By Ryan Croke
The biggest television event of the year took place last weekend, and it did not disappoint–at least me, anyway. Super Bowl LV, held in Tampa, shocked most of the world, myself included, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers blew the bricks off the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9. In a dominant performance from Tampa Bay, the reigning champion Chiefs got outplayed in a way that we’ve never seen before. The favored team struggled all night, especially as the game went on. The story of the night, however, was that former New England icon Tom Brady won his seventh Super Bowl, eclipsing all other franchises in the NFL for the most championships won in history. Yes, you read that right. One player has more championships than all of the franchises in the NFL. The greatest of all time cemented an already incredible legacy Sunday night, and I loved every second of it.
As a life-long Patriots fan, I had to support my childhood idol in his tenth championship appearance. Brady played incredibly well during this game and won his fifth Super Bowl MVP award for his performance. He certainly didn’t look like he was 43 years old out there. However, most fans agree that the true MVP of this game was the Buccaneers defense as a unit and the way they held the best offense in the league to only nine points and didn’t even let up a touchdown. They dominated all night long, especially at the line of scrimmage, as the injured offensive line of Kansas City could do nothing but watch as they were pummeled each and every down. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was out of his element in this game, and the numbers make that clear, as he threw for 270 yards and 2 interceptions, an unimpressive stat line from the best quarterback in the NFL today. However, the numbers are deceiving, and Mahomes deserves absolutely zero criticism for his performance. His offensive line could block nobody up front, and as a result, he had to scramble out of the pocket way more than he was used to. In fact, he ran a total of 497 yards trying to evade Tampa Bay defenders. Tampa dominated on the defensive side of the ball, and this was a key to their success.
The Kansas City Chiefs were forced out of their element by the Buccaneers on Sunday. Their two offensive weapons, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, known for tearing defenses apart, couldn’t get any momentum going until it was too late, and their defense’s lackluster job of defending the Tampa offense did them no favors. The first quarter was misleading, as the two teams got off to slow starts, but looked relatively evenly matched, with the score at the end of the period being 7-3, Tampa in the lead. The second quarter exposed the flaws of Kansas City, as their offensive line began to have problems, and the defense gave up a boatload of penalties in the final minute of the half, allowing Tampa Bay to take a 21-6 lead going into the halftime show done by The Weeknd. Kansas City was a team dominating others, not being the victims of a blowout, but that was shown from this point on. The team did not have the mental toughness necessary to pull off a comeback, and many of the players looked like they had given up coming out of halftime. This was where the dominance of Tampa Bay started to show. The Chiefs’ offensive line couldn’t block to save their lives and it seemed like Mahomes was forced to scramble for his life on almost every down. The defense allowed even more points, and you could tell the Kansas City players’ emotions let their emotions get the best of them. This game was a shock to most people, as the favored Chiefs were obliterated by Tampa Bay. I loved watching Brady tear apart the Chiefs secondary en route to his seventh Super Bowl ring. Unfortunately, not everything that resulted from this game was positive.
The halftime show by The Weeknd was very polarizing. A very talented performer, The Weeknd included a great set for the show. The backdrop was incredible to look at. However, as a person viewing the game at home, I was not a fan of the performance at all. The audio seemed a little skewed, and I could barely hear any of what he was singing. This made it hard to listen to, and it felt like a huge letdown. This was really my only real gripe from the night. One concerning thing, however, is that the game I originally predicted to have a rating spike recorded the worst ratings of a Super Bowl since 2007. This is pretty concerning and might be due to the fact that it was such a blowout. Regardless, I certainly enjoyed watching the 55th super bowl, although it seems a lot of America did not.