After a season filled with unpredictability and challenges never seen before, the NFL culminated its 2020-2021 season with Super Bowl LV last night, where Tampa Bay defeated Kansas City 31-9. This is the Buccaneers's second Super Bowl victory, with the first coming in 2003. This was also the first time a host of the Super Bowl played in the game, with Tampa Bay winning the championship in Tampa Bay, Florida.
The Buccaneers's quarterback Tom Brady has now earned an unprecedented seventh Super Bowl ring, giving him one more than any NFL franchise. He completed 21 of his 29 passes for 201 yards with three touchdowns and zero turnovers, earning him his fifth Super Bowl MVP, two more than any other player in NFL history has received. The legendary quarterback also set a record for being the oldest player to ever win a Super Bowl MVP at the age of 43.
After spending most of his career in New England, Brady was able to win a title after signing with Tampa Bay in the offseason. This seventh ring still came with ties to the Patriots, as all three of Brady’s touchdowns went to players he spent time with before this year. The first two scores went to tight end Rob Gronkowski, who won three rings in New England, and the third went to Antonio Brown, who played one game for the team.
Head coach Bruce Arians became the oldest head coach to ever win a Super Bowl at 68, breaking a record set by Patriots head coach Bill Belichick in 2019. Arians came back to coaching this season after stepping down as the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals due to health problems he was facing at the time.
“I ain’t going anywhere,” Arians said after the game when asked if he would step down. “I’m coming back, trying to get two. And then we’ll see after that.”
The Buccaneers finished the season with an eight-game winning streak, with the victory last night avenging their last loss during the season to the Chiefs in November 2020.
Kansas City was attempting to become the first team to repeat as Super Bowl champions since Brady and the Patriots did so in 2004 and 2005.
The Chiefs found it hard to keep the flags off the field, as they set a Super Bowl record with 95 penalty yards in the first half. Injuries also hurt the chances of a repeat, as Kansas City went into the game with both of its starting offensive tackles out, forcing personnel changes that Tampa Bay's defense took advantage of.
The Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes took three sacks and threw two interceptions, being held without a passing touchdown for only the second time in his 56 game career. Mahomes, who in his fourth season already holds records for youngest NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP, suffered the first double-digit loss of his young career.
In three full seasons as the starter, Mahomes has made two Super Bowl appearances and was one game away from making it all three years.
At the postgame ceremony, Brady was asked if this was the finale of his career, and his answer was something that could only please fans of the Buccaneers.
“We’re coming back,” he said.