Ayden Hansen ’23
The Super Bowl is one of North America’s most popular and most entertaining sports events, pulling in nearly 100 million views each year. In this year’s Super Bowl, on February 7, 2021, the Kansas City Chiefs took on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at their home stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida.
The odds were heavily favoured towards the Chiefs going back-to-back with 5 to 1 odds. Going into the game, the Chiefs were missing a large majority of their roster due to injuries. These absences included one of their star receivers, Sammy Watkins, and star running back Le’Veon Bell, along with four offensive linemen.
One Chiefs player who was playing with an injury was their quarterback, Patrick Mahomes. It had not been specified in detail, but it was known that his toe was possibly broken and that he was planning on receiving surgery on it during the summer of 2021. Now if we take a look at the lineup for Tampa Bay, only six players were out and none of them were starters; so right out of the gate, the Chiefs were at a disadvantage just from a lineup standpoint.
At the age of 43, Tom Brady, the Buccaneers’ quarterback, was going into his 10thSuper Bowl, losing only 3 of his 9 previous Super Bowl appearances. With nearly a fully healthy team and the #1 defence in the league, the Buccaneers came out ready to play, quickly taking the lead which the never let go of. At half time, the Bucs led 21 to 6, one of the first times the Chiefs had been down going into the second half nearly all year, so things were not looking good.
Towards the end of the game, the Buccaneers extended their lead all the way even further and ended up capturing the win 9 to 31. Throughout the game, the Buccaneers’ defensive line destroyed the Chiefs’ offensive line. This, on top of the double and triple teams placed on star receivers Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, made it nearly impossible for Mahomes to do anything with the ball while having to scramble on over 50% of passing plays.
Overall, even with odds in favour of the Kansas City Chiefs, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers still managed to go out and play their hearts out on that night and Tom Brady proved once again that no matter who he is playing with that against, you should never bet against him.
Photo credit: David J. Phillip / AP