Buccaneers smother Chiefs, Brady claims his seventh title


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Vince Lombardi trophy

This past Sunday, over 96.4 million people around the world tuned into Super Bowl LV. The next day, 17 million of those viewers called in sick to work, according to WCNC.

At 6:30 p.m. defending champion Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker kicked off to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the 54th Super Bowl began. After a 23-yard return by Buccaneer return man Jaydon Mickens, six-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Tom Brady took the field, his tenth appearance in the big game, but his first time not wearing a New England Patriots uniform. The first drive for the Buccaneers would be a quick three and out.

Following a punt to the Kansas City 33, quarterback Patrick Mahomes jogged out onto the turf. After an 11-yard scramble by Mahomes on third down but failure to gain another first down three plays later, the Chiefs punted back to Buccaneers. On first down, Brady handed the ball off to running back Ronald Jones, who delivered a bruising thirteen yard run. This strong start was short-lived, as Kansas City defensive end Frank Clark sacked Brady on third down. The Buccaneers would punt again.

The next drive would end with Kansas City kicker Harrison Butker drilling a 49-yard field goal for the first points of the game after almost 10 minutes of gametime. 

Tampa Bay would respond with a long drive of their own, capped off by an 8-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to tight end Rob Gronkowski. Giving the Buccaneers a 7-3 lead to close the first quarter. 

The second quarter would begin with another Kansas City punt, the Tampa Bay pass rush suffocating the Chiefs’ offense. Tampa Bay’s first drive of the second mirrored the drive before it, and the Buccaneers marched to the goal line, but after two short runs dropped a touchdown catch by lineman Joe Haeg. The Buccaneers faced a fourth and goal from the one-yard line. Buccaneers Coach Bruce Arians decided to go for points, handing the ball off to Ronald Jones, who was met by Kansas City linebacker Damien Wilson in the backfield for no gain. Kansas City would take over from deep in their own territory. 

The Tampa Bay defense answered the bell again, and four short plays later, Kansas City would once again punt the ball back to the Tampa Bay offense. The ensuing drive from the Buccaneers would be a duplicate of their first touchdown drive, once again ending with a touchdown toss from Brady to Gronkowski.

Kansas City would respond with their best drive of the game, as Mahomes led a sixty-one yard charge downfield that ended with a Harrison Butker drilling another field goal from 34 yards, keeping the game within a score at 14-6.

The Buccaneers offense took the field with one minute to go in the half, and Tom Brady began revealing the skills for which he is celebrated.

After only four plays, one of which resulting in a 34-yard penalty against the Chiefs secondary, Tampa Bay was in position for at least a field goal, but a highly debated call for pass interference on Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu put Tampa in the red zone, setting up another Buccaneer touchdown this time to receiver Antonio Brown.

As the two teams began heading off the field, cameras caught a heated exchange between Mathieu and Brady, resulting in an unsportsmanlike conduct foul against Mathieu. After a kickoff and Kansas City kneel, the composed Buccaneers and visibly frustrated Chiefs headed into the locker rooms for halftime.

At the conclusion of The Weeknd’s halftime performance, Tampa Bay kicked off to Kansas City to start the third quarter. The Chiefs put together another drive, ending a field goal and making the score 21-9. Unfortunately for Kansas City, the field goal was answered by another long drive by the Buccaneers capped off by a 27-yard touchdown run by Leonard Fournette. Kansas City’s offense took the field, down 28-9, and the very little wind left in their sails was taken away after Tampa Bay defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. intercepted a pass from Mahomes in Kansas City territory. 

The final quarter and half of the game only saw one score, a Tampa Bay field goal after the inception from Winfield making the score 31-9. Kansas City would turn the ball over on all three of their drives and in the closing seconds, could only watch as Tom Brady and the Buccaneers moved into victory formation as the clock struck all zeros.

As the red confetti fell, Tom Brady lifted the Vince Lombardi trophy for the seventh time in his career, and much to the disappointment of many football fans, Brady told the world that he wasn’t done yet.

Guilford track athlete and football fan Kemar Williams-McLaren commented on the Buccaneers’ win in an interview. 

“While some calls were kind of unfair, the better team still won,” he said. 

This sentiment appears to be shared in online communities by neutral fans.