By The Albany Student Press Sports Writers
Credit: CBS Sports
On Sunday, Feb. 7, the Kansas City Chiefs will attempt to defend their title against the Tom Brady-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Albany Student Press Sports Writer’s picks are in. See who our staff has picked to be the next super bowl champions, along with precise predictions for the final score:
Ben Orland, Staff Writer:
I think the Chiefs are going to pull it off, despite the fact that they are missing two of their starting offensive linemen. Patrick Mahomes is able to evade pressure and get the ball off very quickly, which makes any sort of pass rush difficult, and dangerous.
I don’t know how the Buccaneers will stop Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill. While they do have their two starting safeties back, it doesn’t help that in Week 12, they were both healthy, and let Tyreek Hill grab 13 catches for 269 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Some bright spots for the Bucs are that Sean Murphy-Bunting has looked better, and Jamel Dean is back from injury, but is anyone really able to cover Tyreek Hill?
Final Score: Chiefs 38, Buccaneers 31
Christian Hince, Staff Writer:
I have the Chiefs winning Super Bowl LV, due to their convincing playoff showings. After holding on to win against a hungry Browns team while missing Patrick Mahomes for the final quarter, they went on to wipe the floor against a high-powered Bills team.
The Bucs’ postseason adventure has been a little less impressive, with them first beating a seven-win Washington team before taking down a twilight-age Drew Brees in the final game of his career. Then despite three Tom Brady interceptions in the championship game, Tampa Bay was able to knock off the top-seeded Packers with help from Green Bay’s poor coaching and some questionable officiating.
The Bucs deserve plenty of credit for a somewhat improbable three-game run, and it is true that both opponents faced by the Chiefs sunk themselves with some less than impressive coaching. I maintain however that the Chiefs have proved themselves more considering their circumstances, and I feel Kansas City will ultimately outcoach and outplay the Bucs in a competitive but decisive victory.
Final Score: Chiefs 31, Buccaneers 17
Jay Bendlin, Staff Photographer and Contributor:
Tom Brady, 43, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set to host the 55th Super Bowl at home for the first time in NFL history. A hosting team has never participated in the game.
Shadowing a very successful career in New England, where Brady led the Patriots to a historic nine Super bowls, six of which they won, he is looking to lead his new team to their first victory since 2003. The Kansas City Chiefs defended well against the Buffalo Bills’ pass-heavy offense, but the Buccaneers have more weapons to worry about. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Scotty Miller offer an explosion of speed to the deep passes while Rob Gronkowski stays targeted for short passes, and late addition Antonio Brown is a wildcard that you cannot leave unattended. Combine those talented receivers with Brady’s legendary skills and Leonard Fournette’s rushing talent and you have an exciting offense ready to defend their home turf.
Mike Evans is the only Bucs receiver with over 1,000 receiving yards, while both Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill have over 1,200 yards each. The unstoppable duo had 38 receptions and 500 yards combined through the first two playoff games in 2021. Kelce set a National Football League record for receiving yards in a single-season by a tight end.
However, the Chief’s greatest weapon is not their receivers. It is their 25-year-old quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
In their Week 12 game against Tampa Bay, Mahomes threw 462 yards in the air for 3 touchdowns. He has only been intercepted 24 times in his entire career, six of which only happened this season. His ability to put the ball in his playmakers’ hands is unmatched. If Kelce and Mahomes repeat the magic of the two-yard underhand pass from their AFC championship win against Buffalo there will be no stopping them.
I am still not happy the Chiefs beat the Bills, but their offense is unstoppable, and the Buccaneers defense will have their hands full. I predict a high scoring game.
Final Score: Chiefs 42, Buccaneers 35
Edwards Kemedijio, Associate Sports Editor:
Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face off against the Patrick
Mahomes’ Kansas City Chiefs in what is sure to be the most watched football game in NFL history. Tampa Bay will take the field as the only team in history to play the big game in their own stadium as they look to capture their first Super Bowl win since 2002. Kansas City looks to solidify themselves as an NFL dynasty and become only the seventh NFL franchise to win the Super Bowl in consecutive seasons.
The real matchup, however, is between the undisputed GOAT of football and the man who many feel is next in line for the throne. A quarterback duel for the ages will be on display at Raymond James Stadium Sunday night.
Tom Brady enters his 10th Super Bowl appearance with more playoff wins in history than the
next two runners-up combined. After hearing yet again that he was at the end of his rope following
a Wildcard Round loss to the Tennessee Titans with the New England Patriots, Tom Brady took his talents to Tampa Bay. At
age 43, Brady took a 7-9 team and a franchise that hadn’t won a playoff game in 19 years and
currently has them in a position to hoist the Lombardi Trophy, all in less than a year. Brady
himself hopes to secure his seventh ring, a feat that seems unthinkable when compared to nearly
Every other quarterback there is. Every quarterback, except one.
Patrick Mahomes very well might be the best thing we’ve seen at the quarterback position. On
A weekly basis he makes plays with the football that don’t really seem possible. In his third
year as a starter, the Chiefs’ star quarterback is a three-time Pro Bowler, a two-time All-Pro, an
MVP, an Offensive Player of the Year, and the reigning Super Bowl MVP. Kansas City’s worst finish with him as a starter is when they fell in overtime in the AFC championship game to Tom Brady’s Patriots. Prior to the season, Mahomes signed a record 10-year contract extension worth up to 503 million dollars. Some say that’s a bargain. The Texas Tech product will be the one rival to Brady and his legacy for the next decade, but Sunday might be the deciding factor when it’s all said and done.
