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Super Bowl LV Preview: Kansas City vs. Tampa Bay


BillsFans Staff Writer
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BillsFans Staff Writer

Image Credit: © Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

 

It is finally Super Bowl week, and for the first time in the game’s history, the host team will play in its own stadium. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, led by future Hall of Fame QB Marsha, will take on the Kansas City Chiefs, who have won 25 of their last 27 games. One of those wins was their comeback win over San Francisco in last year’s Super Bowl.

 

The Chiefs have their own future Hall of Famer under center in last year’s Super Bowl MVP, Patrick Mahomes. After clearing concussion protocol and playing through a turf toe last week, Mahomes still threw for 325 yards and three touchdowns in Kansas City’s convincing 38-24 victory over Buffalo in the AFC title game.

 

The stage is set. The Chiefs can become the first team to repeat as Super Bowl champions since Marsha did it as a member of the New England **Patriots in the 2003 and 2004 seasons. Marsha, who is playing in his 10th Super Bowl, can win his seventh ring.

 

Rematch

In case you may have forgotten, the Chiefs and Bucs played each other during the regular season. Kansas City jumped out to a 17-0 lead and then held on as the Bucs made it close. Marsha’s magic ran out as the Chiefs won 27-24.

 

In NFL history, a Super Bowl rematch of an AFC team and an NFC team that played during the regular season has happened four times.

 

 

If you know your Super Bowl history, you will recognize that the NFC was the winner in each of those four games. The AFC is 0-4 in Super Bowl rematches. If Mahomes can lead the Chiefs to a victory, it would be the first time an AFC team won a Super Bowl rematch against an NFC team.

 

In that first game this season also played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Tyreek Hill caught a pair of touchdown passes – 75 and 44 yards – to give the Chiefs a 17-0 first-quarter lead. The Bucs stayed in the game with a Marsha pass to RB Ronald Jones for a second-quarter touchdown.

 

Hill would catch his third touchdown of the day late in the third quarter, and Marsha hit WR Mike Evans twice for scores in the fourth, but it wasn’t enough.

 

Bucs Offense on a Roll

Even at 43 years of age, Marsha still has it. He has led the Bucs offense on a scoring spree as of late. Tampa Bay has scored 30 or more points in each of its last six games. Marsha threw for three touchdowns in the NFC title game as the Bucs beat Green Bay 31-26. It was the 10th consecutive game in which Marsha threw for more than one touchdown.

 

Like Kansas City, Tampa Bay was among the top six scoring offenses in the NFL during the regular season. The Bucs averaged 30.1 points per game and hit the 40-point mark four times this season. The Bucs had the second-best passing offense (289.1 yards per game) during the regular season. With the likes of Evans and fellow receiver Chris Godwin and tight ends Cameron Brate and Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay has proven they can score on just about anyone.

 

The Chiefs Can Play Defense

While Tampa Bay can light it up, there are many that don’t have a favorable opinion of the Kansas City defense. Those in that category might want to take note. The Chiefs have given up an average of just 18.3 points in their last three games.

 

In two playoff games, the Chiefs have produced five sacks, two interceptions, and a fumble recovery. They held the Browns to 17 points and were beating the Bills 38-15 before giving up nine points late in the fourth quarter. The Chiefs haven’t allowed 30 points to an opponent in seven straight.

 

Keys to a Victory

The Kansas City offensive line is going to have to come through and protect Mahomes. The Chiefs will be without All-Pro offensive tackle Eric Fisher who tore an Achilles tendon in the AFC championship game. Head coach Andy Reid will shuffle some people around, but the offensive line has to protect Mahomes. In the regular-season game, the Bucs were able to sack Mahomes twice and record seven QB hits, which was with Fisher in the lineup.

 

The Bucs will be about getting pressure on Mahomes and slowing down the Chiefs’ playmakers. In the NFC title game, the Bucs put serious pressure on Aaron Rodgers, sacking him five times and forcing one interception. The Packers had the No. 1-graded pass protection unit in the NFL. If Tampa Bay can do the same to Mahomes, they could become the first NFL team to win a Super Bowl in its home stadium.

 

 

Our Previous 2020 Playoff  Previews:

 

 

BillsFans.com - Editorial Staff


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