Super Bowl LV Discussion

Photo: USA Today Sports Images

Here's our open thread for discussion of Super Bowl LV between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.


230 comments, Last at 17 Mar 2021, 10:44am

1 Only 8 Hours to Go!

I'm super excited about this one.  It should be an incredible matchup.  I love Mahomes and The Chiefs but I struggle to see how this is anything but a slugfest that could go either way.  The DVOA for The Bucs shows a much harder schedule, you can't run against them, the Chiefs have the 2nd worst run D in the league, they may have a better lineup all around.  Reid and Mahomes adjusted recently by taking what is underneath but I don't see White and David letting that happen, all while JPP (How is he playing at this level still?) and Barrett tee off on you.  Oh and then you also have to contain Vea, Suh etc.

Not having Winfield might end up mattering, but I think this comes down to Pressure as it often does.  If Brady is forced into a few bad throws that he got away with vs Green Bay and they don't get as many turnovers as they have as of recently it's The Chiefs.  But I think TB is going to pound a really bad run defense, and take deep shots vs a secondary that only has a few playmakers.

Ronald Jones I think has a big game.  5+YPC and explosive

2 All of what you say sounds very plausible...

pointing to a close game.....yet my gut feeling says Ciefs 31, Bucs 10. Brady and the Bucs getting to the Superbowl alone shows that Brady is more than a Belichick creation. He can be satisfied even with a loss here. But maybe he would not feel that way.



9 yeah, I've got Chiefs by 17+…

yeah, I've got Chiefs by 17+, too;  just feels like the Bucs have been winning ugly, which you can do in the NFC, but the top of the AFC was just much stronger this season, and the Chiefs only really broke a sweat for the 25 minutes Mahomes was injured

11 I mean

The Chiefs won ugly in this exact situation earlier in the season.

17 is a lot for a SB it seems

13 yeah, it's a lot for a…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

yeah, it's a lot for a modern SB, I just feel like Buffalo was significantly better than the Bucs, and the Chiefs didn't break a sweat, but we'll see (the Britt Reid thing is terrible, and it feels like the team with the terrible distraction late SB week always loses, but I think this Chiefs team is historic and built to defy trends)

15 I can see the Chiefs winning

but in similar fashion to the RS. 17+ hasn't happened in the SB in 7 years and only thrice this century. I think the Chiefs were better last year and they only won by 11 in their last two playoff games. Bucs also had a higher offensive and defensive DVOA than the Bills so idk about that either. 

And it ended up being 17+. Just not the team anyone saw coming. Wow

16 Won Ugly?

The WFT game wasn't great, but they man handled the Pack but got loose late (Who I said would lose because their defense is weak and their schedule was a joke outside of the Rams), and that vaunted Saints Defense couldn't cover anyone.

10 The DVOA for The Bucs shows . . .

When are people gonna realize DVOA does not capture the Chiefs' greatness? 

DVOA said Buffalo was the better team by Regular DVOA and even more so by Weighted DVOA. How'd that work out for ya?

The Chiefs beat Buffalo pretty bad earlier in the season but Buffalo came on strong after the Chiefs loss and were dominant and then they got beat even worse by the Chiefs in the playoffs.

Ditto Tampa Bay.

100 Mahomes can do it

But I think you're discounting outside of DVOA if you don't like the math (which you should) what goes into it.  Performance, SOS, Personnel, and results.

4 I fully expect the Brady…

I fully expect the Brady voodoo to continue, meaning the Chiefs offense which lit up the Bucs last time will inexplicably struggle. Maybe it's karma for Mahomes winning the SB MVP last year despite his up and down play.

5 I have a question about a…

I have a question about a season-long trend. I feel like I've seen more players handing the ball back to the ref after the play is over than I saw in seasons past.

Could be just what I'm observing. Maybe, with less crowd shots available, cameras stay longer on players. Or the particular games I saw had a few running backs that just do that as their regular thing so I saw it more often.

