Super Bowl Sunday is such a bittersweet day. It’s the biggest game of the year, but it signifies that the NFL season is officially over. Happiness is over. Welcome to darkness. Embrace it.
ANYWAY, I think this may be the #1 dream Big Game (fuck you Roger Goodell for copyrighting “Super Bowl”) QB matchup left in the NFL, right? I mean, Brady vs Brees would’ve been nice but Brees is a shell of himself. Rodgers vs Mahomes/Brady would definitely be box office. But I think this is the matchup we all want to see for all the marbles.
Old guard vs New. Pocket passer vs mobile QB. Tricks and no looks passes vs straight up, prototypical passing. I can’t wait.
So let’s be real for a second, the Chiefs should win this game. The Bucs defense has no business slowing down Hill, Kelce, Hardman or whoever else Mahomes wants to use. Also, Steve Spanuolo has been the defensive kryptonite to turn Superman Brady into Clark Kent.
But…for some reason…I just can’t pick against Brady here! I just can’t!
Listen there’s just something about 43-year old Tom Brady, in his TENTH Super Bowl, wanting to prove to the NFL world that he can win outside the shadow of Belichick by taking out his heir apparent on the grandest stage of them all. It’s poetry at its finest.
HOWEVA, as I mentioned, does anyone have any confidence in Todd Bowles coaching up this defense to stop KC’s weapons? They’re tremendous at stopping the run, but the Chiefs don’t need to run to beat you. In fact, they only run because the defense is playing the pass so much that Eric Bieniemy has to be like “Well I mean..they’re begging us to run so why not mix it up, huh?”
So how the hell can the Bucs win?
Pressure. Constantly apply pressure to the Chiefs offense to keep up. It’s pretty well known that the Chiefs throw it in cruise control early in games. Tampa needs to put up touchdowns, not field goals, early and often. And then when Mahomes and the offense get rolling, you gotta turn him over. The Golden Boy gives the defense a few plays a game to pick the ball off, and the Bucs desperately need to capitalize on those chances.
Speaking of turnovers, Brady needs to play a clean game. No “fuck it, Mike is down there somewhere” throws that end in a pseudo punt. Can’t have any mistakes on his end. Which, admittedly, is asking for a lot, but this is the GOAT. He can handle it.
And I know Bucs fans are going to hate this, but Tampa NEEDS to have a solid running game. Run the clock as much as possible. You are simply not going to be able to beat Kansas City in a back and forth shootout. The greatest defense against Mahomes is keeping him on the sideline, and Fournette/Jones are going to be a huge part of that. So Bucs fans, when you see a few 3-4 yard runs, please don’t freak out. You need to mix those in to keep the clock running/hopefully pull the defense up for play action.
Excuse me while I use a cliche here but, I think this game may come down to a defensive or a special teams score. I know everyone says that, but here I think it holds true. Especially if it’s a defensive score.
But while all they’d keys to victory for the Bucs are cool, if the Chiefs offense comes out firing on all cylinders, I think you can pencil in another Super Bowl win for Mahomes. Brady is still great, but his offense simply can’t go toe to toe with KC’s. I know I keep saying it, but this game is going to come down to the Bucs D holding off the Chiefs for as long as they can.
If the Bucs can get a crucial stop or two, maybe even a turnover, allowing Tom and the offense to take the lead, I don’t think they look back from there. And I think Mahomes obliges and has a shaky performance like he did in last years Super Bowl.
Like I said, I just can’t bet against Brady here. Yes, I know the Chiefs cam score at the drop of a hat and Tyreek Hill is basically a cheat code. I know it doesn’t make logical sense when you really break it down, but it kiiiindaaaa does if you know who Brady is. And watching him prove people wrong again and again with far less talented rosters than he has now, I think Old Man Tom holds off Father Time for yet another year.
Chiefs 27 – Bucs 32