A Lackluster End to an Unbelievable Season: A Review of Superbowl LV
By Maya Gomes
Another year, another somewhat lackluster super bowl. The NFL came to a not-so engaging conclusion Sunday as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers routed the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 to win the franchise’s second ring, and quarterback Tom Brady’s record setting seventh. The win capped a stunning playoff run that saw the fifth seed defeat the Washington Football Team, as well as Drew Brees’ New Orleans Saints and MVP Aaron Rodgers’ Green Bay Packers along the way, as the Bucs became the first team to win a superbowl in their home stadium.
The game was controlled by Tampa Bay across all four quarters. The Buccaneers offensive line deserves a ton of credit: they allowed only one sack, giving Tom Brady time to go 21-29 on passing attempts for 201 yards and three touchdown passes, including two to longtime teammate Rob Gronkowsi. Leanord Fournette led the Bucs rushing attack with 89 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown.
The real star of the show, however, was the Buccaneers defense, led by Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles (Jets fans might recognize him as their old head coach). Bowles was one of the first in the league to figure out how to stop the Chiefs nearly impossible offensive attack, and did it by keeping quarterback Patrick Mahomes (who was somewhat immobilized with a toe injury coming into the game) on the run the entire night. Aided by injuries to the Chiefs offensive line, the Bucs pass rush totaled three sacks, and kept Patrick Mahomes out of the endzone and in single digits for the first game in his career.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes, alone perhaps, deserves credit for the way he played on the Chiefs side. Despite being injured and pressured constantly, Mahomes played hard the whole game, and made serval mind boggling throws even as he was knocked to the ground repeatedly. He was hurt, however, by several key drops from his receivers, and a Chiefs defense that could not stop Tom Brady and the Bucs’ offense.
Superbowl LV was record setting for several reasons, the most obvious being Tom Brady’s seventh superbowl ring. Before Brady signed with the Bucs this past season, Tampa Bay had not made the playoffs in 13 seasons, and had not won a playoff game in nearly 20 years. But with this seventh ring, Tom Brady won the most super bowls in NFL history; he has won more rings than any other NFL franchise(the Steelers and Patriots have both won six). Bucs head coach Bruce Arians also made history as the oldest head coach to win a superbowl at 68.
Overall, Superbowl LV will go down in history as a historic game, if not a particularly competitive one. But in a season unrecognizable in many ways due to the pandemic, the sight of Tom Brady once again hoisting the Lombardi trophy was a familiar, if somewhat unwelcome, ending.