After a long, hard-fought season, Super Bowl Sunday is finally here. We’ll be watching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the defending champs, the Kansas City Chiefs. Both teams are loaded with superstar talent. Tampa Bay is being led by Tom Brady, who is quite possibly the best quarterback to ever play the game, while the Chiefs have Patrick Mahomes, who seems like he’s going to take over the league as the best QB in the NFL. Super Bowl LV could be a shootout.
Each franchise finished with a legitimate offense that can light up the scoreboard. The Bucs may just have the best wide receiver group in the league with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Antonio Brown. Meanwhile, the Chiefs are loaded with big-time playmakers like Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
Don’t forget about the defenses, either. Tampa Bay has relied on Lavonte David, Antoine Winfield Jr., and Shaquil Barrett throughout the year. On the other hand, the Chiefs have prevented other teams from scoring thanks to Chris Jones, and Tyrann Mathieu.
This is a game that may come down to the wire. Each team matches up well against each other, however, there are a few key matchups to pay attention to during the big game. With so much on the line, here are the five matchups that will decide Super Bowl LV.
Super Bowl LV Key Matchups
The GOAT vs The Young Gun
This is one of those matchups made for Hollywood. We’re witnessing two heavyweight champions face off on the biggest stage. In one corner, we have Tom Brady, who finished with 4,633 passing yards and 40 touchdowns on the year. In the other corner, there is Mahomes, who put up 4,740 passing yards and 38 touchdowns. Are you ready to rumble?
The old vs the young, both QBs put up impressive numbers throughout the year. They’ll both be the focal point of their respective offenses. Though technically they’re not facing each other, rather, they’re playing against the defenses. With the Chiefs finishing as the number one passing offense, while the Bucs finished in fourth.
If either organization wants to have a chance at winning Super Bowl LV, each QB will have to put on a spectacular performance. Considering we’re watching the GOAT and the young gun, there should be few disappointments.
The Chiefs Passing Attack vs The Bucs Pass Coverage
As I mentioned, the Chiefs finished first in passing on the year. Although the Bucs defense was impressive, they couldn’t stop the pass to save their lives. Tampa Bay gave up 3,945 yards through the air this year, ranking them 21st in pass coverage.
With the passing game likely to be on full display in Super Bowl LV, Andy Reid and the coaching staff are will be utilizing a game plan to exploit the Buc’s biggest weakness. Bruce Arians will have to find a way to slow down the Chiefs high powered offense. This is an advantage for the Chiefs, as they’ll be looking to pick apart the weak link.
The Bucs Rush Defense vs The Chiefs Rush Offense
Although Kansas City may have the advantage whenever they throw the ball, the Bucs defense should be able to balance that out by stuffing the run game. Tampa Bay wound up being the number one rush defense in 2020, while the Chiefs were rather mediocre handing the ball off.
Clyde Edwards-Heliare is a rookie still trying to figure it out in the league, while Le’Veon Bell isn’t the running back he used to be. Furthermore, Ndamukong Suh isn’t the force he used to be either but is still one of the more dominant defensive tackles at stopping the run.
For this reason, Tampa Bay should be able to stall a few drives and get the ball back in Brady’s hands. Also, if the Chiefs find themselves up late in the game, the Bucs rush defense becomes a pillar for the team to lean on. We may not be seeing too many rushing yards from Kansas City during Super Bowl LV, which helps out the Buccaneers quite a bit.
Travis Kelce vs Antoine Winfield Jr.
The player vs player matchup to watch in this one is Travis Kelce and Antoine Winfield Jr. Kelce is the best tight end in the league, while Winfield has been a standout rookie sensation. Kelce finished with 1,416 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns, both career highs. Meanwhile, Winfield had 94 total tackles, two forced fumbles, and one interception.
Mahomes will likely look to Kelce early and often during Super Bowl LV. For the Bucs to have a chance in this game, they’ll need Winfield to step up and be on Kelce like glue. At the end of the day though, Kelce gives the Chiefs an enormous advantage in this game.
The Bucs Pass Rush vs The Chiefs Offensive Line
Lastly, the final matchup to watch during Super Bowl LV will be the Bucs pass rush facing off the Chiefs offensive line. Although the Bucs secondary suffered throughout the year, Tampa Bay was one of the most efficient defenses when attacking the QB. They sacked opposing quarterbacks 48 times in 2020, ranking them the fourth-best in the league.
For the Chiefs, their offensive line looks a bit shaky heading into Super Bowl LV. Eric Fisher went down with an injury in their last game and has been ruled out for the Super Bowl. He was easily the best offensive lineman on the roster, and now Kansas City will be relying on backup Martinas Rankin to defend Mahomes’ blindside.
Arians has likely devised a game plan pressuring the left side of the Chiefs offensive line. Mahomes is one of the more slippery QBs in the pocket, but with his recent injuries, the Chiefs may have to get creative to protect their superstar QB.
Thanks for reading my article on the five matchups that will decide Super Bowl LV.
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