A Super Bowl billed as Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes – a quarterback battle of the ages, the GOAT against his rightful heir – the numbers to be a close and exciting draw.
That’s not exactly what the NFL experts at Sporting News see, however. Super Bowl 55 between the Chiefs (14-2) and Buccaneers (11-5) is likely to be competitive, according to our forecasts, but SN writers are unanimous in their choices to hoist the Lombardi Trophy in 2021.
Kansas City open as a 3.5 point favorite over Tampa. That line has since shifted slightly to the Bucs, resting at -3 on Monday, as “the home side” await the defending champions at Raymond James Stadium. SN staff also see an offensive showcase surpassing Vegas’ point total (56.5), with five of six writers projecting the top.
Below are all of our expert picks for Super Bowl 55, with explanations for each pick and score predictions for Chiefs vs Buccaneers.
Super Bowl 2021 predictions: expert picks for Chiefs vs Buccaneers
- Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida
- Kick-off time: 6:30 p.m. ET
- TV: CBS
- Point spread: Heads -3
- More under: 56.5
- Moneyline: Chiefs -167, buccaneers +145
Vinnie Iyer: Last year in this spaceI sort of went with a pick against Patrick Mahomes. Let’s fix that now, as the Chiefs are playing as the defending Super Bowl champions.
Tom Brady has done a great job leading the Buccaneers and increasing their offensive efficiency. The “home team” also has pretty good overall defense. But the Chiefs counter well and have the QB play, pass the defense, mentor and experience everything on their own on top of that unstoppable and intimidating feeling. While Brady has his typical Super Bowl moments, Mahomes will have a lot more to make sure the Chiefs repeat, keeping himself on a special path to rack up rings.
Prediction: Chiefs 31, Buccaneers 27
Bill Bender: Patrick Mahomes had 462 yards in the regular season game, and at one point it looked like Tyreek Hill would set the receiving record in one game. Tackle Eric Fisher’s injury is a major scenario given how Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul were able to combine five sacks in the NFC Championship game, but Mahomes presents more of a challenge due to his mobility.
Look for a similar game for the second time. Kansas City will build a first-half lead behind TD’s assists to Hill and Travis Kelce, but Tom Brady – as he so often does – will lead a second-half comeback. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Rob Gronkowski will play their fair share in the passing games, and Leonard Fournette will be more involved this time around.
Ultimately, however, the Chiefs don’t give Brady a chance to lead the winning record. Mahomes wins Super Bowl MVP honors again, and Andy Reid begins to think about a triple peat.
Prediction: Chiefs 35, Buccaneers 32
Mike DeCourcy: There is no undeserving Super Bowl participant. Stepping into the NFL playoffs, when the league’s margins are so narrow between success and failure, is an underrated feat. To maneuver through these playoffs to the final stage is amazing.
Sometimes this realization has to be accepted – because it is as good as it gets.
The Buccaneers were a 7-9 team a year ago. They were 5-11 the year before. Now they are a Super Bowl team. Soon they’ll be losers in the Super Bowl, but until kickoff they’ll be able to revel in the overnight quality of their success. They brought in an ‘aging’ Tom Brady, watched him struggle with the conversion to a new system, heard from those who doubted it would ever take and can now laugh at those who wondered if he could be successful with a different team. , at an age when most NFL players are long retired.
The Super Bowl won’t be about Brady, however. It will be a question of how Tampa can stop Patrick Mahomes. They did a great job against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. But it’s even a half step beyond. And they will not succeed. Mahomes is too elusive, too inventive. It won’t be easy for KC, but it will be done.
Prediction: Chiefs 33, Buccaneers 24
Matt Lutovsky: The Buccaneers don’t have a lot of weaknesses, but if there’s one area they’re struggling in it’s pass defense. It’s not ideal against Patrick Mahomes and company, so unless the loss of Eric Fisher (Achilles) opens the door for Tampa’s strong rush to wreak havoc, Kansas City should have a key advantage. .
Tampa will be able to run with his dynamic duo in the backfield – and he plans to shut down KC on the court – but Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill are playing so well that maybe it doesn’t matter. Throw in an opportunistic Kansas City defense against a somewhat error-prone Bucs offense, and you have just enough reasons to love the Chiefs here.
Prediction: Chiefs 30, Buccaneers 24
Joe Rivera: The more things change, the more they stay the same.
While the Chiefs don’t play the 49ers in the Super Bowl this year, the game looks very similar in many ways, and much like last year, Chiefs’ defense is the key ingredient we don’t have. enough talk. throughout another KC battle during the playoffs.
While Patrick Mahomes (rightly) receives most of the praise for being a human ‘Madden’ issue, the Chiefs’ defense kept one of the NFL’s most powerful offenses to just 15 points in three quarters in the game. AFC Championship, with a few inconsequential scores. increase the total of invoices to 24 points.
The Chiefs are playing, once again, top-notch defense with a pretty deadly pass run. Without left tackle Eric Fisher (with a tear from Achilles), Kansas City will have their hands full with both Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaq Barrett, although Mahomes’ mobility and Andy Reid’s creative play appeal. will likely lessen the threat of the pass rush. , much like they did in Super Bowl 54.
To beat a team led by Brady, you have to play an almost perfect game. Tampa Bay’s vast receiving corps will have a lot to do. The racing game will be too.
But the “Patrick Price” will be too expensive for Brady and the Bucs, and Mahomes will get his playoff revenge for the 2018 AFC Championship game loss to Patriot Brady.
Prediction: Chiefs 34, Buccaneers 24
Billy Heyen: Even though everyone will charge this game like Patrick Mahomes vs. Tom Brady, it’s really Mahomes vs. the Buccaneers passing rush. Mahomes, the far better quarterback than Brady at this point, needs to be neutralized for Tampa Bay to have any chance of winning.
We already saw in Week 12 that the Buccaneers have no chance to cover Tyreek Hill. And Travis Kelce has proven time and time again this season that basically no one can keep him. If Mahomes has time to show up and deliver his high-level guns, it will be a long day for the de facto home team in Tampa. Even though Mahomes doesn’t have the time, he might be too good to stop, anyway.
Yes, it’s remarkable that Brady is in his 10th Super Bowl in his first year with a new team at 43. But for all of his GOAT-ness, Brady cannot influence Mahomes’ performance at Super Bowl 55.
Prediction: Chiefs 34, Buccaneers 24