On Tuesday, March 17th of last year, the sports world and Buccaneers fans received their first jolt of sports hysteria. Adam Schefter reported that Thomas Edwards Patrick Brady Jr. was signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Buccaneers fan rejoiced while Patriots fans and the rest of the NFC South vomited before ultimately changing course to an indifferent attitude. Which eventually turned into denial.
“Brady is a system Quarterback”
“He’ll be nothing in Tampa without Belichek”
11 regular-season wins, 3 playoff road victories, and 47 TD’s/5,437 passing yards/15 INT’s later the Buccaneers are on their way to their 2nd Super Bowl appearance in Franchise history.
Now that the fawning over acquiring the G.O.A.T is over, we can move forward to what matters most and why he was brought to Tampa. For the first time in league history, the Buccaneers are playing in the Super Bowl in their home stadium. Their opponent, the defending Champion Kansas City Chiefs. Coincidentally were the last team to defeat the Buccaneers back in week 12 of the regular season.
Let’s take a quick look at how that game played out.
Week 12: Buccaneers lose to Chiefs 24-21
- Carlton Davis has a game to forget. Tyreek Hill has a 13 catch, 273 yards, 3 Touchdowns game against him. Most of that in the first half.
- By extension, Patrick Mahomes also has a monster game throwing for 473 yards and 3 touchdowns with no interceptions.
- No real run game from the Chiefs though as the cumulative total from Bell and Edwards-Helaire netted 65 yards rushing.
- Rob Gronkowski erupts with a 6 for 106 yards.
- Tampa Bay wins the battles upfront, getting to Mahomes with 2 Sacks and 3 Tackles for Loss.
The close score doesn’t necessarily tell the entire story, per usual. The Chiefs had this game in control from minute one.
After an opening drive for 84 yards that resulted in a field goal, the Chiefs never gave the lead back. The first half started to look like it was going to be a blow out with the Chiefs going to the locker room leading 20-7. But in a weird, twisted turn of fate, the Buccaneers’ Defense who have notoriously been know to let the 2nd half be their Achilles Heel has now made it their strength.
Buccaneers Defensive Scoring allowed by Quarter
- 1st Quarter: 25th with 5.6 points per game allowed
- 2nd Quarter: 17th with 7.4 points per game allowed
- 3rd Quarter: 20th with 5.6 points per game allowed
- 4th Quarter: 1st with 3.7 points per game allowed
In a game where the Defense let the Chiefs score at will in the first half, they completely shut them down in the 4th quarter allowing zero points. If the Buccaneers hope to have a chance this Sunday, they will need that 4th quarter energy all game.
Good News, Bad News
Buccaneers received good news just in time for the NFC Championship with the return of Vita Vea. Who by all accounts appears to be 100% healthy. It’s important to note that he was not available in the first matchup against the Chiefs.
Some bad news that popped up this week was Lavonte David is nursing a hamstring injury, though it’s reported as not serious. He should be good to go.
What To Expect
At first glance, this appears to be the makings of a shoot out. Tampa Bay’s offense is currently ranked 2nd best with 30.7 points per game behind only Green Bay. Not too far behind are the Chiefs with 29.6 which is the 5th best in the league.
It has yet to impact his throwing ability, but Mahomes is still dealing with a toe injury. When the Chiefs are potentially missing both starting Tackles and facing a fierce pass rush it’s a less ideal situation for the Chiefs offense to be in. The Buccaneers front seven must be aggressive and take advantage here.
We can all but guarantee that Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce will have an impact on the game in some fashion. The key will be to limit the level of impact. At least way better than how the first matchup went.
Finally, we can look at two of the most seasoned Coaches in the league. If there was any Head Coach who rivaled Coach Arians as far as aggressiveness is concerned, it’s Andy Reid. Though it appears easy to feel confident when you have Brady or Mahomes under center, they’re unafraid to go for the jugular nonetheless.
Enjoy Buccaneers and Chiefs fans alike. This might be the most “Risk It for the Biscuit” Super Bowl of all time.