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Super Bowl 55 preview: Bucs’ Brady and Chiefs’ Mahomes

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For Tom Brady it is one other Tremendous Bowl, however this time, in a Tampa Bay jersey. The Buccaneers are 3.5-pt underdogs in opposition to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs.

For Tom Brady, one other journey to the Tremendous Bowl — however this time, in a Tampa Bay uniform.

And for his new crew, the Buccaneers, a first-of-its-kind house recreation, however with out the standard home-field benefit.

To place a bow on this make-it-up-as-we-go NFL season — a marketing campaign upended however by no means totally undone by the coronavirus pandemic — it comes as no shock that there isn’t a such factor as a simple storyline.

Due to restrictions in place because of COVID-19, Tampa Bay’s house stadium will solely be a couple of quarter full when the Buccaneers host the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs on Feb. 7 within the Tremendous Bowl. The Chiefs opened as a 3.5-point favourite.

The 43-year-old Brady will increase on his report by enjoying in his 10th Tremendous Bowl, hoping to increase on one other report by successful a seventh title, however the first one in his new house of Tampa Bay.

And 25-year-old Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs can be making an attempt for back-to-back titles, one thing no quarterback has completed since — who else? — Brady, again in his 2003-04 heyday with the New England Patriots.

The showdown will happen at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, the place Brady’s Bucs would be the first crew within the 55-year historical past of the Tremendous Bowl to play on house turf.

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“Whoever would’ve thought a house Tremendous Bowl for us? However we did it,” stated Brady, who led the wild-card Buccaneers to a 31-26 win over Inexperienced Bay on Sunday to make it three straight street playoff wins on the way in which again house for the Tremendous Bowl.

However home-field benefit will not imply as a lot because it usually would possibly. This would be the first Tremendous Bowl not performed in entrance of a capability crowd because the first one — Kansas Metropolis vs. Inexperienced Bay on the LA Coliseum — in 1967.

In a nod to how the pandemic has modified all the things, the gang for America’s No. 1 sports activities spectacle can be restricted to 22,000 within the 75,000-seat stadium, with vaccinated health-care staff getting 7,500 of these valuable tickets.

And even the visiting crew — the Chiefs — will not be staying in a lodge all week, the way in which each convention champions normally do for the Tremendous Bowl. ESPN reported that Kansas Metropolis does not plan to reach in Tampa till the day earlier than the sport.

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Most interview availabilities, as they’ve all season, will happen on Zoom from the groups’ hometown observe amenities. The farce that has develop into the Tremendous Bowl’s “Opening Night time” media session can be a digital affair, as effectively. In brief, groups will principally deal with this like an everyday street recreation (or, within the case of the Bucs, an everyday house recreation), and the Tremendous Bowl metropolis won’t a lot resemble the overflowing get together hub it normally does as the large recreation approaches.

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Regardless of all that, this has the makings of a very good matchup, that includes the league’s high (Chiefs) and seventh-rated (Bucs) offenses, every with a number of methods to strike: Receiver Tyreek Hill and tight finish Travis Kelce are standouts for KC and former Patriots tight finish Rob Gronkowski is on Brady’s lengthy record of choices for Tampa.

It’s a rematch of Kansas Metropolis’s 27-24 win on Thanksgiving weekend in Tampa. In that one, Mahomes threw for 462 yards — 269 of them to Hill — to assist the Chiefs construct an early 17-point lead.

This would be the second high-stakes postseason matchup between Brady and Mahomes. Brady was surgeon-like, main New England to 524 yards in offense in a 37-31 extra time win over the Chiefs within the AFC title recreation in January 2019.

It gave New England its third straight journey to the Tremendous Bowl, and Brady’s final of 9 as a member of the Patriots.

Within the two seasons since, Kansas Metropolis has represented the AFC.

The Chiefs have completed it largely on the arm of Mahomes, although it is his head and his foot which were making extra information of late. He threw for 325 yards and led the Chiefs to a 38-24 victory over Buffalo on Sunday. He did it regardless of a bout with turf toe that flared up on the finish of per week he spent within the NFL’s concussion protocol following a tough hit in KC’s earlier playoff win over Cleveland. (Additionally a priority now: Professional Bowl left deal with Eric Fisher left Sunday’s recreation with an Achilles harm.)

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Mahomes may be part of Bart Starr, Bob Griese, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, Troy Aikman, John Elway and, after all, Brady on the record of QBs to win two in a row.

As for Brady? He is main the Buccaneers to solely their second Tremendous Bowl; the Bucs gained on their first journey, again in 2002. Brad Johnson was the quarterback then. However no person would mistake Johnson for Brady, who may be part of Peyton Manning as the one different quarterback to win a Tremendous Bowl with two franchises.

It may occur the day after Manning will get the decision from the Corridor of Fame; Manning is newly eligible this 12 months and is a shoo-in to get within the night time earlier than the sport.

Quickly sufficient, Brady can be there, as effectively.

Clearly, although, he nonetheless feels his house is on the soccer discipline.

“The idea he gave everyone on this group, that this may very well be completed,” stated Bucs coach Bruce Arians, when requested to clarify what Brady’s arrival meant to the franchise. “It solely took one man.”

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