After a stressful and wild 2020 NFL regular season and playoffs, we finally have our two teams colliding in Super Bowl 55 at Raymond James Stadium on February 7. The Kansas City Chiefs return to the big game after winning the Lombardi Trophy last year, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers represent the NFC in search of their first Super Bowl title since 2003.
Online sportsbook Sportsbook has released Super Bowl 55 odds with the Chiefs listed as 3-point favorites over the Buccaneers. Kansas City is -165 on the moneyline and the total is set at 56 points.
Although Tampa Bay is the betting underdog, I’m going to outline the reasons why the Buccaneers will win Super Bowl 55. For a look at why the Kansas City Chiefs will win Super Bowl 55, check out Stephen Campbell's article.
|Kansas City Chiefs||-3 (-120)||-165||O56 (-105)|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+3 (EVEN)||+145||U56 (-115)|
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Why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will win Super Bowl 55: The GOAT
When thinking about why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will win Super Bowl 55, the first and most obvious place to start is with the one and only Tom Brady. Where else would you start?
This will be the 10th Super Bowl appearance for Brady, meaning he has been the starting quarterback in 18 percent of all Super Bowls, and he’s searching for a seventh Lombardi Trophy. Take a look at all of Tom Brady’s Super Bowl trends.
Brady’s kryptonite in his previous experiences in the big game was teams from the NFC East, with the New York Giants beating the Patriots twice and the Philadelphia Eagles beating them once. But the last time I checked, the Chiefs weren’t in the NFC East!
Additionally, in nine Super Bowl appearances for Tom, he was an underdog in just two of them. Guess what?! He won both outright!
But isn’t he old?
Age is just a number for Mr. Brady. In his first season as a Buccaneer, the 43-year-old threw for 4,633 yards, his most since 2015. He tossed 40 touchdown passes, his best mark in that category since 2007, and his 401 completions were his best since 2015 as well. Quite simply, Brady has barely missed a beat, aging like a fine wine, and is one of the key reasons why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will win Super Bowl 55.
Offensive Weapons Everywhere Keep Defenses on their Heels
“They got receivers everywhere out there. It’s like watching Monday Night Football.” That’s one of my favorite quotes from the movie Remember the Titans and that’s how I feel watching the Bucs.
In the regular season, Mike Evans led the receiving corps in receptions (70), yards (1,006) and touchdowns (13). However, in the postseason, more faces have joined the mix, with Chris Godwin leading the team in receiving yards (223) while sharing the lead in receptions with running back Leonard Fournette.
Those three names alone are enough to strike fear in the hearts of Tampa Bay’s opponents and I haven’t even touched on Rob Gronkowski, Brady’s longtime weapon in New England, or former Pittsburgh Steelers standout Antonio Brown. Holding down all these stars will be a tough test for the Chiefs secondary.
Selling out to stop that explosive aerial attack could lead to getting chewed up on the ground. Some people may have forgotten that Leonard Fournette, the fourth overall pick of the 2017 draft, was waived early in the NFL season by the Jacksonville Jaguars and signed with the Bucs.
Fournette played second fiddle to Ronald Jones for most of the regular season, getting nearly 100 fewer carries and racking up 600 fewer rushing yards. However, in the playoffs, the roles have been reversed. A fresh Fournette has doubled the carries of Jones (48 to 23) and he has rushed for 211 yards.
Defense, Defense, Defense
I could talk all day about the offensive weapons that Tampa Bay possesses and the various ways it can put points on the board, but preventing points has also been a strength for this squad. Tampa Bay allowed the eighth-fewest points per game in the NFL this season.
Consider some key games this season:
In Week 6, Aaron Rodgers visited Raymond James Stadium and completed just 45.7 percent of his passes for 160 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions – perhaps his worst game of an MVP season. Rodgers did have a much better game in the NFC championship game but this defense did stop him once.
Drew Brees took on the Bucs three times, was held to fewer than 225 yards in each game, and threw seven touchdowns to three interceptions. Again, they weren’t horrible performances, but limiting the aerial attack forced New Orleans to come up with different ways to beat the Buccaneers.
Mahomes is a Different Beast
All that said, Patrick Mahomes visited Tampa in Week 12 and was dynamite, throwing for a season-high 462 yards, completing 75.5 percent of his passes with three touchdowns and no interceptions.
However, most of that damage came in the first half and Kansas City really struggled in the second half, holding on for a 27-24 win. Did Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians learn something about this Chiefs offense and can the Bucs shut Mahomes down like they did in the second half of that matchup? Time will tell.