The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tom Brady put an end to speculation whether he still had what it takes to win Super Bowls. With six Super Bowl rings to his credit, Brady led the Buccaneers to their first championship title since 2002/2003 and Brady’s seventh Super Bowl ring.
Playing in their home stadium, Brady made it look easy as he was once again, Brady was on point throwing pass after pass and scoring touchdowns. Two of those came from passes to old friends, Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Brown and it was enough to put Tampa out front of the Kansas City Chiefs early into the first half.
Brady, who is the oldest player to have played and won a Super Bowl, also earned another distinction on Sunday as the Super Bowls MVP, his fifth. Sunday was Brady’s 10th appearance in a Super Bowl, and at 43, most likely his last, and with it, he joins Peyton Manning as the only other quarterback in NFL history to win Super Bowl titles with multiple teams. Commenting on the achievement, Brady stated,
“I’m not making any comparisons. Experiencing it with this group of guys is amazing.”
Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers dominated the Chiefs early in the first half, and by comparison, the win was one of the easiest in Brady’s illustrious career. The Bucc’s all but left Kansas in their dust ending the game with a 22 point lead, which for Mahomes, was the worse lost in his career.
Super Bowl 55 gave the Buccaneers their second Super Bowl Championship titles and the distinction as the first NFL team to play in the Super Bowl at their home stadium. What was an already strange year fueled by the challenges sports leagues faced as a result of the pandemic, for the Bucc’s came after winning three away games as a wild card team.
Similar to the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Rays, the Bucc’s set the bar after making the finals as the underdog and went on to win the championship. Speaking to the press post-game, Brady said,
“I’m so proud of all these guys. We had a rough November but we came together at the right time. We knew this was gonna happen. We played our best game of the year.”
The win put an end to Kansas Cities hope of becoming back-to-back seasons since the New England Patriots. The bottom line, the experience and calm that runs through Brady is invaluable, and for most, it was under-appreciated.
Kansas City Chiefs head coach, Andy Reid didn’t see it coming, and in fact, when went on to say post-game that, when asked about their performance and subsequent loss,
“I thought we were going to come in and play these guys just like we’ve been playing teams, and it didn’t happen that way. I give them credit on that.”
The season was not without challenge for the NFL, the only sports league to manage to complete its entire 2020 schedule without a cancellation. This came at a cost that saw the league carrying out almost a million COVID-19 test for support personal and players.
The pandemic also put an end to a packed house for the Super Bowl 55 with only 25,000 fans allowed to attend, of which 7,500 were health care professionals who tested negative for the virus. Although, in the spirit of the night, the NFL added cardboard cut-outs resembling fans to create the visual effect of a packed stadium.
For Patrick Mahomes, who with one Super Bowl victory under his belt, is only in his fourth year in the NFL, the loss and his performance were not how he expected the game to play out. Commenting, Mahomes stated,
“Obviously I didn’t play the way I wanted to play. What else can you say? All you can do is leave everything you have on the field. I feel like the guys did that. … They beat us pretty good, the worst I’ve been beaten in a long time.”
However, for Buccaneers head coach, Bruce Arians, at 68, he became the oldest coach in NHL’s history to win a Super Bowl Championship. The win was celebrated by his 95 year old mother, who was on hand to see her son make history and watch him win the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Commenting after being handed the trophy, Arians said,
“This really belongs to the coaching staff and our players. I didn’t do a damn thing.”
The Bucc’s put together a remarkable plan to shut down Kansas, one that was completely opposite of they used when they lost to the Chiefs in Week 12. While the Chiefs started strong and took a 3 point lead in the first half, it soon became apparent the game would not play out as the analysts predicted it would.
Shortly after going up by 3, Brady scored the Bucc’s first touchdown with an 8 yard pass to Rob Gronkowski and in the process took over the lead, one they never gave up., For Gronkowski, who gave up retirement to join Brady at Tampa, it was history in the making after he caught his thirtieth and fourteenth post-season pass from Brady and in doing so, entered the history books alongside Joe Montana and Jerry Rice.
For the Chiefs, it is back to the drawing board to figure out what went wrong after such a dominate performance in the regular and post-season. For Tampa, the goal will be to hopefully defend their title next season, and if Tom Brady has anything to say about it, the odds are if they do, he might just make it Super Bowl win #8.