Brady bests Mahomes for 7th Super Bowl title, Bucs beat Chiefs 31-9

The Big Game

TAMPA, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 07: Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers passes in the second quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium on February 07, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tom Brady made his seventh Super Bowl title look familiar – despite moving south to a new team and conference during a pandemic.

Brady threw two touchdown passes to old friend Rob Gronkowski and one to good pal Antonio Brown, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City 31-9 on their home field in Super Bowl 55 on Sunday.

The GOAT extended his Super Bowl titles’ record in his 10th appearance, his first without Patriots coach Bill Belichick. The 43-year-old Brady broke his own mark for oldest player to win a Super Bowl and joins Hall of Famer Peyton Manning as the only quarterbacks to win one with multiple franchises.

The Buccaneers (15-5) won their second NFL title and first in 18 years while becoming the first team to play the big game at home, capping an unusual and challenging season played through the novel coronavirus. They won three road games as a wild-card team to reach the Super Bowl.

Tampa’s victory prevented Mahomes and the Chiefs (16-3) from becoming the first repeat champions since Brady’s Patriots did it in 2003-04.

The NFL completed its 269-game season on time without any cancellations, a remarkable accomplishment that required nearly 1 million COVID-19 tests for players and team personnel.

Due to the virus, only 25,000 mask-wearing fans were allowed in, including approximately 7,500 vaccinated health care workers who were given free tickets by the NFL. About 30,000 cardboard cutouts made the stadium look full.

A streaker wearing a hot-pink onesie eluded security and slid into the end zone with 5:03 left in the game. Mahomes and Kansas City’s high-powered offense never got that far against Tampa’s ferocious defense.

Bruce Arians became the oldest coach at age 68 to win the Super Bowl. His mom, 95-year-old Kay Arians, witnessed it in person. Brady, Gronk and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles helped Arians get that Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Bowles devised a masterful plan to frustrate Mahomes and shut down the Chiefs, the complete opposite of Kansas City’s 27-24 win in Tampa in Week 12, when the Chiefs jumped to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter. Tyreek Hill had 269 yards receiving and three TDs in that one. He was held to 73 yards on seven catches.

After the Chiefs took a 3-0 early lead, it was all Brady and the Bucs.

Brady accomplished a career-first when he tossed an 8-yard TD pass to Rob Gronkowksi to give the Buccaneers a 7-3 lead with 37 seconds left in the first quarter. Brady’s nine Super Bowl teams in New England produced just three points total in the first quarter. Gronkowski, who came out of retirement to play with his buddy, caught his 13th and 14th postseason TDs from Brady. That broke the record they shared with Jerry Rice and Joe Montana, who combined for 12.

Despite playing at home, the Buccaneers weren’t allowed to fire the cannons from their famed pirate ship after touchdowns and big plays. They did it soon after the clock expired as red, white and black confetti fell onto the field.

Fans still enjoyed the thud of Gronk’s thunderous spike after his first score.

Tampa missed an opportunity to extend the lead when Brady’s 2-yard pass to offensive lineman Joe Haeg was knocked out of his hands by Anthony Hitchens in the end zone. Ronald Jones was stopped short on consecutive carries as Arians stuck to his “No risk it, no biscuit” philosophy and went on fourth down.

But the Chiefs didn’t gain any momentum off the stop. Instead, they made one costly mistake after another.

First, All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce dropped a pass that would’ve been a big gain on third down. Then punter Tommy Townsend shanked a 29-yarder after a penalty forced him to kick again. The Bucs started at Kansas City’s 38 instead of their 27.

A holding call on Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward negated an interception by All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu. Kansas City’s defense held but an offside penalty during Ryan Succop’s successful field goal gave the Buccaneers a first down. Sarah Thomas, the first woman official in a Super Bowl, threw that flag.

Brady needed one play, firing a strike to Gronkowski for a 17-yard TD and a 14-3 lead. Gronk hesitated before spiking the ball, waiting to make sure the flag on the play was again against the Chiefs.

Mahomes drove the offense for a 34-yard field goal by Harrison Butker that cut it to 14-6, but Kansas City’s defense fell apart in the final minute of the first half — allowing 42 yards on two pass interference penalties. One against Mathieu in the end zone set up Brady’s TD pass to Brown for a 21-6 halftime lead.

It was Brady who convinced his new team to give Brown a chance after the troubled former All-Pro came off suspension. His TD toss to Brown was his 50th of the season, including 10 in the postseason.

Mathieu took an unsportsmanlike penalty after the TD pass for getting into it with Brady as he ran to the sideline.

Final score: Bucs 31, Chiefs 9

Live blog

10:15 p.m.

Tom Brady completed 21 of his 29 passes for 201 yards, 3 touchdowns, and no interceptions.

Patrick Mahomes completed 26 of his 49 passes for 270 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. He faced pressure all night long and was sacked three times for a loss of 27 yards

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10:09 p.m.

Another Mahomes interception with less than two minutes left seals the deal.

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9:58 p.m.

Aside from the timeless performance from Tom Brady, and the Bucs defensive line tormenting Patrick Mahomes, this game hasn’t been all that interesting, and certainly not competitive. We’re just a few minutes away from Brady capturing his seventh Super Bowl.

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9:38 p.m.

Bucs punt, we’re losing steam and need a Chiefs touchdown for any sort of excitement to return to this contest. Or at least some Paramount Plus commercials, they have been on point tonight.

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9:28 p.m.