Or maybe there has been an increase, and it can be explained by something else. Player's Association guidelines, new batch of coaches, maybe the refs got together before the season and sent out flowers to all the skill position guys.

Anybody else notice this? I feel like it went up from like 60% to 80%, so the difference is subtle, but I noticed it over multiple weeks, hence my question.

6 Prediction

I have really gone back and forth on this one.  My brain keeps telling me to pick the Chiefs, but my gut keeps telling me to pick the Bucs.  My gut also told me the Bucs were going to beat the Packers and the Saints, but I ignored it.  So, this time, I guess I'm going to listen to my gut, and say:

Tampa Bay 31, Kansas City 24

14 TB 24 KC 27   Anotjer 3…

In reply to by MC2

TB 24 KC 27


Anotjer 3 sacks from CSU alum Shaq Barrett turns out not to be enough

20 KC 44, TB 41 F/OT TB's…

In reply to by MC2

KC 44, TB 41 F/OT

TB's defense starts out hot, and TB carries a lead pretty far into the 3rd quarter. By that point, Mahomes has heated up and won't be denied, catching up at the end of regulation and getting just enough in overtime.

8 Ordinarily in a Super Bowl…

Ordinarily in a Super Bowl where I have no rooting interest, I mostly just want to see an entertaining game. Not this year, though. I want the Chiefs to crush the Buccaneers, see them driven before them, and to hear the lamentation of their women.

Not expecting it, though. I see this game going similar to last year's, except these Bucs are better than those Niners: the Bucs build a lead with a lot of runs and some well-timed long receptions, and while Mahomes et al. will eventually do their thing to come back, it won't quite be enough this time. Bucs 31, Chiefs 28.

18 Prop Bets on the SB...


  • Buccs Win, Brady MVP, Brady 220+ Pass Yds, Fournette 1+ TD (+500)Specials - up to +500

  • Brady MVP, Tampa Bay to Win, C.Godwin 1+ TD (+500)Specials - up to +500

  • 15-21 (+450)(101) Kansas City Chiefs 

  • 29-35 (+260)(101) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Buccaneers by 10-12 points (+1400)(101) Kansas City Chiefs @ (102) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • 40-49 (+400)(101) Kansas City Chiefs @ (102) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Yes (Scoreless Quarter) (+385)(101) Kansas City Chiefs @ (102) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Field Goal (+175)(101) Kansas City Chiefs @ (102) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Under 50 (+215)(101) Kansas City Chiefs @ (102) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I bet $500 total on a whim, so I will likely win big or lose big depending on how this plays out.   Based on the actions of Reid's embarrassing son and the distractions derived from that, I expect the Bucs to dominate, but mainly to coast to a comfortable victory.  I see the defense shutting down KC with Bowles changing things up in the secondary.  The Bucs' front four being dominant is the main key for all of this.

Brady will do what he tends to do.  I see Mahomes having a rough day...


I see it something like Bucs 30 Chiefs 17



19 Kansas City needs to do us all a solid ...

... and deliver Tom Brady the ass-beating he should have taken against Atlanta. Chiefs by double digits. As pointed out above, the Bills were better than the Bucs, and the Chiefs beat them easily. 

21 That non intentional…

That non intentional grounding call is utter bullshit. I just don't get how you can get away with it.

31 Mahomes rough start

passing at least 1/7 for 3 yards.

33 Its only one quarter but

This looks Seattle defense against Peyton Manning on Denver.  TB is all over every pass.

91 TB D

This is what I was trying to say - Its not over, but this TB defense is brutal in comparison.  You can't run, they have Tier 1 Edge rushers and it has to be won 1:1 as a result.  If ANYONE can come back its 15 but 12 right now can just jam it down their throat with Fournette and Jones and take his shots.  If he gets ahead like this you're at his will.  That is the genius of this gameplan.  Why else go for it vs NO?  They wanted the option with the buffer

35 Both teams have been getting…

Both teams have been getting away with some blatant offensive holding. It seems the nfl official policy continues to be ,"Holding Schmolding"

36 Ooh a timeout

hate to see one wasted so early

40 Romo's glee is great

Just hearing the joy and excitement in Romo's voice with that potential TD/potential 4th down stop was great. 

