Super Bowl 55 was the absolute WORM. The Worst of Recent Memory!
We are here, we are finally here. In a year of never-before-seen uncertainties, the NFL has made it to its spectacular summit, Super Bowl 55.
2020 was the year that COVID-19 struck the world and put everything on pause, stopping all aspects of culture and life. In the scheme of things, one of the smaller things to be greatly hindered by this virus has been sport at all levels, one of these sports being the NFL.
There were many times that it looked like the NFL was not going to have a season. It seemed impossible at the start of the season that the NFL would reach this point, but we are finally here. Now we look ahead to what should be a spectacular game as the Kansas City Chiefs play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa, Florida.
I will start this preview by looking at the home team in the Bucs. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the great and first-ever opportunity of being a home team in the Super Bowl, something that you will undoubtedly hear 100 times on game day and one million times leading up to the game.
The Bucs started this journey towards Super Bowl 55 when they decided to move on from their former number one pick Jameis Winston at the quarterback position. There were many options they could have gone with, whether that was drafting a young quarterback or a veteran quarterback in free agency.
But in a move that is proving to have been more of a success than people in the Bucs’ organisation could have dreamed, they decided to go and get the GOAT, and the most successful quarterback the world has ever seen, Tom Brady.
Brady coming to the Bucs had the NFL world buzzing about the Bucs for the first time in over a decade. In fact only Jon Gruden’s Bucs gathered this much media attention and that was a Super Bowl-winning team.
The season started with a much anticipated game against division rivals the New Orleans Saints. The Bucs showed flashes of greatness but were overwhelmed by the proven Saints and showed that there was a lot of work to be done before the Bucs could just be crowned as the next great Tom Brady team.
Showing signs of greatness but never fully putting it together was an overall snapshot of the first three quarters of the season for the Bucs. One week they would look like a misfiring, mismanaged team like their losses against the Bears and Saints, and then they would be able to put together wins against the Packers that showed their potential ability.
The season for the Bucs changed when they happened to play their upcoming Super Bowl opponents, the Kansas City Chiefs. After trailing 24-0 in an early onslaught by Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill, the Bucs needed to find a spark, not just for this game’s sake, but for their season. The Bucs put up a valiant effort but in the end they lost 27-24.
Now at a 7-5 record with four games to go, the Bucs needed to win out. With most of the league putting the Bucs aside and taking them out of consideration for the Super Bowl, former quarterback and exciting commentator Tony Romo made a bold prediction that the match-up between the Chiefs and Bucs would indeed be the Super Bowl match-up.
That loss sparked the Bucs. The Bucs went on to win their next four games to finish with a record of 11-5, and the fifth seed in the NFC. They turned in a wild card run for the ages, beating the terrifying pass rush of Washington in Washington, then finally getting their revenge on their division rivals, the Saints, in New Orleans.
Then in the biggest challenge of them all, they upset the most likely MVP Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in the frozen tundra in Green Bay, Wisconsin to book their ticket to the Super Bowl.
The Chiefs’ road to this game proved a lot different. Their journey to this Super Bowl started when the final whistle of Super Bowl 54 was blown, when they came back to beat the 49ers 31-20.
It was a game that will live in Kansas City folklore forever. The game broke their 50-year Super Bowl-winning draught. The Chiefs were back atop the NFL mountain, and the world was going to know.
The Chiefs over the off-season would keep that Super Bowl-winning team together, proving a very expensive task as their superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes was given a ten-year, US$504 (A$662) million contract, the biggest in the sport’s history.
This contract reflected the faith shown in their young superstar, and with good reason. In two years as a starter Mahomes boasts the accolades of a 15-year veteran: Super Bowl champion and MVP, regular-season MVP, 50 touchdown passes in a season, one playoff loss, one all pro.
Ever since he was drafted by the Chiefs, the organisation knew they had found themselves their franchise quarterback. They might have not known that they had drafted the next face of the NFL.
The Chiefs started the season as Super Bowl favourites and showed everyone why exactly throughout the season, boasting a league-best 14-2 record and a spectacular team that could win in numerous ways. The Chiefs beat playoff teams such as the Bucs, Saints, Bills and the Ravens.
Come playoff time it seemed that it was inevitable the Chiefs would make it back to the Super Bowl, boasting the one seed, meaning they never had to leave Arrowhead on their way to the Super Bowl. But a shock concussion to quarterback Patrick Mahomes nearly upset their shot at back-to-back titles.
The Browns nearly pulled off the comeback against the Chiefs, but veteran back-up quarterback Chad Henne made countless clutch plays to keep the ball in the Chiefs’ hands, and therefore secure the win 22-17.
The AFC championship game was a lot smoother as a fully fit Patrick Mahomes, accompanied by his two superstar weapons – wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce – put together a nearly unstoppable offensive display against the rising Buffalo Bills. They secured a place in the Super Bowl with a 38-24 win.
The Chiefs’ win against the Bills set up a dream Super Bowl match-up. Countless stories build what should be an amazing spectacle of the sport – stories like the two head coaches in this match-up, Bruce Arians of the Bucs and Andy Reid of the Chiefs.
Two of the greatest tight ends of all time are doing battle in Travis Kelce versus Rob Gronkowski. The Chiefs’ three-headed monster of receivers in Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman are against the Bucs’ Mike Evans, Antonio Brown and Chris Godwin.
But the most box-office of all the match-ups and stories is Tom Brady versus Patrick Mahomes.
A quarterback match-up in the Super Bowl unlike any other, it is the GOAT of the NFL in Brady versus maybe the most talented quarterback to ever play in Mahomes.
Tom Brady is chasing his record seventh Super Bowl ring. Mahomes is chasing a second Super Bowl ring at just 25. The 43-year-old man versus the 25-year-old man, the GOAT versus the best. This quarterback match-up has everything a fan could want from this game.
Brady is looking to not only add to his GOAT status, but also put an insurmountable barrier between himself and Mahomes, as with a win Brady would be 2-0 against Mahomes in the playoffs.
Mahomes has one playoff loss to date – that, of course, was to the man who will play the opposing quarterback to him this Super Bowl. It almost feels like it was destined for these two to meet in a Super Bowl.
This is the closest thing you’ll ever get to Michael Jordan versus LeBron James or Muhammad Ali versus Mike Tyson, so soak it all in and enjoy what should be a spectacular game.