Chiefs failed on a fourth down attempt, turning the ball over on downs and going one-step closer to closing the door on their Super Bowl prospects.

Tom Brady and Co. take over on their own 12-yard line with 13:32 left in the game.

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9:13 p.m.

The Chiefs finally kept the Bucs out of the end zone, but not off the scoreboard as Tampa Bay settled for a field goal attempt after a bad snap sent their once-promising drive to a long fourth down. Succop’s 52-yard field goal was good and the Bucs went up 31-9 with 2:46 left in the third period.

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9:05 p.m.

So much for momentum … again.

Bus picked off Mahomes and took over with advantageous field position, a big lead, and time working against the Chiefs.

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8:59 p.m.

So much for momentum.

Leonard Fournette’s 27-yard touchdown run capped off an impressive 6-play, 74-yard drive that extended Tampa Bay’s lead. With a good PAT, Bucs led 28-9, and the Chiefs will need to turn it around in a hurry.

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8:50 p.m.

Chiefs were able to cut into Tampa’s lead at the beginning of the third quarter, but not as much as they would have wanted to.

Butker made a 52-yard field goal to end a 7-play, 47-yrd drive to begin the second half. It was Butker’s third field foal of the game thus far and it made the score 21-9.

Butker ended

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8:46 p.m.

The Weeknd’s halftime performance was polarizing. Plenty of people who hailed it as an all-time, and many who said it was very bad. Take to Twitter if you care to participate in that sort of discourse, but we did get some quality GIF material

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8:18 p.m.

The Paramount Plus commercials have been the best of the night so far. That’s it. That’s the update.

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8:12 p.m.

Don’t give Tom Brady any time in a Super Bowl. It was a lesson the then St. Louis Rams learned 20 years ago, and it’s a lesson the Chiefs got tonight. With a minute left before the half, the future hall of famer orchestrated a 4-play, 78-yard touchdown that ended with Brady’s third touchdown pass of the half (this time for 1 yard to Antonio Brown).

Extra point was good and the Bucs went up 21-6 on the Chiefs with just six seconds left in the opening half. That clicked down a few moments later and the 21-6 score went into the locker room.

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8:02 p.m.

A 10-play, 61-yard drive was the best of the night so far for the Chiefs, but they still fell short of the endzone and settled for a 34-yard field goal by Butker. With that through Kansas City still trailed 14-6 with 1:01 left in the second quarter. For Chiefs fans, your team does get the ball to start the second half.

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7:46 p.m.

A pair of very costly penalties for the Chiefs. First a Brady interception got called back due to defensive holding, and a few plays later, an offsides call on a field goal attempt kept Tampa’s drive alive, and they took advantage of the opportunity.

Brady found Gronkowski for a 17-yard touchdown on the next play for their second touchdown connection of the game. Succop’s extra point was good at the Bucs took a 14-3 lead over the defending champions.

In advertising news, Mike’s Hard Lemonade went the product placement route, but getting the popular Instagram account Dude With Sign, to promote their beverages at the stadium.

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7:35 p.m.

The normally scary Chiefs offense has been extremely slow tonight: 4 drives, 16 plays, and 64 yards thus far. Yet another three-and-out from, and a botched punt, gave the Bucs premier field position at the K.C. 38-yard line with 9:03 left in the half.

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7:30 p.m.

Following a Kansas City three-and-out (again), and eight plays for 69 yards from the Bucs, Tampa Bay was left facing a fourth and goal from the Chiefs’ one-yard line. The Bucs elected to go for it, but the Chiefs elected to stop them, halting them on the pivotal fourth and goal and keeping Tampa from extending their early lead.

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7:12 p.m.

And the offenses are starting to come alive. Tom Brady found Rob Gronkowski for an 8-yard touchdown, which capped off an 8-play, 75-yard drive. Succop’s PAT was a success and the Bucs took a 7-3 lead with 0:37 left in the opening quarter.

Strangely enough, it was Brady’s first touchdown drive in an opening drive of a Super Bowl. This is his 10th Super Bowl for those keeping track at home.

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7 p.m.

POINTS! Harrison Butker connected on a 49-yard field goal to cap off an 8-play, 31-yard drive and give the defending champions an early 3-0 lead. Afterwards Matthew McConaughey starred in a pretty good Doritos commercial about being three dimensional, and then Will Ferrell showed up in a GM commercial and challenged Norway to an electric car sell-off. Nothing super memorable from the ads thus far, or the game for that matter, but steady programming all around.

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6:55 p.m.

Another three-and-out for the Bucs and the advertised offensive powerhouses have not been clicking.

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6:48 p.m.

Chiefs punted after an uninspiring 6-play, 16-yard drive. Tampa took over at their own 20. M&Ms with a solid early commercial (extra points for the Karen work).

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6:40 p.m.

Three and out to begin the Super Bowl for the Bucs. Not exactly fireworks from Tom Brady and Co. Brad Pinion punted it 40 yards and the Chiefs took over at their own 33-yard in early in the first. Biggest surprise so far? No commercial on that change of possession.

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6:35 p.m.

Chiefs win the coin toss and defer to the second half. Bucs receive. A lot of pomp and circumstance have led to this point, but also a few prop bets like national anthem length (over), and coin toss (heads). Long way to go, but a decent amount of action thus far.


Odds

Moneyline: TB: (+135) |KC (-155)

Spread: TB: +3 (-110) |KC -3 (-110)

Total: 56 — Under: (-115) |Over (-105)

Check back as we continue to update this developing story

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