Austin Schuster – 23 Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 in Super Bowl LV on Sunday night to win their second ever Vince Lombardi Trophy, and first since the 2002 season. Not much went right for the Chiefs during the game, as aside from an early 3-0 lead, the Bucs led throughout the rest of the game.

The Chiefs won the coin toss and deferred to the second half, meaning that Tampa Bay would get the ball first. After Harrison Butker’s 68-yard opening kickoff, the Bucs went three-and-out to start the game. After the Chiefs took the ball, quarterback Patrick Mahomes was able to scramble for a first down, but the Chiefs’ first drive also ended in a punt. Tampa Bay’s next drive also ended in a punt, and the Chiefs were able to get on the board first on the next drive, as Butker drilled a 49-yard field goal to make it 3-0 Chiefs.

It was not long before things went awry, as the next drive ended in an 8-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski to give the Bucs their first lead at 7-3. After another scoreless K.C. drive, Tampa drove all the way down to the Chiefs’ one-yard line, the defense held up, forcing a turnover on downs after a 4th and goal run by Ronald Jones was stopped just short of the goalline. However, the Chiefs’ next drive also ended in a punt. It proved costly, as Brady connected with Gronkowski again, this time for 17 yards, to give Tampa Bay a 14-3 lead. The Chiefs were able to then temporarily lessen the bleeding, as a drive that included a 10-yard run by Mahomes ended in a 34 yard field goal from Butker to cut Tampa’s lead to 14-6. However, Brady got the ball back with 55 seconds left in the half, and aided by a few questionable flags on the Chiefs, marched the Bucs down the field and found Antonio Brown for a 1-yard score to make it 21-6 Tampa Bay, which would be the halftime score.

The Chiefs took the ball first in the second half, and started off the half nicely, as running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire broke off a 26-yard run to start the half on first down. However, this drive would end in merely a field goal, as Butker drilled another, this time from 52 yards, to make it 21-9 Bucs. These would be the last scores of the night for Kansas City, as all 9 points came from the leg of Butker. Tampa wasted no time scoring again, as Leonard Fournette ran into the endzone for a 27-yard touchdown run. The Bucs now led 28-9. The game then began to slip away from the Chiefs, as the only scoring the rest of the night would be a 52-yard field goal from Buccaneers kicker, and former Chief, Ryan Succop, to give the Bucs a 31-9 lead. The teams then exchanged drives twice, with the second Chiefs drive ending in an interception by Devin

White to seal the game, and Brady was able to kneel out the rest of the game, and the Buccaneers were champions.

Brady was named Most Valuable Player of the game, after completing 21 of 29 passes for 201 yards and 3 touchdowns, two to Gronkowski, as he won his seventh Super Bowl title a year after leaving the New England Patriots for Tampa Bay. Fournette finished with 16 rushes for 89 yards and a touchdown, while Gronkowski caught 6 passes for 67 yards along with his 2 touchdowns. Mahomes had a rough night, as his team failed to score a touchdown for the first time in the Mahomes era. It was also the first time that he lost a game by more than one score. He completed 26 of 49 passes for 270 yards, but threw 2 interceptions. Edwards-Helaire had 9 rushes for 64 yards, while tight end Travis Kelce caught 10 passes for 133 yards. The NFL’s 2020 season, arguably the strangest of all time, and now looks ahead to the 2021 season that will culminate with Super Bowl LVI next February at Sofi Stadium in Inglewood, California.

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