Super Bowl 55 offers a generational quarterback match for all ages.
Which generation wins? Tom Brady, 43, led the Buccaneers to a 31-26 victory over Green Bay in the NFC Championship game at Lambeau Field on Sunday. Brady will make his 10th Super Bowl appearance and has a chance to win his seventh Super Bowl championship – an unprecedented achievement given the move from New England to Tampa Bay in the offseason.
Patrick Mahomes, 25, will he beat this record in the not-so-distant future. Mahomes led Kansas City to a 38-24 victory over Buffalo in the AFC Championship game on Sunday. The Chiefs had the opportunity to be the first back-to-back Super Bowl champions since Brady led New England to back-to-back titles in 2003-04.
Kansas City opened as 3.5 point favorite to win Super Bowl 55.
Of course, Mahomes and Brady have some interesting actors. Mahomes’ favorite targets – Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce – combined for 290 yards and two TDs in the AFC Championship game. Rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire has returned from a hip injury, and Tyrann Mathieu leads an opportunistic defense used to playing with the header. Will ex-Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell play a role in Super Bowl 55? Vetearn coach Andy Reid also has a chance to win a second Super Bowl.
Brady has the backing of a two-headed racing game with Ronald Jones II and Leonard Fournette. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Rob Gronkowski complete the receiving corps. Devin White and Lavonte Davis are two of the best linebackers in the NFL, and veteran Ndamukong Suh can finally play in a Super Bowl. Will former Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown play a role in Super Bowl 55? Veteran coach Bruce Arians has a chance to win his Super Bowl.
Both teams are loaded in the most important positions.
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The Chiefs beat the Buccaneers 27-24 in Week 12 in a game where Mahomes and Brady put on a show. Mahomes finished 37 of 49 for 462 yards and three touchdowns – and most of that was about big ties with Hill.
Hill torched the Tampa Bay defense with scores of 75, 44 and 20 yards, respectively, and those big plays put Kansas City in a 27-10 lead.
The Tampa Bay high school will have to make adjustments with defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, and it will be more difficult knowing that safety Antoine Winfield Jr missed the NFC Championship game and Jordan Whitehead left with an injury.
Kelce presents another problem in midfield. He had eight catches for 82 yards in the first game and can test White and David in midfield. Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaquil Barrett combined for five sacks over Aaron Rodgers in the NFC Championship game, but Mahomes is more mobile at this point in his career. Kansas City offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy can be creative with the running back committee of Edwards-Helaire, Darrel Williams and Bell to put a running game on top of it all.
Brady led a fourth quarter rally with a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns against Mike Evans in the first meeting, but the passing game isn’t just limited to Godwin and Gronkowski. Scotty Miller, Tyler Johnson and Cameron Brate play their part in the passing game, and Brown, who injured his knee in the divisional playoffs, gives offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich more than enough to work, especially with the hasty two-headed attack from Jones and Fournette, who only had three races in the first meeting.
Brady knows Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo well. He was the Giants’ coordinator during the Super Bowl win over the Patriots in 2007, and he will rely on Alex Okafor and Frank Clark to generate the pressure. Mathieu and Bashaud Breeland had interceptions in the first meeting.
All of this is a showcase for what should be another Brady and Mahomes thriller. They’ve split up four previous encounters, including the 37-31 thriller in the 2018 AFC Championship game. Brady led TD’s winning run in overtime without letting the Chiefs touch the ball, and the Buccaneers failed. lost since their regular season loss to Kansas City this season.
In addition, Tampa Bay plays in its stadium. It takes a special team to bring down Brady in a Super Bowl, and the Buccaneers had an NFC wild-card race down the road. Brady is playing as confidently as ever. It will be a more difficult challenge this time around.
The Chiefs remain this team to beat. Mahomes came back from a concussion suffered in the AFC Division playoffs and showed no rust against the Bills with 325 yards and three touchdowns. It’s this combination of wow play and calm within the system that makes Mahomes the next generation quarterback.
Brady will win it, but the Chiefs end a season hit by the COVID-19 pandemic with a victory in a thrilling finish. Mahomes takes Super Bowl MVP honors and Kansas City heads to 2021-2022 in search of a hat-trick.
It plays out like the regular season game, but each team turns on a different score.
Super Bowl 55 Final Score
Chiefs 35, Buccaneers 32