Wow. Simply put, wow. That was certainly not the Super Bowl I was expecting but one that I enjoyed. Complete and utter domination by the Buccaneers on both sides of the ball, holding the #1 offense without a TD all game, and handing Mahomes his first double digit loss in the NFL as the Buccaneers won 31-9.
Let's start with the Buccaneers, and more importantly the Buccaneers defense. The defense was STELLAR. Up front Shaq Barrett, Ndamakong Suh, Vita Vea and Jason Pierre-Paul harassed Patrick Mahomes and a weakened Chiefs OL all game. On 56 drop backs, Mahomes was pressured on 29 of them, the most in Super Bowl history. They also hit Mahomes 10 times and racked up 3 sacks. The linebackers; Devin White and Lavonte David were awesome. Combined they racked up 20 total tackles, 3 passes defended, 2 TFL and an INT. I haven't even got to the secondary yet, and boy did they improve against Tyreek Hill. Todd Bowles called a great game and had the secondary double Hill all game long and held him to just 7 catches for 73 yards. From the front 7 to the secondary, the defense was great, forcing 2 Mahomes interceptions, finishing this postseason with 9 turnovers, including interceptions off of Brees, Rodgers, and Mahomes.
Tom Brady and the offense did their thing scoring 31 points on a Spagnuolo coached defense. Brady was efficient, finishing 21-29 with 205 yards and 3 TDS, 2 to his favorite target Rob Gronkowski, and the 3rd to Antonio Brown, en route to his 5th SB MVP. Fournette and Jones did what I said they had to do, which was run the ball well as Fournette had the 4th and final Buccaneers TD as well as 89 yards, while Jones racked up 61 of his own. Gronk led the team in catches and yards finishing with 6 for 67 with his 2 TD receptions.
The Chiefs were really, really disappointing on both sides of the ball. The defense had too many penalties that set up the Buccaneers offense. Were they bad calls? Not all of them. Were the refs as bad as social media made them seem? No. The Chiefs secondary needs to get retaught in the art of playing coverage without grabbing a jersey or holding someone in place. Team as a whole finished with 11 penalties for 120 yards including 2 silly unsportsmanlike conduct fouls on Mathieu and Jones. Defensively besides the penalties they still weren't good. No answer for the run game. The highlight of the game defensively was stopping Ronald Jones on 3rd and 4th down from the 1.
Offensively they were without OT'S Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher, which was a big part of why Mahomes was as pressured as he was. Mahomes played his heart out but also made several questionable plays that we just don't typically see from him. They settled, 3 FGS means that they were close several times, as well as an interception at the goal line late in the game. They couldn't cash in which is something we weren't accustomed to seeing. Kelce still did his thing, having 10 catches for 133 yards. Mahomes was poor, 26-49 for 270 yards and 2 INT. The run game was there as well, having over 100 yards on 17 attempts. Had they not been down as much they would've tried to incorporate it more. The team also struggled heavily on 3rd downs, something that didn't happen as they were 3rd in 3rd down conversation %.
What an end to a great NFL season, and I cannot wait for the start of next season. Now the offseason starts, and the fun will truly begin, including the head coaching carousel, free agency, and the NFL Draft. Stay tuned for FA Predictions and Mock Drafts!