Super Bowl LV Preview
Super Bowl LV should not be called a Super Bowl, because the word “super” does not convey the epicness of this duel. This is a Mega Bowl. This is due to several reasons: it involves the two greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game – it involves two franchises with multiple Hall of Fame players – it involves many coaches who can change the dynamic of the upcoming game – and the very fact that it is being played in a stadium which is the home of one of the teams competing in it.
Firstly, the Hall of Fame players: Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes. Brady is the undisputed GOAT quarterback. Tom Brady seems to be outright unstoppable. Father time has yet to claim him. He is throwing balls with precision and beauty which seem to be reaching targets like Mike Evans and Antonio Brown. If he wins this game, he becomes synonymous with Babe Ruth and Wayne Gretzky as the greatest sports icons of all time.
On the other hand, we have Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes represents a new type of quarterback – if you look at how he plays, it’s almost like a freestyle artist. He’s not afraid to utilize his dangerous and effective weapon: the no-look pass where he outright does not look and nevertheless hits the target receiver. Usually for a touchdown, because of the Legion of Zoom and the offensive genius of Eric Bieniemy.
Both quarterbacks are very, very good, however, given recent statistics: I will pick Mahomes over Brady for sure. Mahomes has a better quarterback rating throughout the playoffs (118.5 compared to Brady’s 90.8), a far better completion rate (73.5% compared to Brady’s 55.0%) and finally, he’s beaten Brady before in the regular season – 27-24 on November 29th, 2020.
However, merely relying on the quarterback is not enough. We must also be talking about the coaches: for one Kansas City has Steve Spagnuolo as a defensive coordinator. He has been responsible for orchestrating the biggest upset of all time – which involved Tom Brady. That was when him, Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning ruined Tom Brady and the Patriot’s perfect season. He is most likely going to use a similar style to neutralize Tom Brady and ruin his attempt at winning a unprecedented seventh Super Bowl.
Others include the aforementioned Eric Bieniemy, who has constructed an offense so explosive, so utterly unstoppable that it requires it to not function perfectly for a defense to properly shut it down. Even then, that has only occurred twice and the probable third time (the Falcons) choked by missing a field goal. However, most of all is Andy Reid, who has really shed his choking label that he had with Philadelphia and has become a Kansas City sports legend – a man who, if he wins, might go down as one of the greatest coaches of all time.
On Tampa Bay’s side, there is Bruce Arians. Arians has had a lot of success as a coach – he is responsible for the Arizona Cardinals going to the 2015 NFC Championship Game, but after retiring and then unretiring, he now might win a Super Bowl. Helping him is defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, who has managed to bounce back after a mediocre stint as head coach of the Jets. Overall, they seem to be a solid bunch. Arians has essentially let Tom Brady be Tom Brady, and Brady has managed to will the Buccaneers to their second Super Bowl appearance.
However, the most stunning thing of all with Super Bowl LV is that it will be played at Raymond James Stadium. Normally, this would not be of importance, but Raymond James Stadium is in Tampa Bay and the Buccaneers play there. This is historic for one reason: 1. Until the Bucs won the NFC Championship Game, no team has ever made it to the Super Bowl when the Super Bowl was being hosted by the city. The 0-and-54 streak is over. Now, the Bucs might be able to win their second Super Bowl, and the first on their home turf, truly proving history.
Super Bowl LV airs on February 7th, 2021 on TSN and CTV at 4:00pm Calgary time.