By Saransh Sharma, Nikhil Pradeep, Pranav Thiriveedhi, Rohan Krishnan, & Anish Dhondi
Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes. A legend of the game vs. the biggest future phenom. The GOAT vs. The Baby GOAT. This matchup is the highlight of Super Bowl LV and one that we are going to remember for decades as one of the best quarterback matchups ever in a Super Bowl. Tampa Bay will be making history before the Super Bowl even kicks off, with Tom Brady going to his 10th Super Bowl, trying to capture his 7th win, and the Buccaneers being the first team ever to host the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, the defending champion Chiefs look even better than they did last year, as they took care of business all season long and did so in the playoffs as well, with and without Patrick Mahomes. Here are our predictions for Super Bowl LV:
Super Bowl LV: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
When Tom Brady went to Tampa Bay this past offseason, this Buccaneer offense looked great and had finally found the perfect quarterback to lead it, but I would not have expected them to be in the Super Bowl in Brady’s first season with the team. Then again, the mistake I made was doubting Tom and his ability to get to a Super Bowl. Brady has yet to play his usual ‘playoff Brady’ football, but I would expect him to bring it in the Super Bowl. On the other side, we have the defending champion Chiefs coming into the home of the Buccaneers for the Super Bowl with more confidence than ever. They sport a better run game than last season, a better defense, and somehow even more creativity thanks to Head Coach Andy Reid. The last time these teams met was in Week 12 when the Chiefs won 27-24 in Tampa, thanks to 462 passing yards & 3 TDs from Mahomes, 269 of those which went to Tyreek Hill, who will once again be a nightmare for the Buccaneer defense. I expect Hill to eclipse the 150-yard mark for receiving, and I also expect Travis Kelce to eclipse 100 yards. The Chiefs used more of a deep-passing game to exploit the safeties of the Buccaneers and have them matched up against Hill, but expect this time for Hill to be just as involved, but in more of a quick-passing game in order to keep Tampa Bay’s from-7 honest.
Brady himself put up 385 yards & 3 TDs of his own, but his 2 INTs led to a 20-0 deficit and later a 27-10 deficit, and the Chiefs’ late miscues made the close scoreline look all too misleading. Brady will need to be much sharper and cut down the turnovers against Kansas City because unlike Green Bay, Kansas City’s playcalling will not be passive. The Buccaneers’ key to victory will be to milk the clock with a solid run game, and also to challenge the Chiefs’ linebackers more in the passing game, as a huge reason for their Week 12 loss to Kansas City was due to not mixing up the passing play-calling.
Expect a ton of points on both sides, expect some of the best we have seen from Mahomes and Brady, and expect the Buccaneers secondary to have no answer for Tyreek Hill yet again. The Chiefs will hoist the Lombardi once again.
Final Score: 38-33, Chiefs
Super Bowl MVP: Tyreek Hill
It is really hard to bet against Brady, no matter what team, no matter what circumstance, no matter what path to the Super Bowl he had to take. The Bucs earlier in the year looked written off, and many stated that the growing pains of Brady and the completely new Bucs roster were going to take at least a year to shake off. But, as is usually the theme with Brady, all critics were swiftly shut up, and the Bucs stormed their way back into contention during the second half of the season. Many had thought the presumed MVP Aaron Rodgers would take his red-hot Packers to the championship game, but somehow, as we have seen time and time again, Brady pulled his magic and vaulted his team ahead. Without any doubt, he is quite literally the greatest to play the game, and the fact that he did it this year in a completely new environment with minimal amounts of practice and preparation further cements his legacy.
But this Chiefs team he is matched up against is SCARY. Patrick Mahomes seems to be the next in line to Brady’s throne and is storming his way there. Keep in mind, this team lost only 2 games in the regular season, and one of those losses was during a meaningless game against the Chargers in which most of their starters didn’t play. This team in many ways compares directly to the offensive firepower that the Bucs have, but have nearly twice the chemistry. Pieces like Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and Tyrann Mathieu have only gotten better since last year and having the new addition of Le’Veon Bell only propels their stock even higher. And if there was still any doubt, this team has already proven that they can handle the bright lights, having won the Super Bowl last year. In my mind, it is a bad decision to bet against such a well-orchestrated team like the Chiefs, and although there is always a chance when you have Brady on your team, there are still some crucial short-comings on the Bucs team that will prove costly against such powerful opposition. Thus I am leaning towards the Chiefs to win Super Bowl LV.
