Super Bowl LV Preview

Super Bowl LV Preview

Isabella Ledet and Kendall Olszowka

This turbulent 2020 season will culminate with the Kansas City Chiefs taking on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at home) for Super Bowl 55 on February 7th at 6:30 PM on CBS.

On January 24th, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Green Bay Packers played the NFC Championship game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The two teams played a close game with both Tom Brady, quarterback of Tampa Bay, and Aaron Rodgers, quarterback of Green Bay, throwing three touchdown passes and passing for at least 280 yards each. However, the Buccaneers outperformed the Packers due to their coaching. With three minutes left in the game, when given the opportunity to tie the game and make a touchdown, the Packers opted to take a field goal, still putting themselves five points behind where they needed to be to tie. Despite three interceptions thrown by Brady in the second half, the Buccaneers won 31-26.

Right after Tampa Bay’s victory, kickoff in Kansas City arrived. It was the Buffalo Bills’ first trip to the AFC championship since 1994 and the Chiefs’ third consecutive trip. Throughout the game, tensions were high. Patrick Mahomes managed to play despite a neck injury in the divisional game against the Browns, and he was impressive. He threw 325 yards and 3 touchdown passes with no interceptions. Tyreek Hill also had 172 receiving yards, and Travis Kelce had 118 yards and 2 touchdowns. For the Bills, Josh Allen threw 287 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Tyler Bass, the rookie kicker, hit four field goals, the longest of which being 51 yards. The Chiefs were winning for most of the game, and by the end, tensions had risen to the boiling point. Starting with Josh Allen subtly tossing the ball at a defender’s face, a small brawl ensued between two Bills offensive players and a Chiefs defensive player. The penalties offset, but the commentators remarked that the Bills would be returning to Kansas City in the 2021 regular season, and that feelings like these would not be forgotten by either team. In the end, the Chiefs reigned victorious 38-24 and punched their ticket to take on Tom Brady and the Bucs in Super Bowl 55.

Although the Buccaneers have Tom Brady, who many consider to be the greatest quarterback of all time, we predict that the Chiefs will win on February 7th. Brady has had a consistent career, winning six out of the nine Super Bowls that he has been to, but it comes down to more than just the quarterback. The last time that the two played each other, the Chiefs won, and even though they won by only three points, it is very possible that they could pull it off again. The Chiefs have a strong offense, as do the Buccaneers, but the Chiefs are expecting to get back two important offensive players for this game and that could make a significant difference. Another important factor to consider is the fact that this Super Bowl could almost be considered a home game for the Buccaneers. No team has ever played a Super Bowl at “home” before in the history of the game, and it will definitely be an advantage on Tampa Bay’s part. Despite this advantage, the Chiefs are fully capable of winning this game, but it is going to be close. In the end, it is going to come down to how well the team works together and their coaching calls. Both Bruce Arians, head coach of Tampa Bay, and Andy Reid, head coach of Kansas City, have made it to the Super Bowl before and are known to make effective decisions in game. Regardless of who wins, this game will be historic for many reasons. If Kansas City pulls it off, they will join the list of the seven teams that have won two consecutive Super Bowls. If Tampa Bay wins, Tom Brady’s “greatest of all time” title will be solidified by the fact that he has seven Super Bowl rings: that’s more than any other player in the history of the NFL.

For specific players, look out for the stars on Kansas City to really shine in this game. Patrick Mahomes only gets better after each season, and this one is no exception. Mahomes already holds the records for reaching 10,000 passing yards the fastest of anyone, 90 touchdowns the fastest of anyone, the only player in NFL history to have 30 completions and 300 passing yards in four consecutive games, and more. We would recommend watching out for Mahomes to have an impressive air game. Most likely, his top targets would be wide receiver Tyreek Hill (nicknamed “The Cheetah” for his super-speed) and popular tight end Travis Kelce (coming off of a great game against Buffalo). You can always count on Tyreek Hill to do something amazing, like evading tackles and taking off for a touchdown like it’s the easiest thing in the world. Despite only being 5’10”, that doesn’t stop Hill from being Kansas City’s top receiver and Mahomes’ star throwing target. As for Kelce, his incredible ability to push through tackles has gotten him quite far. You can look for Kelce to throw some stiff-arms, run with several defenders attached to him, and then spike the ball in the end zone. Between Mahomes, Hill, and Kelce, Kansas City shouldn’t have major problems with their throwing game, as long as the line can protect Mahomes and the Tampa Bay secondary doesn’t shut down the backfield.

Overall, this Super Bowl will be exciting for sure. Between the game itself, the commercials slated to have many celebrity appearances, and The Weekend’s halftime show, you won’t want to leave your seat until someone’s lifting the Lombardi Trophy.