Strasser: Super Bowl Recap

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We all should’ve known there was no way Tom Brady was losing this game.

As the saying goes “Never Bet Against Brady.” Well, that couldn’t have been more true after what happened on Sunday night in Tampa Bay. 

In terms of matchup, we couldn’t have asked for much more. The greatest quarterback of all time vs. Patrick Mahomes, a player that many people believe is the closest thing we’ll ever see to Brady in terms of rings and accomplishments. After what he and the Kansas City Chiefs did last year, there was no telling what the ceiling of him and this team could be.

On top of that, they went on to win 14 regular season games this season, just confirming everyone’s beliefs that they were going to go back to back. 

Well, not with Brady having something to say about it.

At 43 years old, Brady silenced every doubter that criticized his move to the Tampa Bay Bucs this offseason. It took about three-fourths of the regular season, but by the time the playoffs came around, Brady had this team playing like the Super Bowl contender he knew they could be.

As if his playoff resume wasn’t legendary enough, Brady went through Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers AND Mahomes to capture his seventh Super Bowl ring. The build up and anticipation for this game ended up being more interesting than the game itself, but nevertheless, here’s how it went down.

The game started out like most Super Bowls do. Both teams came out looking a little slow and rusty which is expected. Both punted on their first drive.

On their second drive, the Chiefs managed to get a field goal, which put them up 3-0.

Tampa Bay quickly responded with a few good running back (RB) Leonard Fournette runs and a few wide receiver (WR) Antonio Brown catches, and quickly found themselves in the red zone. Brady then found his long time running mate tight end (TE) Rob Gronkowski for an 8-yard touchdown to put the Buccaneers up 7-3.

As ridiculous as it sounds, this was Brady’s first touchdown in the first quarter of his ten Super Bowl appearances. The Bucs got the ball back at the beginning of the second quarter and got into the red zone once again.

Unfortunately, RB Ronald Jones got stuffed at the goal line and they turned the ball over on downs. The Chiefs got the ball back and didn’t take advantage, and Brady took his second chance and ran with it.

Brady drove down the field and found Gronk in the end zone again for a 17-yard touchdown to put the Bucs up 14-3. On the Chiefs’ last possession of the first half, they were forced to settle for 3.

With a minute left, and a real chance to take total control of the game, Brady and the Bucs went to work again. As was the story for most of this game, Kansas City could not keep up with the Bucs playmakers, and were forced to commit stupid penalties time and time again.

This time, it came at the biggest turning point in the game. With the ball at their own 42, Brady threw up a bomb to WR Mike Evans down the sideline. It was clear Evans had beaten his man, and as he was trying to get the ball, he was tripped from behind by cornerback (CB) Bashaud Breeland, who was quickly called for a pass interference. After a few plays, with six seconds left in the half, Brady found another one of his Tampa Bay recruits, Brown, on a slant for his third touchdown of the first half.

To me, this was pretty much what decided the game. With the Chiefs settling for 3, and then letting up a late touchdown to fall down 21-6 at half, I didn’t see many ways for the Chiefs to win this game. The difference between 14-6 and 21-6 was colossal, and that series of plays for the Chiefs really told the story for them in this game. 

The Chiefs came out of the second half, and settled for another field goal. At this point, they were asking for the Bucs to close them out.

And that’s exactly what the most clutch closer in the game’s history did.

On the very next drive, Brady drove his team down the field, hooking up with Gronk and Brown once again. Then came the dagger. Fournette bounced off a few tackles, and ran in from 27 yards out to put the cherry on top of this game.

Leading 28-9, all the Bucs had to do was hold Mahomes for another quarter and a half, and that’s exactly what they did. The Chiefs didn’t score another point, and the Bucs smartly played the clock, and ran most of the second half. The Bucs defense did an amazing job of getting to Mahomes all night and limiting his vertical threats the entire game.

The final score was 31-9, as the Buccaneers cruised to a fairly easy Super Bowl victory. 

Being a few days removed from the game, I realized just how hindered the Kansas City offense was. They were missing multiple starting offensive linemen in this game, and it really showed on Sunday night.

Mahomes was running for his life the entire game, having to use his legs on almost every single rollout. In fact, according to ESPN Stats and Info, Mahomes ran a total of 497 yards before his passes/sacks. That’s the most pre-throw yards run by any quarterback in any game this season.

While running around the field and improvising, Mahomes made two of the most ridiculous throws I’ve ever seen, including a 30-yard strike where he was essentially on the ground getting tackled. His effort was admirable in this game, but it just wasn’t enough.

On top of the offensive line struggles, his receivers dropped multiple balls, and that made it almost impossible for them to get back into this game.

Nevertheless, the Buccaneers outplayed the Chiefs in every aspect, and completely earned their victory. As if it wasn’t obvious enough, Brady once again proved that he’s the GOAT, and showed everyone that it wasn’t just Bill Belichick and the Patriots system.

All in all, the game itself did not live up to the expectations, but watching the greatness of Tom Brady was special to see. At 43 years old, Brady confirmed after the game he’ll be back next year, and if history has told us anything, we should expect to see him back in the mix for number 8 next year.

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