41 That looked like a TD

IDK why they didn't call it and review it.

Surprised they didn't sneak it on 4th tho

42 Wow

Didn't blitz there? Like the one time you wanna blitz Mahomes.

43 KC may want to revisit this …

KC may want to revisit this "All Mecole Hardman, all the time" gameplan at halftime.

48 Hmm, that’s weird

I always thought there had to be, like, actual holding to draw a holding call. 

58 Yeah that call was…

Yeah that call was completely phantom.

Romo played it off, but it seemed an egregious call to me. KC defense losing their shit the rest of that drive was on them, though

61 When your arms are wrapped…

When your arms are wrapped around a guys waist that's going to get called in real time even if you aren't actually touching him. It's easy to see in high def slow motion with tree different angles but that looks blatant from the field in real time.

63 Really?

Because I’ve watched every playoff game this season and seen plenty of similar plays that didn’t get flagged. 

65 I haven't. I've seen other…

In reply to by Tutenkharnage

I haven't. I've seen other obvious holds not called yes, but not one where what the ref saw was the defender hitting the receiver in the chest then hugging him from behind. That is not what actually happened, but the angle the ref had, that is what he would have seen.

I agree had this game been called like other playoff games that still probably doesn't get called, but I at least understand why it was. Earlier calls in this game show they are more likely to call defensive holding as well.

Trust me I don't like it. I live in KC, I like the Chiefs and TB just beat my team. But I get why that was called. Doesn't mean that the refs are consistent. Just talking about one call.

50 Double Brady voodoo?

Interception but defensive holding.  Offside on FG 3rd time is the charm

59 The holding call on the INT…

The holding call on the INT was total trash. Cannot believe they called that.

60 Stick to Your DVOA Guns, FO

truth was there the whole time-- right in front of you. This is a lame KC team so far-- making mistakes all over the field. Can't imagine the Britt Reid thing helped. I know they make incredible comebacks all the time-- but right now they don't seem capable.

64 Bad Karma.

I made my bets before that happened but it certainly is a HUGE distraction.

You can tell it has had an effect on KC.

They need a TD just to stay in the game here.

68 "You can tell it has had an effect on KC."

In reply to by DIVISION

Has it? Not ideal and I agree it hasn't helped but hurt? Are their LBs playing worse than their mediocre selves?

Think the difference is the line play tonight. KC might have found the breaking point.

70 Yes.

So much of the media narrative was that the Chiefs' O-line wouldn't be a factor, but we've seen it's the complete opposite.

I see this getting worse as the game goes on.

This is exactly why I made the bets I did.  

It was so easy to see coming in.

77 Wouldn't be a factor?

In reply to by DIVISION

I thought that was the storyline of the game? 

I guess I think it's more that than Britt. KCs LBs have always been unnoteworthy and I think their par for the course right now. Their OL, though, has dipped into unworkable territory (so far from what I've seen). 

62 Update.

My bets for the under 50 looks great!



66 KC's low scoring output is…

KC's low scoring output is masking that they've had quite a few opportunities that were just barely missed - slightly overthrown long pass to Hardman, Kelce's long drop, to name two - and that's never going to hold up all game, with this team. If anything, they ought to be encouraged that they've taken TB's best defensive shot, as it were, and they still didn't really stop them as much as they stopped themselves.

I'm less optimistic that KC's defense will ever stop TB's offense, though. They really needed a big play like that pick that was called back for nothing.

72 KC's defensive play

KC's ACTUAL play on defense seems pretty solid to me. They've lost a 3rd and 6 opportunity for a dumb personal foul. Special teams literally cost them 4 points--the fact the guy called for offsides didn't actually rush the kicker is just mind-blowing to me. 

