This Sunday February 7, the Kansas City Chiefs will aim to win back-to-back championships as they take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV (55). The Buccaneers, led by their new superstar quarterback Tom brady, are aiming for their second championship and will be the first franchise in history to enjoy a home Superbowl as the game is set to take place at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. The following article will preview Sunday’s showdown and provide an overview of the facts needed to enjoy the game.
Regular Season Campaigns
The defending Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs enjoyed a successful regular season, finishing with a record of 14 wins and only two defeats. These two defeats came in a close loss to the Oakland Raiders in Week 5, who they went on to beat later in the season, as well losing to the San Diego Chargers in Week 17 after a position in the playoffs had already been secured and many key players were rested. This impressive showing throughout the 17-week regular season led to the chiefs clinching the American Football Conference (AFC) and receiving a first-round bye in the playoffs.
On the other hand, the Buccaneers entered who entered the 2020 season with a new look team featuring the likes of Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and Leonard Fournette also had a fruitful regular season. Their 11-5 record saw them finish second in their National Football Conference (NFC) South Division behind the New Orleans Saints, clinching them a Wild Card spot in the playoffs.
The Chiefs and Bucs did play each other over the course of the regular season. This was an extremely competitive and exciting fixture which saw the Chiefs come out on top; they emerged as victors in a game that finished 24-27.
After enjoying a first-round bye, the Chiefs began the playoffs by facing the Cleveland Browns in Divisional Round. Despite a late push by the Browns, the Chiefs’ dominance proved too much and they won a close game with a scoreline of 17-22. The following week after a rocky start the Chiefs defeated the Buffalo Bills 24-38 in the AFC Championship game to earn their place in this year’s Super Bowl.
Meanwhile, the Bucs began their playoff run in the Wild Card round, defeating Washington 31-23 in a game away from home. In the Divisional Round the Bucs came up against their fierce NFC South rivals, the New Orleans Saints. Despite losing twice to the Saints in the regular season and the Saints finishing first in the NFC South Division, Tom Brady and the Bucs managed to pull off 30-20 win to earn them a place in the conference championship. In this game the Bucs faced the Green Bay Packers who had clinched the NFC in the regular season and earned a playoff first-round bye themselves. However, undaunted by this the Bucs went on to narrowly defeat the Packers in what was there second win of the season over the Wisconsin team and reach their first Super Bowl since they previously won it in 2003.
Players to Watch
Both teams featured in Superbowl LV have electrifying offenses, which sets up an intriguing matchup. This section highlights players on each team who will likely be vital for their teams this Sunday:
Patrick Mahomes- Quarterback- Chiefs
Mahomes, who was last year’s Super Bowl MVP as he led his team to a comeback victory over the San Francisco 49ers, is the centrepiece of the Chiefs’ offense. He has racked up 38 passing touchdowns (TDs) in the regular season and another four in the Chiefs’ two play-off games. Despite a brief injury scare in the Chiefs’ first playoff game against the Bills, he returned to perform well in the AFC Championship game and looks set to go for Sunday’s Super Bowl.
Travis Kelce- Tight End- Chiefs
A favourite target of Mahomes, the big tight end often shows up when his team need him most and was very important after Mahomes went off injured against the Browns. Over the course of the regular season and playoffs he has scored 14 TDs.
Tyreek Hill- Wide Receiver/Returner- Chiefs
Known as the ‘Cheetah’, Hill possesses lighting pace and impressive footwork. Over the course of the season, he has been responsible for 15 receiving TDs and a further two rushing TDs. He is definitely one to watch out for when Chiefs are returning a kick-off or punt.
Tyrann Mathieu- Safety- Chiefs
Mathieu, known as the ‘Honey Badger’, is the star of the Chiefs’ defence. He is essential to both their pass and run defence, accumulating 75 tackles and seven interceptions throughout the regular and postseason.
Tom Brady- Quarterback- Buccaneers
The six-time Super Bowl Champion who led the New England Patriots’ offense for many years joined the Bucs during the 2020 offseason. Brady, who is considered by many as the Greatest of All Time (GOAT), has made a stunning impact on the Buccaneers franchise, leading them to their first Super Bowl for almost two decades. His 2020 campaign has seen him throw 40 passing TDs throughout the regular season and a further seven in the playoffs. Showing that despite being 43-years old and having played 20 seasons in the league, Brady can still mix it with the best.
Rob Gronkowski- Tight End- Buccaneers
A favourite teammate of Brady for many years in New England, Gronkowski came out of retirement this season to join his ex-teammate in Tampa. Since then, he has proved a valuable addition to the Bucs, achieving 666 receiving yards and seven TDs throughout the regular season and playoffs.
Mike Evans- Wide Receiver- Buccaneers
Evans has been the receiver targeted most by Brady throughout the 2020 season. As a result, he has accumulated 1179 receiving yards over the regular season and playoffs as well as 15 TDs. He will once again probably be Brady’s go to man come Sunday’s game.
Leonard Fournette- Running Back- Buccaneers
Another new addition to the Bucs for this season, Fournette moved from one Florida team to another after being waived by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Fournette has proved a useful asset the Bucs’ offense in the regular and postseason especially, rushing for 578 yards and eight TDs.
Who is the Favourite?
Due to their Super Bowl victory last year as well as their impressive regular and postseason showing, it should come as no surprises that the Chiefs are favourites heading into Sunday’s game.
Most bookmakers are offering 4/7 odds for a Kansas City victory, while the Bucs come in as are underdogs with odds of 7/5.
The Halftime Show
This year’s Super Bowl promises yet another entertaining halftime show, with Canadian R&B and pop artist The Weeknd set to headline. However, its likely he will not be the only talent on show during the halftime interval with electronic duo Daft Punk and pop artist Ariana Grande also rumoured to be involved in the performance.
Meanwhile the American national anthem is set to be performed by country singer Eric Church and R&B artist Jazmine Sullivan.
How to Watch?
Super Bowl LV is set to kick off at 6:30pm in Tampa, which means a late 11:30pm start in the UK.
The game will be broadcast on BBC One in the UK and CBS in the US.
Overall, this year’s Super Bowl is a battle between two captivating offenses and looks like a game well worth watching.