Gearing Up for the Super Bowl

Jenna Jacobs Sports Feb 6, 2021

It’s finally the time of year all football fans around the world look forward to: the Super Bowl. It is always incredible to watch, but this year’s matchup has all the ingredients for an epic game. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and The Kansas City Chiefs will battle in Super Bowl LV in Tampa Bay’s home stadium. This is the first time in the history of the National Football League that a team will get to play in their home stadium for a Super Bowl.

Raymond James Stadium one week before the Super Bowl. CC BY-SA 2.0, by elisfkc2 via Wikimedia Commons

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this game will be the duel between quarterbacks: Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers versus Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs—or, the 43-year-old king of the NFL versus the 25-year-old reigning champion. While they both dominate, their play styles couldn’t be more different.

Brady is the definition of a pocket passer. He tears apart opposing teams’ defenses with his quick release and remarkable football IQ, allowing him to see things other quarterbacks cannot. Brady’s entire career is built around his work ethic and willingness to win. He was never the most athletic guy on the team— a backup quarterback for 2 years at Michigan and selected in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He was behind starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe his rookie year, and got the chance to start on Thanksgiving. Ever since that day, he’s never looked back, winning 6 Super Bowls for the Patriots and creating the greatest dynasty in NFL history. He departed from New England last offseason to sign with the Buccaneers, joining one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL. This year, Brady proved he doesn’t need New England and their head coach Bill Billichick to get to the biggest stage in football. Brady still plays with an underdog mentality and believes he has something to prove.

Mahomes, on the other hand, plays with great joy and youth. He flings the ball with both hands and runs outlandish plays that somehow work. Unlike Brady, Mahomes was blessed with all the physical gifts you could possibly want as a quarterback. He is tall, incredibly athletic, and has arguably the strongest arm in NFL history. He is coming off a Super Bowl win in which he was named the most valuable player. Mahomes is not a pocket passer at all. In fact, his best plays are made when he leaves the pocket and has to get creative. He makes the game look easy. There is no such thing as an impossible throw for Patrick Mahomes. If he is able to conquer the Buccaneers, he will be the second quarterback to ever win two Super Bowls in his first four seasons. The only quarterback to achieve that happens to be his opponent, Tom Brady.

Watching two quarterbacks of their caliber battle it out on Sunday is unheard of—watching the greatest of all time play a younger stud who is challenging the crown, is like getting to see Michael Jordan face LeBron James. It is truly a unique luxury to see this matchup. Not only is this a great QB duel, but both teams have excellent coaches. Coach Andy Reid of the Chiefs is known for his air raid offenses and his risky play calling that has been proven to work. He is an offensive mastermind and knows what it takes to win it all. Coach Bruce Arians of the Buccaneers has had years of success as the coach of the Cardinals. He came out of retirement to coach the Bucs and was able to lead them to the Super Bowl in just his second year there. Arians can also be described as an offensive guru.

Both team’s offenses are also off the charts and house some of the best wide receivers in the NFL. The Buccaneers have an arsenal of weapons with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown; fan favorite Rob Gronkowski is at the tight end position. These receivers can burn any cornerback they face on any given Sunday. The Chiefs' receivers are stellar too. Tyreek Hill is arguably the fastest player in the NFL, and other receivers like Mecole Hardman, Sammy Watkins, and Byron Pringle also possess lightning quick speed. They have the best tight end in the game, Travis Kelce, who boasts a single-season tight end record with 1,416 yards receiving this year. Both teams' defenses will struggle with stopping the electric offenses they have to face.

This game will be exciting and high scoring. Will the Buccaneers get the victory at home and give Tom Brady his 7th Super Bowl win? Or will Mahomes and the Chiefs defend their title and win back to back titles? We will have to wait and see the story unfold on Super Bowl Sunday, February 7th.

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