Tampa's D is the star thus far. They have a big edge on the DL and also seem to have found some holes in KC's protection scheme.

95 When you're commiting penalites on defense.. aren't very good, no.

You have to be able to play good D without the holding/DPI etc...

We should have seen this coming.  KC's defense has been leaky all season.

Tampa doesn't not respect them at all...

67 Chiefs look good on that…

Chiefs look good on that drive but stall in the RZ and have to kick a fg. 8 point bucs lead.

69 If Brady scores another TD in the first half...

...this game is in the books.

The Bucs defense is not going to let up on Mahomes.

That rush is amazing.

Kicking FG's may have already doomed KC...

71 I don't know, I think if I'm…

I don't know, I think if I'm KC I go for it there. Worst case, you're basically just giving it to TB where you would on a kickoff anyway - and if you make it, you also get the ball to start the 2nd half, this game could turn around real fast.

73 Timeout??


75 Absolute malarkey DPI…

Absolute malarkey DPI. Uncatchable AND incidental.

80 AB scores! 15 point lead!…

AB scores! 15 point lead! More like 30 points considering how the defense has played. 

81 Game Over.

The Bucs defense isn't giving up that kind of lead...


83 Brady.

That guy is a killer.  Stone cold killer.

O-Line is protecting him well, too.

84 He certainly takes advantage…

In reply to by DIVISION

He certainly takes advantage of opportunities when other teams give it to him. No doubt about that.

85 SMH

Kneeling to go into the half. 

87 Well...

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Did you really think they'd generate anything with :06 left?

Nothing good would have come out of it.

98 "Nothing good would have come out of it."

In reply to by DIVISION

I mean...there literally can lol.

Even if you're afraid, just run it once and go into the locker room. The chances of a fumble are slim. The chances of them scoring off that fumble are essentially 0 at that point. Might as well take a random shot at hoping something crazy goes your way. 

103 Well...

They could run the ball, and have the RB throw the ball to the official, who hits the Buc defender in stride...


Much better to take the knee...

109 Yes

In reply to by ThanksBOB

that's much more likely than nothing exciting happening/the Chiefs scoring. MUCH. 

136 At least...

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

I was joking.  You apparently weren't.  Then again, maybe you heard the Bucs signed Kenny King or something...

137 IDK who that is

In reply to by ThanksBOB

I thought you were the other guy.

90 That was my thought, too…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

That was my thought, too. There's no tomorrow. Go big or go home.

88 I guess if theres any team…

I guess if theres any team capable of coming back, it's KC. I will be fascinated to see their offensive approach in the second half. 

Brady has played outstanding so far but KCs defense is rightly getting exposed now that they aren't playing with a lead and now have to defend every look.


Bucs D deserves a lot of credit. Timely blitzes have not burned them and they've done a good job stopping Hill.

89 KC's required halftime…

KC's required halftime adjustment:

Find the switch and flip it.

92 They can...

...but I don't seem them making up that kind of deficit against this defense.

I don't think they have the guys up front to stop what the Bucs are doing.

It all starts there.

Mahomes is just trying to survive back there.

93 Halftime guys rightly…

Halftime guys rightly calling out these refs.

They aren't on the take, obviously - but it's long been theorized that "home field advantage" is mostly that their calls favor the home team, and, well, the first half here is a big pile of evidence in support of that.

I really hope they make some contingency to never have a home Super Bowl team again. Whether it's booking a couple of contingency locations every year or just moving it permanently to a neutral size, this is really not acceptable. Maybe just have it in Hawai'i every time.

They seemed to mostly want it as a shiny carrot to entice city governments to shell out for new stadia, but that ship appears to have mostly sailed at this point. Other than building a new Super Bowl Palace someplace teamless......

94 I'll be curious to see if…

I'll be curious to see if that ref thing holds up with no fans.

Either way, I think it's just been an inconsistently called game.  But either way, KC has been completely outplayed. 

