs to glory at last year’s Super Bowl, and he is on fire once again this season. He is still just 25 years of age, but he can already be considered one of the all-time greats.
He will now come up against the legendary Tom Brady, a man 18 years his senior, when they battle for the Vince Lombardi Trophy on February 7. Mahomes was still in kindergarten when Brady won his first Super Bowl ring with the Patriots, and the veteran QB is now bidding to become a seven-time Super Bowl champion after trading New England for Tampa last summer.
It was a risky move for Brady, who had spent his entire career at Foxborough, but the gamble has paid off in spectacular fashion. The Bucs had a mid-season wobble, but they are now on a seven-game winning streak and they will carry tremendous momentum into the Super Bowl.
It will be the first time that a team has ever taken part in a Super Bowl inside its home stadium. Just 22,000 spectators will be allowed inside the Raymond James Stadium into Tampa – a third of the maximum capacity – but you would expect a degree of partisan support for the Bucs.
They are on fire right now, with Brady leading the charge. The 43-year-old veteran has not been perfect this season, but he has been dropping dimes and spurring his team up the field with relentless determination in recent weeks. Antonio Brown is likely to miss out through injury, but Brady still has Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and his old safety blanket Rob Gronkowski as receiving options.
Yet this game could ultimately be won or lost on the shoulders of the Tampa Bay defense, which will be presented with the Herculean task of stopping Mahomes. Nobody has figured out how to contain him over the past couple of years, so it will require a perfectly executed plan from defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, while the individuals in that defense will need to produce heroics.
The Bucs’ defence has been superb in the postseason, racking up five takeaways and seven sacks in impressive road victories against the Saints and Packers. It will need to put Mahomes under intense fire if the Bucs are to win this game.
If the Tampa defense cannot find a way to slow Mahomes down, this game could develop into a high-scoring shootout. That would be exciting for neutral fans, with Mahomes and Brady taking center stage.
These teams met in NFL Week 12, when Tyreek Hill’s individual brilliance helped the Chiefs open up a 17-0 lead. However, the Bucs pulled back to within three points of the Chiefs in the final quarter thanks to some magic from Brady, and ultimately Kansas City had to cling on for a narrow 27-24 victory.
The sportsbooks are expecting a higher scoring game on February 7. The total points line has been set at 56.5, with DraftKings and Unibet offering -109 on over, and FanDuel, William Hill and BetMGM offering -110 on under.
Kansas City has been named the 3.5-point favorite. DraftKings has -167 on the Chiefs to win on the moneyline, and +148 on the Bucs. There is a compelling case for either team covering the spread.
The Chiefs are 4-1 ATS in their last five playoff games, and an offense led by Mahomes has been virtually invincible. He has averaged close to 300 passing yards in two playoff games this year, and Hill and Travis Kelce have been sensational.
Yet the Bucs are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games against teams with winning records, showing that Brady is still the man for the big occasions. He has enjoyed the glut of weapons at his disposal this season, and the Bucs had the number two passing attacking in the league during the regular season. Its last six games have been won by five or more points, and it is playing at its home stadium in the Super Bowl.
It looks like developing into a close game, but the Chiefs are always in contention with Mahomes in the team, and they overturned several seemingly insurmountable deficits in big postseason games last year. Andy Reid presides over a well-oiled machine, and the Chiefs should ultimately be too slick for the Bucs at the Super Bowl.
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