The two quarterbacks enter the game each with two wins against the other each, and this year's Super Bowl might put one ahead for good. Each game was a one possession, down
to the wire brawl, and each game featured elite quarterback play.
In the most recent matchup, the Chiefs downed the Bucs in Tampa 27-24. Mahomes was his usual self, whereas Tom Brady had one of his worst performances of the season. Since that Week 12 game, neither team has lost a game and Mahomes is averaging 303 yards per game compared to Brady’s 313. Brady is coming off road duels against Drew Brees and MVP Aaron Rodgers, legends of his era. Mahomes faced off against the young stars of his generation, with wins against Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen on his way to Tampa.
The significance of this game is not to be understated. CBS’s football analyst Tony Romo and
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith have gone on record stating that if Mahomes fails to beat Brady, he’ll
never catch up to him and take the title of the greatest of all time. While this might seem a premature declaration, the difference between needing four Super Bowls to catch up to Brady with a Chiefs win this year and needing six if Chiefs fail is a massive one, especially if one of Mahomes’ wins is against Brady himself. While Brady is far and away the most decorated football player in history, this is his opportunity to lap the field and to put his name so
far above the rest that to put any quarterback near him is positively laughable. Possibly the biggest game in football history awaits. With so much at stake, and legacies on the line, Sunday is going to be a show.
The name of the game is turnovers. The Buccaneers defense has forced 7 turnovers in the playoffs and the offense has turned those takeaways into points. The Chiefs have not turned the ball over once in the playoffs. Patrick Mahomes will not be rattled by the Buccaneers defense like he was against the far superior San Francisco 49ers last year. Because of this, I predict a double-digit Chiefs win, and that Patrick Mahomes will be the MVP of the game.
Chiefs: 38, Buccaneers: 27
Cameron Cupp, Sports Editor:
After leaving the New England Patriots for the young and high powered Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tom Brady finds himself going for his seventh ring against Patrick Mahomes’ Kansas City Chiefs, who might end up being the biggest challenger to his legacy. I have found in the past that it is never a smart idea to bet against Tom Brady. This year is different.
The Buccaneers feature the best supporting cast of Brady’s career with players like Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, Rob Gronkowski, Leonard Fournette, Ronald Jones II and Antonio Brown. They have yet to lose a game since a devastating primetime loss to the Chiefs, and have improved their chemistry and play each week.
Their defense, which does not match the legendary ones Brady had in New England, is a talented group that has also tightened up their play in recent weeks, wreaking havoc on the high powered Green Bay Packers and forcing 7total turnovers in their playoff games.
Kansas City, on the other hand, looked almost flawless on the offensive side of the ball in their win against the up-and-coming Buffalo Bills, despite Josh Allen’s late attempt at a comeback. The dynamic duo of Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce looks practically unrecoverable, and Mahomes looks unstoppable. If you somehow succeed in stopping those three, they can get the ball to speedy Micole Hardman, veteran Sammy Watkins, and can now lean on a run game led by Clyde Edwards-Helaire. They should have no trouble lighting up a talented, but young Buccaneers secondary, whom Hill torched for 269 yards and 3 touchdowns in the only meeting of the two teams this season. In that same game, Mahomes threw for 462 yards.
What is clear is the Kansas City defense is the biggest question mark in this matchup, and they are not the flawless group that the offense is. However, their secondary has improved considerably in the last year, with a more than adequate pass rush that features defensive end Frank Clark and defensive tackle Chris Jones, who frustrated and dominated the Bills. It is a mistake to underestimate the Kansas City defense. They are not the 1985 Chicago Bears, but they are one of the most underrated groups in football.
Let us not forget that the last time Brady had such a prolific supporting cast, the 2008 Patriots team that was oh-so-close to putting together an undefeated season, was outwitted and confused by the game plan of then-Giants defensive coordinator and now Chiefs defensive coordinator, Steve Spagnola. He could put his players in a position to replicate that performance.
These factors are why Kansas City should be considered the clear favorite to win.
The key to a Tampa Bay upset is their ability to get to Mahomes without abandoning coverage down the field, as Mahomes often makes teams who bring heavy blitzes pay. This is possible in this matchup because the Chiefs are going to be without much of last year’s starting offensive line, including star offensive tackle Eric Fisher, who tore his achilles tendon against the Bills. This could prove problematic for the Chiefs, as the Buccaneers can get after the quarterback with freakish uber-talented linebacker Devin White, nimble big man Via Vita, and veteran defensive linemen Nadamukong Suh and Jason Pierre-Paul.
In addition, Tampa Bay’s young secondary led by Antonie Whitefield Jr. would need to hold the high falutin Kansas City offense to a few punts and perhaps a turnover or two to stay in the game and get Tom Brady and his weapons on the field. The Chiefs can make mistakes, as seen when Mahomes threw three interceptions against the Dolphins and practically kept them in the game by doing so.
A combination of these two can win Tom Brady yet another Super Bowl, but it likely will not happen this time. Kansas City can score too many ways in any amount of time, and their defense shows up in big moments against talented groups. While the Tampa Bay unit is playing much better than the first time they met, they will not be able to hold the Chiefs under 30 points, which is the minimum to stay in the game. I foresee that Tampa Bay will not be able to keep up.
Brady will keep the Bucs in it, but this could get ugly and turn into a blowout very fast. I predict that Mahomes will emerge victorious, and be well on his way to upstaging Tom Brady as the “GOAT.”
Final Score: Chiefs 42, Buccaneers 24
The Chiefs and Buccaneers will square off on Sunday at 6:30 pm.