Prediction: Mahomes, Chiefs will go back-to-back on Sunday

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Tammy Ljungblad | Kansas City Star, TNS

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers play against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 7.

By Sam Krimins, Staff Writer

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers look to take down the defending Super Bowl champs the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday. The game will take place at Raymond James Stadium, the Buccaneers’ home arena, with kickoff set for 6:30 p.m. While other teams have played Super Bowls in their hometown, no team has ever played on the biggest stage in its home stadium before.

Pitt will have three former players on the teams contending in the Super Bowl — Buccaneers safety Jordan Whitehead, running back LeSean McCoy and Chiefs wide receiver Maurice Ffrench. McCoy is a veteran, mainly providing mentorship to younger players, while getting little to no playing time himself. Ffrench, a rookie wide receiver, went undrafted and has spent the season on the Chiefs’ practice squad.

Whitehead is likely the only former Panther that will see the field on Sunday. Whitehead had a huge hit on Packers running back Aaron Jones during the NFC Championship to force a crucial fumble. Whitehead finished the game with two forced fumbles and four solo tackles, propelling the Buccaneers to this pivotal game.

Super Bowl LV will clash the greatest quarterback of all time in Tom Brady against young gun Patrick Mahomes, who many believe will capture that title someday. The Buccaneers went 11-5 in the NFC South, impressively beating the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship. Brady leads one of the most dangerous offenses in the league, featuring wide receivers Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown and running back Leonard Fournette.

With all those weapons, Tampa Bay garnered 6,145 yards of total offense in the regular season. Most impressively, the offense arguably never even reached its full potential. Both Evans and Godwin had underwhelming seasons — Evans had the second least receptions of his career and Godwin dealt with injuries, never putting together a solid string of games. 

But the Buccaneers will have a tough test matching the Chiefs offense, considered one of the most potent units of all time. Superstar Mahomes has produced another MVP caliber year and tight end Travis Kelce has had the best season of his career, recording 1,416 yards to go along with 11 touchdowns.

On top of those weapons, the Chiefs have speedy wide receivers Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman and running back Le’Veon Bell. Hill and Hardman’s insane quickness opens the field for the others to do damage. The Bucs will need to focus on stopping Hill and Kelce, without forgetting about the number of other threats.

While the flashy offenses attract attention, fans can’t overlook the defenses. The Buccaneers specifically have a plethora of talent on the defensive side of the ball led by an absolutely loaded front seven, which includes Ndamukong Suh, Vita Vea and Jason Pierre-Paul, Whitehead and safety Antoine Winfield Jr,, to help back up the defensive line with tight coverage.

The Chiefs have an adept defense as well, led by safety Tyrann Mathieu, defensive tackles Chris Jones and Derrick Nnadi, as well as defensive end Frank Clark. The veteren Mathieu will need to anchor the Chiefs against Brady and a potent passing offense to have a chance on Sunday.

Prediction

Super Bowl LV will be one to remember, but the Chiefs’ potent offense will overpower both the Buccaneers offense and defense. Hill will gash Tampa Bay for at least two touchdowns and Kelce will add another. This will open the field for Bell to run all over the Bucs front seven at the end of the game. The Bucs will also have their way against the Chief’s defense, but ultimately match the one-of-a-kind offense of the Chiefs.

The Chiefs will become back-to-back NFL Super Bowl champions, and they don’t look like they will slow down anytime soon.

Final: Kansas City: 41, Tampa Bay: 31

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