Tampa Bay Buccaneers Stomp Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 in Super Bowl LV


Wikimedia Commons

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers took home their second Super Bowl title in franchise history with a 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. In addition, they became the first team in NFL history to make and win a Super Bowl in their home stadium. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The 2020 National Football League (NFL) season came to a conclusion on Sunday, Feb. 7, as the defending Super Bowl winners, the Kansas City Chiefs, looked to repeat as title winners as they clashed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With the majority of the hype surrounding the two quarterbacks in this contest, the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and the Buccaneers’ Tom Brady, many fans expected a shootout, as these signal-callers commanded two of the most prolific offenses in the league. However, it was a one-sided affair for the majority of the evening, as the Buccaneers stifled the Chiefs’ dynamic offense and notched a 31-9 victory in their home city.

En route to Tampa Bay’s second Super Bowl victory, Brady solidified his status as the greatest football player of all time, earning his seventh ring and fifth Super Bowl Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. The veteran had spent his entire 20-year career with the New England Patriots before joining the Buccaneers this past offseason and delivered a title to Tampa Bay in his first year with his new team. He outdueled one of the brightest young talents in the NFL in Patrick Mahomes, tossing three touchdown passes and no interceptions compared to the latter’s two interceptions and zero scores. Tampa Bay running back Leonard Fournette capped off a stellar postseason by running for 89 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries, while tight end Rob Gronkowski had a pair of touchdown receptions on six catches. 

For the Chiefs, Mahomes was not provided with much help, as his receivers dropped passes time and time again while his offensive line was constantly overwhelmed by Tampa Bay’s fierce defensive front, causing the usually-explosive Kansas City offense to sputter for the entire game. The Buccaneers’ defense made life miserable for Mahomes, as the star quarterback had to improvise for the majority of the contest due to plays breaking down over and over again.

To start the match, both teams traded punts before the Chiefs drew first blood with a field goal to put the defending champs up 3-0. However, the Buccaneer offense drove down the field efficiently and easily on their next possession, and an eight-play drive was capped off by an eight-yard Gronkowski touchdown reception, putting the Buccaneers up 7-3.

The stout Buccaneer defense forced a Kansas City punt to start the second quarter, and Tampa Bay was able to drive all the way down to the Chiefs’ one-yard line shortly after; however, the Chiefs’ defense made a big goal-line stand and turned away the Buccaneers on the doorstep. Despite the slight momentum change, Kansas City once again couldn’t capitalize, giving the Buccaneers the ball back after a punt; from there, the Tampa Bay offense was able to get more points on the board by way of Gronkowski’s second touchdown catch to put themselves up 14-3 after a Kansas City offsides penalty took away what would have been a Tampa Bay field goal. The Chiefs countered with a ten-play drive that resulted in a field goal to cut their deficit to 14-6, but thanks to a few costly defensive pass interference penalties against Kansas City on the next possession, Brady found wide receiver Antonio Brown for a one-yard touchdown pass as the half came to a close. Both teams headed into the locker room with the Buccaneers up 21-6.

The Chiefs got the ball to start the second half, but could only muster up a field goal to only trim the Buccaneers’ lead to 21-9. On Tampa Bay’s first possession of the second half, they were able to extend their lead even further thanks to a Fournette 27-yard touchdown run, making the score 28-9. With the Chiefs in desperation mode, it was touchdown or bust in order to stay in the game. However, Tampa Bay rookie safety Antoine Winfield Jr. intercepted a pass intended for wide receiver Tyreek Hill to strengthen their advantage even further. The interception led to a Tampa Bay field goal, with Ryan Succop converting from 52 yards out to make the score 31-9, which would how it would end up being for the remainder of the contest.

The final chapter of the game would be pretty uneventful; the Chiefs turned it over on downs to start the frame before Tampa Bay punted, and the same sequence of events would happen again before Mahomes threw his second interception of the game, this time to linebacker Devin White at the goal line, to put an exclamation point on the Buccaneers’ victory. After three Brady kneels, Tampa Bay could finally start celebrating their first Super Bowl win since 2002.

With many players on expiring contracts and the Buccaneers’ main core sticking around for another year, Tampa Bay will be a popular favorite to repeat as champions next year. However, it’s fitting that a bizarre NFL season ends with a familiar sight – Brady, this time as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, hoisting the Lombardi trophy once again.