97 Does it matter, though?

Refs or no refs, it's obvious one team is running their game-plan to perfection, or as close as you can.  

KC looks out of sync, maybe distracted and pressing now.  Mathieu is having a meltdown because Brady backed up his trash-talk and let him know.

Nothing like an old man basically telling you to sit down and shut-up when you can't do anything about it!

105 Home field "advantage"…

Home field "advantage" literally disappeared in 2020. Maybe that's just a blip, but it is striking. And I believe this game is by far the highest-attended game of the season that did not involve the Cowboys playing at home.

At the end of the day, KC has to do better, of course. But those non-DPIs straight-up handed TB 7 points, and the non-pick would've taken another 7 off, to say nothing of what KC might have scored with the short field. It might not entirely erase the deficit, but the game could be quite a bit different if those (frankly, rather obvious) calls are made correctly.

96 Wonder how long after this…

Wonder how long after this game the Brady Bunch meme with Tahhhmy in the middle and the eight officials in tonight's game around the perimeter will show up.

102 I actually don't see that.

People will focus more on why the Chiefs didn't play well and Andy Reid's kid almost killing a kid.  KC will come back, but it's expecting too much to think they'll score enough to win now.

Tampa is at home.  They're as comfortable as a team can be in this situation and with a nice lead.

If I'm proven wrong and KC comes all the way back, I'll certainly give them their props.

104 First requirement for the comeback

C-O-M-P-O-S-U-R-E. Right now, the Chiefs don’t have any. They’ve basically handed the Bucs 11 points by losing their minds, committing dumb penalties, and taking dumb timeouts. They need to pull themselves together and take it one play at a time. If they don’t, they’re T-O-A-S-T.

106 You're right.

First drive for KC is going to tell us a lot. 

If they kick a FG or Punt, I think they're basically not up to it.  

107 Feels a lot like the NFCCG to me

If TB forces a turnover early in the 3rd the similarities will be even more nuts.

Of course I've said most of the year how similar 2020 KC and 2020 GB were. Now they carry it to the post season. Both teams starting back-ups at tackle against the Bucs. Both teams with middling defenses that make some plays but can't get consistent pressure. Both offense with "uncharacteristic" drops and misses on offense that really are the result of what TB is doing on defense. Both teams giving up longer drives at the end of the half. Both teams failing in the redzone and kicking a FG.

Of course Brady is playing better in the first half than he did against GB and KC is worse on offense in part because the GB line was better, even though it got whipped. Mahomes has made some plays with his legs that Rodgers didn't but he's facing even more pressure. GB did adjust and the offense did play better in the second half despite failing to do anything with all the turnovers. But they also didn't get nearly as chippy on the field as KC has been getting. 

The penalties are different though as KC is getting called for shit that TB didn't called for against GB. Though some of the emotional reactions that have burned them are all on them. 

KC can make a game of this. They are similar to GB in a lot of ways, but they are more explosive. CEH wasn't bad in his opportunities and GB clawed back into things after getting down 28-10 with some decent running and then taking the big plays when they were there. But this is not unexpected. Like I said in the preview. KC's offense will not look like what we are used to. I underestimated the TB front 7 earlier in the season but I learned my damn lesson.

110 Yeah, I was thinking along…

Yeah, I was thinking along those lines too. I figured KC's offense might be better than GB's, but their defense worse. So far, it looks like KC's offense isn't as good as GB's... and their defense is, indeed, quite a bit worse.

One thing GB had were good, strong backs that could force TB to respect the run and keep defenders closer to the line. CEH is just a guy (nice run there, to be fair), and I don't think Bell's even seen the field yet. KC could theoretically achieve similar with Kelce and Hill, but they haven't so far - so TB's able to cover deep and still rush the pass successfully.

I'm not sure if there are any numbers for this, but I do think anecdotally defenses (especially pass rushing) slow down significantly as the game goes on. I'll be pretty surprised if KC doesn't surpass 21 pts before all is said and done - but I'm a lot less sure they'll keep TB from adding significantly more, too.

