Reverse Rewind: Super Bowl LV Preview—Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Kansas City Chiefs


Entering the 2020-2021 football season, copious amounts of uncertainty permeated the National Football League. Due to the devastating effects of COVID-19, professional sports are required to adapt to the necessary protocols and precautions. In the NFL’s case, this recent year is an overall success based on the sheer completion of the season. Super Bowl 55 between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be played with limited capacity, adding to the lack of normalcy for players and fans. On February 7th, the grand champion of this year’s NFL Season will be declared; the final chapter of the wacky 2020 season will be written. 

If there’s one thing to say about Tom Brady: he’s been here before. Arguably the greatest quarterback of all time, Brady has reached his tenth Super Bowl with a current record of 6-3. This milestone marks yet another tremendous career accomplishment for Tom; his attempt for a seventh super bowl victory will rely on the performance from his Buccaneers. After joining Tampa Bay this previous offseason, the Brady-led Bucs improved last seasons’ record from seven wins to eleven. Despite the improvement, the rival New Orleans Saints outperformed Tampa, repeating as NFC South champions. 

Given the fifth seed in the NFL Playoffs, Tampa Bay picked up high-quality road wins en route to Super Bowl LV. The Buccaneers knocked off the NFC East winner Washington Football Team before stealing a game in New Orleans that would end the Saints’ season. This divisional-round upset scheduled Tampa Bay a date with the NFC’s top team: the Green Bay Packers. Despite efforts from MVP front-runner Aaron Rodgers, the Bucs took an early lead and never looked back. Phenomenal defensive stands in the fourth quarter sealed a Tampa Bay victory, showing just how much of an impact Tom Brady truly has made in his time as a Floridan. Just one year removed from a third-place finish in the division, the Buccaneers are headed…home? 

For the first time in NFL history, a team will play at its home stadium for the Super Bowl. With the Buccaneers returning to Tampa for the big game, Brady and his squad will claim an unprecedented home-field advantage. Thanks to standout performances from multiple positions, Tampa Bay has a surplus of talent and production. Former Jacksonville Jaguar Leonard Fournette attaches a dimension of power as a bruising back, while feature back Ronald Jones accumulated over 1,000 scrimmage yards in a balanced rushing attack. Through the air, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin combined for nearly 2,000 yards receiving and 20 touchdowns, forming a prolific wide receiver duo. Additionally, former All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown decided to join the stacked Buccaneer team during week eight. As if this wasn’t enough for Tom Brady, he has the luxury of throwing to longtime teammate and friend Rob Gronkowski at tight end. Win or lose, Tampa Bay boasts one of the most star-studded rosters in the league. 

Unlike the Bucs, Kansas City is the most recent recipient of the Lombardi Trophy, having won the Super Bowl in the previous 2020 season. After several decades of sub-par production, the Chiefs have become the “golden boys” of the NFL. Following the selection of Patrick Mahomes in the 2017 draft, Kansas City has possessed the league’s most high-powered and speed-oriented offense. Mahomes has established himself as the future of the league, as the 25-year old holds a regular season and Super Bowl MVP under his belt. Additionally, he has posted absurd passing statistics with the assistance of receiving stars Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, and Travis Kelce. Prior to defeating the Browns and Bills in the playoffs, the team won 14 games and earned the number one seed in the AFC.

Combined with the mastermind coaching of Andy Reid, the 2020 Kansas City Chiefs have been nothing short of dominant. Losing just two games all season, the “legion of zoom” swept through opposing teams, scoring over 30 points per game on average. The sheer terror imposed by the Chiefs offense is often too much for NFL defenses to handle, as all of the weapons can open up numerous dimensions throughout the game. Tyreek Hill racked up over 1,300 receiving yards, an extraordinary number. With Travis Kelce—the league’s best tight end—posting over 1,400 yards, Kelce and Hill compose the best pass-catching duo in the NFL. An 800-yard season for rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire in conjunction with seasoned veteran Le’veon Bell grants Kansas City a highly-skilled offensive backfield. Scoring points is what the Chiefs do, and the all-star supporting cast for generational quarterback Patrick Mahomes creates a recipe for world-renowned success.

Looking at the big picture, the combination of talent and experience in Super Bowl 55 constitutes a formula for a legendary matchup. A head-to-head battle between the celebrated GOAT—Tom Brady—and the new face of the league, Patrick Mahomes, will display a clash between old blood and new blood. For the Buccaneers, the ability to slow down the Kansas City offense will pay massive dividends for a potential victory. On the other side of the ball, Tampa Bay must take advantage of the Chief’s defensive inconsistency and match the inevitable heap of points put on the scoreboard by Kansas City. Overall, the storylines and subplots of this year’s Super Bowl display the potential for an all-time showdown.