Final Score: 38-31, Chiefs
Super Bowl MVP: Patrick Mahomes
Tom Brady, in his fight against father time, has almost always been the underdog in every Super Bowl (10 appearances including 2021) he has played. With the New England Patriots, he won 6 out of the 9. But even after winning six rings, people called him a part of Bill Belichick’s system. So what did he do? He dropped everything and moved to Tampa Bay, FL, where he is doing it all over again with his new customized team and game plan, and guess what? He is in the Super Bowl again! Regardless of the roster around him (offense or defense), Tom Brady has always been able to pull off the win, marking his presence as the greatest to ever play, but this time, he has the best offense he has ever played with. With weapons like Mike Evans and Chris Godwin and superstar talents in his running back core, the offense should have no problem moving the ball.
But, do not get me wrong, the Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes are pretty damn good. With the best record in the regular season and two strong postseason wins against the Browns and Bills, the Chiefs are looking like the team to beat. The game will be high scoring, whether it is a bomb to Tyreek Hill or a sensational throw to Mike Evans, but what we do know for sure is that this will be a fun Super Bowl for the ages. Tom Brady will get his 7th ring on Sunday, but it will be a hard-earned one.
Final Score: 31-27, Buccaneers
Super Bowl MVP: Tom Brady
The last two quarterbacks to win the Super Bowl will face off in what will be a matchup for the ages. This has been a season unlike any other before it and the NFL has done a fantastic job navigating through this horrific pandemic. This Sunday will be a fitting finale for the most unique season in NFL history. The Buccaneers spent most of the season flying under the radar and the consensus was that they would be behind the New Orleans Saints. However, they shocked the NFC and the rest of the league, defeating the number 2 seeded Saints and the number 1 seeded Packers on the road. We should have known: never doubt the GOAT Tom Brady. Brady has injected life into a stagnating franchise and now the Buccaneers will be the first team ever to play in their home stadium in a Super Bowl. Tampa Bay’s defense, led by star LB Devin White, Jason Pierre-Paul, and Shaquil Barrett, has played a huge part in their Super Bowl run too, becoming a turnover machine and taking things to the next level at just the right time. This elite defense has 7 sacks and forced 7 takeaways in their three playoff games. They will be facing the biggest test of their season yet against a blazing and electrifying Kansas City offense who shredded the Bills defense en route to their 2nd Super Bowl appearance in a row. This Bucs defense also gave up Kansas City’s biggest offensive day of the season back in Week 12, as Mahomes and Co. racked up 543 yards in the Chiefs win. Travis Kelce is having a record-setting season for a tight end and has become one of the most dangerous weapons in the entire league. He is just one of several high-flying threats in the Chiefs league-leading offense as it includes speedster Tyreek Hill and superstar Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes dealt with multiple injuries and still managed to put up 300+ yards and 3 TDs against the Bills. He will be well-rested going into this matchup. Kansas City was the better team when these two teams met earlier in the regular season, and while the Buccaneers have gotten a lot better, so have the Chiefs. Despite Tampa Bay having home-field advantage for the first time in Super Bowl history, I got the Kansas City Chiefs going back-to-back with Mahomes winning the Super Bowl MVP.
Final Score: 35-24, Chiefs
Super Bowl MVP: Patrick Mahomes
When looking at these two teams, it is clear that the team that has the upper hand on paper is the Chiefs. However, The Bucs are led by the GOAT Tom Brady, and if history has taught us, you can never count Brady out. The Chiefs have the so-called ‘next GOAT’ themselves in Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes is the next biggest thing at quarterback as he can throw no-look dimes and amaze with his strong arm. As for his advantage over Tom Brady right, it comes in the QB running ability, which will help keep drives alive and keep Brady off the field. As for the rest of the team, the Chiefs just look too strong with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. The Bucs have Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, but the Chiefs have the advantage in terms of offensive weapons. Therefore, I will have to go with the Chiefs winning back-to-back Super Bowls, with Mahomes as the Super Bowl MVP. That being said, as a Falcons fan myself, I know that it is never a good idea to bet against Brady.
Final Score: 34-31, Chiefs
Super Bowl MVP: Patrick Mahomes