Seven is Heaven


A legendary quarterback matchup was ultimately decided by the Buccaneers’ defensive front. (Courtesy of Twitter)

Colin Loughran , Contributing Writer

Our world tends to glorify strength, flash and appearance. For instance, someone may get the elite job or beautiful girl because they “steal the room,” “look the part” or simply have a “dynamic” way of doing things that mesmerizes their peers. 

However, often in life being smart, prepared and emotionally invested prove to be more critical than any of the aforementioned qualities. Never was this more evident than this past Sunday as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, led by a legendary quarterback who has made a legacy out of being “smart, prepared and emotionally invested” defeated the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 in Super Bowl LV.

In the weeks leading up to Super Bowl LV, the main storylines revolved around two key matchups: the Bucs’ Tom Brady vs. the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes, and perhaps more elaborately, the Chiefs’ offense vs. the Bucs’ defense.

Kansas City’s offense is widely regarded as an absolute juggernaut. Along with Mahomes, players like tight end Travis Kelce and wide receiver Tyreek Hill make up an athletic offense that can absolutely obliterate any given team. During the regular season, the Chiefs had 15 passing touchdowns of 20+ yards, and Travis Kelce even set the single-season receiving yards record for tight ends. The boys from Kansas City look the part and play the part with flash, charisma and confidence. 

With this in mind, Tampa’s defense, albeit an extremely talented group that ranked top 10 in terms of points and yards allowed, had their work cut out for them. To almost everyone’s surprise, the Chiefs offensive attack was held to only nine points the entire game. The defending champions could not get the ball into the end zone. 

Patrick Mahomes was pressured on 29 of 56 dropbacks, picked off twice and sacked three times. In terms of receiving, Tyreek Hill was essentially followed by the Bucs secondary the entire game. While Hill was able to get seven catches for 73 yards, he was not able to run roughshod over the defense like in week 12 against the same Tampa Bay squad. 

Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles’ Bucs came prepared, fully invested and played a smart game. They played with energy the Chiefs couldn’t seem to match. Front line players like linebacker Shauil Barrett and defensive end Ndamukong Suh made Mahomes’ night an absolute nightmare, and the secondary was able to keep Kelce and Hill from being their usual “rockstar” selves.

On the other side of the ball, Tom Brady was masterful. Like a conductor leading his orchestra, Brady led the offense. The Bucs boasted a strong deep passing game all season, a philosophy best summed up by head coach Bruce Arians as a “no risk it, no biscuit” approach. Deep threats like Chris Godwin and Mike Evans were critical components of the Bucs’ success during the 2020 season, especially during the three road playoff games. 

However, Super Bowl LV was not won with Arians’ trademark style. Instead, the Bucs employed a “Patriot-esque” offense that took few deep shots, made little to no mistakes and featured a healthy mix of rushing and passing plays. Among the most memorable moments were a rushing touchdown by running back Leonard Fournette, a quick touchdown catch by ex-NFL diva Antonio Brown and two touchdown grabs by Tom Brady’s trusty sidekick Rob Gronkowski. Brady himself took home Super Bowl LV MVP honors, completing 21/29 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns.

Super Bowl LV was won by the smarter, more prepared and emotionally invested team. The Buccaneers struggled to find their rhythm after a 7-5 start but went on to win their final four regular-season games and four more playoff games against three former NFL MVPs. The Bucs found strategic solutions this entire year and were well prepared to face Kansas City’s monstrous offense while picking apart their defense.

This new culture of winning would not have been possible without the key offseason acquisition of Brady. With Sunday’s win, he has cemented his status as the absolute GOAT (Greatest of All-Time). What a story. What a season. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are Super Bowl LV champions. Tom Brady has successfully secured both his fifth Super Bowl MVP and seventh Super Bowl win. Fire the cannons!