Well folks, here we are. The best and worst weekend in the football season. It is the Super Bowl.
First of all, I have a quick comment for all of those who said the NFL couldn’t have a full season due to Covid-19. Go pound sand. They got every regular season game and every postseason game in. The only casualty was the Pro Bowl, which, to be honest, was a long time coming. The NFL proved once again, that football is the sport that will continue regardless of what goes on.
All that aside, and my victory lap at an end, let’s talk about the game itself.
It’s been said about 3,572 times and I’m about to make it 3,573. How insane is that Tom Brady is about to play in his 10th Super Bowl. To put that in perspective, I’m 28 years old. Brady has played in the Super Bowl for more than a third of my life. WIld.
Tom takes his Tampa Bay Buccaneers to….well....Tampa Bay. Making history (again) and being the only team to play for the championship in their home stadium. This isn’t like a normal home game. The stadium won’t be filled with thousands of Tampa fans. The Super Bowl has always been more of an impartial crowd in normal years. Never mind the whole Covid situation limiting the crowd.
As for the team the Bucs will be playing, the Chiefs are what is known as a buzzsaw. The Patrick Mahomes led squad is explosive, and has weapons all over the field. They can beat you in so many different ways. With an old school passing game to the TE Travis Kelce, or with gadget plays with the dynamic speed of Tyreek Hill and the other WRs. Or maybe Mahomes can do what he does, and just spread the ball around, and do incredible things. What I’m trying to say is, they’ll be tough to stop.
These teams have already played this season. On November 29th, the Chief beat the Bucs 27-24 in Tampa. That score is misleading. The Chiefs jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the 1st quarter and took their foot off the gas from that point on. In the late-November matchup, it would be an understatement to say that Mahomes and Hill had a good day. Mahomes threw for 462 yards and 3 TDs. Hill had more than half of these yards and all 3 of the TDs. For the Bucs, Brady had 345 yards and 3 TDs of his own, but that was mostly trying to play catch up the rest of the game. If you watched that game like I did, it was never really in doubt.
Moving on to Sunday. If Tampa wants to win, take it from this freshman football coach, cover Tyreek Hill. Easier said than done, but if there is a repeat performance of the last game, it’ll be over before the Weeknd takes to the stage. I don’t care if they have to put someone 40 yards off the ball, you can’t let Hill beat you deep. Even if that means sacrificing short and intermediate routes. KC lives and dies by the big play. If you can limit those, you have a chance. Also, the Chiefs have been known to get down early. Look at the playoffs this year when they let the Browns hang around until the end. And last year when the Houston Texans were able to get up big early. Houston choked it away like they always do, but they may have set an example. If Tampa can get an early lead that’s good. It’s always good to have a lead, but it is more important when you have to go against such an explosive offense. If they’re able to do that, the Bucs need to take what happened to the Texans as a cautionary tale. Don’t take your foot off their throat. Keep scoring and hope for the best. Tampa should even go as far as starting the game on offense if they win the toss to put as much space between them and the Chiefs as possible. If KC has any weakness, it’s the defense.
As for the Chiefs, you have to think the Bucs are going to try and shut down Tyreek Hill. With the amount of weapons Mahomes has at his disposal, that shouldn’t be a problem. Have Hill stretch the field and the others tear up the middle of the field. Never mind having Mahomes himself take a few runs to keep the defense honest. Offense won’t be a problem for the Chiefs. That we know. I think that gives the defense a chance to take a few risks. I say blitz the crap out of Brady. Hit him early and often. Your offense can pick up the slack if some bad stuff happens. If the ball is up in the air, go for the interception and hope for the best. The last thing you want is Brady to get in rhythm with the short passes and keep your dynamic offense off the field.
It’s pick time folks.
I am very conflicted here. My head wants me to pick one way, and my gut wants me to pick another.
My intellectual mind says the Chiefs are the easy pick here. That explosive offense has yet to be stopped, and why should tomorrow be any different?
But then I look at the rosters. The amount of pure scum on the field for KC is incredible. From Frank Clark who has been arrested and charged with domestic violence in the past, to Tyreek Hill who once punched his pregnant girlfriend in the stomach and broke his young son’s arm, this team is easy to root against. Tyrann Mathieu even spent some time in jail, and he seems like a good person on this squad. The Bucs aren’t choir boys by any stretch. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has a storied history of being a slime ball on and off the field.
I’m also a little biased here. The Chiefs have spent the better part of 5 years beating the snot out of my beloved Denver Broncos, which makes it easy to hope they lose.
And then there is Brady. It is incredibly hard to bet against the greatest QB ever. He has done amazing things for so long, and I’ve bet against him before only to be dead wrong. A Tom Brady led team is never out of the game. Just ask Matt Ryan and the Falcons. The guy just wins.
Enough of my babbling, it’s time for my actual pick. I see this being a closer game than in November. Thank goodness, or it would be a boring Sunday evening. I see it as a shoot out, which will actually favor the Bucs because they’re defense is a little bit better. Both offenses will go off and put up some serious points. I think this comes down to one thing; kicker. Harrison Butker for the Chiefs has a booming leg and has made clutch kicks in the past. He will make a long field goal before halftime that will give the Chiefs the “double possession” after the half. That’ll be the difference.
I hope I’m wrong, but the score will be Chiefs 41 Bucs 38.
Either way it goes, this’ll be fun. I have no dog in the fight, which makes it a lot easier to enjoy.