217 It's not anecdotal

I think the fact that defensive lines have rotations on almost every team and no other position group really does is proof in a much more than anecdotal way that pass rushing slows down significantly as the game goes on.

108 Kelce

I know he is a great player but the number of completely uncontested catches Kelce gets is amazing.

The contested catch against David was such a contrast to his previous catches. One can only assume that the scheme is designed to create this level of separation but you wonder if that is how the D coordinator wants the coverage to operate.

The move by Antonio Brown for the TD was first class.

111 FG's.

If this all KC can do, this game will just be death by a thousand paper cuts.

112 I'm pretty disappointed with…

I'm pretty disappointed with romo this game - multiple times he's talked about double teaming hill.  Especially when it's not relevant to the result of the play, there must be better things to do.

Also they did a feature on Thomas as the official who called the 4th and goal stop, and she very definitely didn't make that call, it was the line judge.   I assume that one is on the producers, but can they say least be honest.

113 Fournette scores, and TMQ…

Fournette scores, and TMQ wrote the words "game over" in his note book

114 Wow...

Come on KC, at least make it look decent. 


116 Welp. 


117 Packers Fans Seen This Movie

1) at least we scored touchdown by now   2 of them actually

2) brady ain't gonna throw three picks tonight

3) La Fleur and Pettine have company

118 Has every successful…

Has every successful franchise suffered a grisly defeat at the hands of Tom Brady,? I guess only the Broncos have not

121 I was going to say no...

...but one of Arians' Cardinals teams got blown out at NE by Brady in 2015/2016...

Cards lost 73-0 or or something crazy like that.




to win more than 1 SB.

Mahomes and company imploding

126 Worse yet.

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Brady is coming back and expect the Bucs to maintain this for a few years.

The Chiefs are going to have to retain their FA's...

130 On the brightside

In reply to by DIVISION

KC is like $12m over the cap.

Somehow though the Bucs have $38m. Guess they only have 30 on the roster I suppose

134 Smart guy.

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Players will take a steep discount to play with Brady.

Not so with Mahomes or KC.  If you look at careers are a continuum.  Brady is still in his late prime while Mahomes is still an infant.

More players respect Brady...

123 Is it too early to say DVOA…

Is it too early to say DVOA 1, fudging the numbers to agree with conventional wisdom 0?

133 I think OP's point here is…

I think OP's point here is that DVOA was correct - rated TB as more likely to win - then Aaron went in and tinkered with the official prediction to make KC slight favorites.

And I have to agree with them - regardless of any possible miracle comeback, this game has to become a particularly shiny feather in DVOA's cap.

206 One day Arians was walking…

One day Arians was walking through a market.

He overheard a customer say to a butcher, "give me the best piece of meat you have."

"Everything in my shop is the best, especially Tom Brady executing a 3rd & short possession game with a stout defense in the playoffs," replied the butcher.

At these words, Arians was enlightened, and a Super Bowl ring appeared on Blaine Gabbert's hand.


124 For the record

I would not have waived #PlayoffLenny!

131 Mahomes finally breaks 100…

Mahomes finally breaks 100 yards passing, with about 1 minute left in the 3rd. Would not have expected that.

135 Like old times!

This reminds me of the old 2005 (?) Seahawks-Steelers Super Bowl! Ahh, good stuff! Just like we came to see!

138 Going to keep harping on…

Going to keep harping on this because I'm grumpy: that was more blatant DPI on TB there than KC had on either play of that 1st half drive, or the "holding" that took away the Brady pick.

149 I've no dog in this fight…

I've no dog in this fight other than my long-standing assertion that NFL officiating is consistently awful because the NFL just doesn't care about getting the game called fairly.  I'll happily use this match, though, as an example of how bad calls don't always even out over time.


165 Agreed

I can be both a poorly officiated and even a one-sided officiated game and that it have no effect on the game.