Rob Gronkowski #87 and Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rejoice after defeating the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs in Tremendous Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium on February 07, 2021 in Tampa, Florida.
Mike Ehrmann | Getty Photos
Tom Brady made his seventh Tremendous Bowl title look acquainted — regardless of transferring south to a brand new staff and convention throughout a pandemic.
Brady threw two landing passes to previous pal Rob Gronkowski and one to good pal Antonio Brown, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat Patrick Mahomes and Kansas Metropolis 31-9 on their dwelling subject 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 changing into the primary staff to play the massive sport at dwelling, capping an uncommon and difficult season performed by way of the novel coronavirus. They gained three street video games as a wild-card staff 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 changing 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 practically 1 million Covid-19 exams for gamers and staff personnel.
Because of the virus, solely 25,000 mask-wearing followers have been allowed in, together with roughly 7,500 vaccinated well being care staff who got free tickets by the NFL. About 30,000 cardboard cutouts made the stadium look full.
A streaker sporting 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 obtained that far in opposition to Tampa’s ferocious protection.
Bruce Arians turned the oldest coach at age 68 to win the Tremendous Bowl. His mother, 95-year-old Kay Arians, witnessed it in particular person. 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 completed a career-first when he tossed an 8-yard TD move 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 complete 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 enjoying at dwelling, the Buccaneers weren’t allowed to fireside the cannons from their famed pirate ship after touchdowns and massive performs. They did it quickly after the clock expired as pink, 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 move to offensive lineman Joe Haeg was knocked out of his palms by Anthony Hitchens ultimately 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 achieve any momentum off the cease. As a substitute, they made one pricey mistake after one other.
First, All-Professional tight finish Travis Kelce dropped a move that may’ve been a giant achieve 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 a substitute 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 subject purpose 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 in opposition to 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 subject purpose 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 move interference penalties. One in opposition to Mathieu ultimately zone arrange Brady’s TD move to Brown for a 21-6 halftime lead.
It was Brady who satisfied his new staff 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 move for entering 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 subject purpose elevated the result in 31-9.
Final yr, Mahomes rallied the Chiefs from a 10-point deficit within the fourth quarter in opposition to San Francisco and earned MVP honors in main Kansas Metropolis to its first NFL championship in a half-century. However Tampa’s move rush gave him no probability on this one.
Shaq Barrett had certainly one 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 attached with Gronkowski for a 21-6 lead that followers chanted: “Let’s Go Bucs!” They have 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 in opposition to 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 essentially the most lopsided rating till this one.