Rob Gronkowski #87 and Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have fun after defeating the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs in Tremendous Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium on February 07, 2021 in Tampa, Florida.
Mike Ehrmann | Getty Photographs
Tom Brady made his seventh Tremendous Bowl title look acquainted — regardless of shifting south to a brand new group and convention throughout a pandemic.
Brady threw two landing passes to outdated buddy Rob Gronkowski and one to good pal Antonio Brown, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat Patrick Mahomes and Kansas Metropolis 31-9 on their residence discipline in Tremendous Bowl 55 on Sunday.
The GOAT earned his fifth Tremendous Bowl MVP award and prolonged his Tremendous Bowl titles’ report in his tenth look, his first with out Patriots coach Invoice Belichick. The 43-year-old Brady broke his personal mark for oldest participant to win a Tremendous Bowl and joins Corridor of Famer Peyton Manning as the one quarterbacks to win one with a number of franchises.
The Buccaneers (15-5) gained their second NFL title and first in 18 years whereas turning into the primary group to play the large sport at residence, capping an uncommon and difficult season performed by means of the novel coronavirus. They gained three highway video games as a wild-card group to succeed in the Tremendous Bowl, and joined the NHL’s Lightning as a 2020 season champion. The Rays additionally went to the World Collection however misplaced to the Dodgers.
Tampa’s victory prevented Mahomes and the Chiefs (16-3) from turning into the primary repeat champions since Brady’s Patriots did it in 2003-04.
The NFL accomplished its 269-game season on time with none cancellations, a outstanding accomplishment that required almost 1 million Covid-19 exams for gamers and group personnel.
Because of the virus, solely 25,000 mask-wearing followers had been allowed in, together with roughly 7,500 vaccinated well being care employees who got free tickets by the NFL. About 30,000 cardboard cutouts made the stadium look full.
A streaker carrying a hot-pink onesie eluded safety and slid into the tip zone with 5:03 left within the sport. Mahomes and Kansas Metropolis’s high-powered offense by no means acquired that far towards Tampa’s ferocious protection.
Bruce Arians grew to become the oldest coach at age 68 to win the Tremendous Bowl. His mother, 95-year-old Kay Arians, witnessed it in individual. Brady, Gronk and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles helped Arians get that Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Bowles devised a masterful plan to frustrate Mahomes and shut down the Chiefs, the exact opposite of Kansas Metropolis’s 27-24 win in Tampa in Week 12, when the Chiefs jumped to a 17-0 lead within the first quarter. Tyreek Hill had 269 yards receiving and three TDs in that one. He was held to 73 yards on seven catches.
After the Chiefs took a 3-0 early lead, it was all Brady and the Bucs.
Brady achieved a career-first when he tossed an 8-yard TD cross to Rob Gronkowksi to present the Buccaneers a 7-3 lead with 37 seconds left within the first quarter. Brady’s 9 Tremendous Bowl groups in New England produced simply three factors whole within the first quarter. Gronkowski, who got here out of retirement to play together with his buddy, caught his thirteenth and 14th postseason TDs from Brady. That broke the report they shared with Jerry Rice and Joe Montana, who mixed for 12.
Regardless of taking part in at residence, the Buccaneers weren’t allowed to fireplace the cannons from their famed pirate ship after touchdowns and large performs. They did it quickly after the clock expired as purple, white and black confetti fell onto the sphere.
Followers nonetheless loved the thud of Gronk’s thunderous spike after his first rating.
Tampa missed a possibility to increase the lead when Brady’s 2-yard cross to offensive lineman Joe Haeg was knocked out of his palms by Anthony Hitchens in the long run zone. Ronald Jones was stopped quick on consecutive carries as Arians caught to his “No danger it, no biscuit” philosophy and went on fourth down.
However the Chiefs did not acquire any momentum off the cease. As an alternative, they made one pricey mistake after one other.
First, All-Professional tight finish Travis Kelce dropped a cross that may’ve been a giant acquire on third down. Then punter Tommy Townsend shanked a 29-yarder after a penalty pressured him to kick once more. The Bucs began at Kansas Metropolis’s 38 as an alternative of their 27.
A holding name on Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward negated an interception by All-Professional security Tyrann Mathieu. Kansas Metropolis’s protection held however an offside penalty throughout Ryan Succop’s profitable discipline objective gave the Buccaneers a primary down. Sarah Thomas, the primary girl official in a Tremendous Bowl, threw that flag.
Brady wanted one play, firing a strike to Gronkowski for a 17-yard TD and a 14-3 lead. Gronk hesitated earlier than spiking the ball, ready to ensure the flag on the play was once more towards the Chiefs.
Kansas Metropolis Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes in motion, Tremendous Bowl, Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida, February 7, 2021.
Shannon Stapleton | Reuters
Mahomes drove the offense for a 34-yard discipline objective by Harrison Butker that lower it to 14-6, however Kansas Metropolis’s protection fell aside within the last minute of the primary half — permitting 42 yards on two cross interference penalties. One towards Mathieu in the long run zone arrange Brady’s TD cross to Brown for a 21-6 halftime lead.
It was Brady who satisfied his new group to present Brown an opportunity after the troubled former All-Professional got here off suspension. His TD toss to Brown was his fiftieth of the season, together with 10 within the postseason.
Mathieu took an unsportsmanlike penalty after the TD cross for moving into it with Brady as he ran to the sideline.
Leonard Fournette, like Brown an in-season addition, ran 27 yards untouched for a landing within the third quarter, extending Tampa’s result in 28-9. Arians pumped his fist after that rating and pointed towards offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, who made the decision.
Succop’s 52-yard discipline objective elevated the result in 31-9.
Final yr, Mahomes rallied the Chiefs from a 10-point deficit within the fourth quarter towards San Francisco and earned MVP honors in main Kansas Metropolis to its first NFL championship in a half-century. However Tampa’s cross rush gave him no likelihood on this one.
Shaq Barrett had one in every of three sacks on Mahomes, who spent many of the sport making an attempt to flee Jason Pierre-Paul, William Gholston and a relentless group.
Brady was 6-3 in Tremendous Bowls throughout 20 seasons in New England earlier than he signed a $50 million, two-year contract with Tampa in March. The Buccaneers hadn’t reached the playoffs since 2007 and hadn’t gained a postseason sport since Jon Gruden led Tampa over Oakland in Tremendous Bowl 37.
Regardless of the home-field benefit, it wasn’t till Brady connected with Gronkowski for a 21-6 lead that followers chanted: “Let’s Go Bucs!” They had been roaring within the fourth quarter.
There have been loads of red-clad Chiefs followers doing the tomahawk chop for a part of the primary half till the Bucs made it a rout.
Brady avenged his loss towards Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who held the identical place for the Giants when New York stifled the Patriots within the 2008 Tremendous Bowl, stopping New England from an ideal season.
Brady’s New England groups gained their titles by a mixed 30 factors, a mean margin of 5 per victory. A 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams two years in the past had been probably the most lopsided rating till this one.