Another season of football has officially ended as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took down the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV by a score of 31 – 9. The Bucs won their second title in franchise history 18 years after their first one. However, the main talking point from this result was Bucs Quarterback Tom Brady, as he won his seventh title and became the winningest player in NFL history.
Super Bowl LV was not like any normal Super Bowl of the past. This one was not different by choice, though; in the midst of a pandemic, the NFL required and enforced a limited attendance. Yet, that is the sacrifice that the league had to make, like many other organizations, in order to keep their leagues running.
This year’s Super Bowl was definitely one that had a lot of things to look forward to, if you are a football fan. Tom Brady was out to prove that he is not just a “system quarterback” but one of the greatest to ever play and win his seventh ring with his new team; on the Kansas City end, they looked to go back-to-back and be the first team to do so since the New England Patriots, who had Brady as their quarterback in the 2004 and 2005 seasons. It was also a chance for Kansas City’s young quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, to take the torch from Brady, the NFL’s main character, and move on to a new generation.
While that was probably the run down a lot of us thought would have happened, Brady had plans of his own. Brady, at the age of 43, is still able to compete at a high level, despite what critics say about his age. Of course, football is a team sport, and the quarterback is just one position, but, from the start of the game, Brady seemed the one to be more focused and in tune with his teammates. Kansas took the lead in the first quarter as they had to settle for a field goal, after a well-put-together drive. However, the Bucs came out and scored on their next drive and took the lead, as Brady would pass to longtime Patriot teammate, Rob Gronkowski, for the first touchdown of the game. The Bucs would keep the lead for the entirety of the game, scoring 14 in the second quarter and 10 in the third. Their defense would hold the Chiefs to just two more field goals, not allowing them to score a single touchdown.
For one of the best offenses this season, just being able to score three field goals and no touchdowns . . . is a bit of a disappointment as a team. It was not like the receivers did not have opportunities to make plays; they had plenty, but none of them were able to reel in anything of large yardage. Mahomes seemed off his game, overthrowing or even under throwing, which led to two interceptions. His offensive line was not helping him out, either; they allowed him to be sacked three times, and, for most of the game, he was scrambling out of the pocket, running around long enough for his receivers to be open. Mahomes would end the game with 270 passing yards on 26/49 attempts, leading to one of his worst performances to date.
It’s also worth mentioning that the Chiefs seemed to be on the short end of the stick when it came to referees and penalties, as they would finish with 11 penalties totaling 120 yards; 95 of those yards came in the first half, compared to the Bucs 4 penalties for 39 yards the Chiefs found it hard to get a good rhythm throughout.
As for the Bucs, they really proved the doubters wrong and put on a dominant performance against a team who looked almost perfect this year — not only on the defensive end but on the offensive as well. Brady put on a performance that made him look much younger than 43. While he would end the night with fewer passing yards than Mahomes, with only 201 yards on 21/29 attempts, he was able to take the pressure and make the best out of every opportunity and earn him his fifth Super Bowl MVP.
Whether or not you like Brady, you have to respect his ability as a player and what he has done in his career. Not many players in any professional sport have ever won seven or more championships, and, at the very least, no player in the NFL has ever won seven championships. Not only that, but Brady now has won more championships than any organization in the NFL, as the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers own the most with six each. Brady has truly had a Hall of Fame career, and he’s probably had three of them in his 21 years in the league.
Winning another championship at the age of 43 is definitely not something that anyone can accomplish, especially in football, in which the age of players retiring is younger than other sports. Winning seven times is certainly impressive, especially since no other player had been able to achieve this in football. The conversation is really starting to close in on who is really the greatest player of all time in football. It’s really starting to look as if that player is Brady. Though he may not be one of the most exciting players to watch, his competitive spirit and knowledge of the game really puts him ahead of anyone else; the man knows how to win. Beyond that, Brady is able to keep a consistent performance year after year and help his team look like a real title contender.
The NFL season is finally over, and, while it may have been different, the outcome brought the same excitement for sports fans and non-sports fans alike. We saw a competitive game on the field and received an entertaining halftime show — which had been one of the most hyped in years, as the Weeknd performed some of his greatest hits, as well as songs from his latest album for the first time. Even with the limited things he was able to do thanks to restrictions caused by COVID-19, he brought a performance beyond worthy for the halftime show. At the end of it all, we watched a team lift the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy; perhaps watching any victory was what we needed after 2020. Congratulations to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for winning! We look forward to a new season next year.
Photo Credit: Erick W. Rasco/Sports Illustrated