The wait is almost over. Super Bowl LV is just a matter of days away, and it’s set to be a tantalising match-up between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
To add a little bit more spice to the game, it’ll be the first time in Super Bowl history that one of the teams will play in their own stadium. That’s right, after 55 Super Bowls, which have been played at a whopping 25 different stadiums, the Bucs will be the first to play at their own venue, the Raymond James Stadium.
Since the beginning of the NFL season, the Chiefs have continuously been tipped in the bet exchange to reach the Super Bowl. However, for Tampa Bay it’s largely an underdog story.
The Bucs, whose sole Super Bowl appearance ended in victory in 2003, booked their place in the Wild Card round with a comfortable victory over the Lions in Detroit, and Bruce Arians’ men prevailed to the NFC Divisional Round with a victory over Washington, in the capital, where they then faced the tough task of the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
However, Tampa Bay once again upset the odds, beating the Saints in New Orleans. The Bucs lost twice to the Saints in the regular season, including a hefty 38-3 defeat on the road. However, Arians’ side ran out 30-20 winners over the NFC South champions.
The Bucs then went up against the Green Bay Packers in the Conference Championship, and they edged out Matt LaFleur’s team with a narrow 31-26 at Lambeau Field in Wisconsin.
Of course, the Chiefs pose a totally different threat. They will be heading to Tampa hoping to become the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls since the New England Patriots’ dual success in the early 2000s, and it’s going to be an incredibly tough task for the Bucs to stop Patrick Mahomes and co.
The Chiefs ended the regular season with an impressive record of 14-2, which included a narrow 27-24 victory over the Bucs, and the aforenoted quarterback Mahomes could cause serious issues for Tampa’s defence.
The 24-year-old missed the AFC divisional match against the Cleveland Browns due to concussion protocols, but he was back for the Championship game against the Buffalo Bills and he was in inspired form, throwing 325 yards and three touchdowns.
Of course, his counterpart, Bucs quarterback Tom Brady, isn’t going to go down without a fight. This will be the 43-year-old’s 10th Super Bowl, his first with Tampa, and he will undoubtedly be hoping to add a seventh ring to his collection.
There’s no doubt that Brady, who joined the Bucs from the Patriots before the start of this season, has been instrumental in getting Tampa to this stage. However, throughout the season he has been prone to errors and if the Chiefs can put him under enough pressure, then they should be able to keep him relatively quiet.
We think the match will play out like the regular season game between the two sides. It will be an incredibly close encounter, but the Chiefs will nick the victory towards the end of the fourth quarter.
However, the match taking place on the Bucs’ home turf could give them an edge, and the electrifying atmosphere that will ripple through the city in the build-up to the Super Bowl could play to their advantage, so we will just have to wait and see.
One thing’s for sure. Brady vs Mahomes is going to make Super Bowl LV one for the ages. It could be the changing of the guard. Brady passing the torch onto Mahomes. Roll on February 7th!