Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Why They Can Upset The Chiefs
As the Super Bowl draws near this coming Sunday, most NFL analysts and fans are probably picking the Kansas Chiefs to repeat as champions over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They are favored and they have the best overall offense in the NFL, led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who is probably the best QB in the game now. The Chiefs won it all last season and they had the best record in the regular season at 14-2.
Easy victory, right? Not so fast. Here come Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers trying to spoil the fun.
Despite the Chiefs’ prowess, the Bucs could possibly make this Super Bowl interesting and maybe even pull it out.
Here are some reasons why.
Tampa Bay’s defense
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been one of the best defensive teams this season and they are proving it in the playoffs so far especially in their last two games against high-powered offensive teams in the New Orleans Saints and the Green Bay Packers.
In the NFC Divisional Game, the Bucs held the Saints to only 20 points and also intercepted future Hall of Fame QB Drew Brees three times. This was also after getting blown out by those Saints twice in the regular season. In the NFC Championship Game vs likely MVP Aaron Rodgers and the No. 1 seeded Packers, Tampa Bay held Green Bay to only 10 points in the first half, hanging on for a 31-26 victory to advance to the Super Bowl.
The Bucs can beat you in so many ways defensively. Upfront, there’s Ndamukong Suh, William Gholston and company. They are strong in the linebacking corps led by Jason Pierre Paul and Shaquil Barrett. They’re also solid in the backfield with key players like Jordan Whitehead and Antoine Winfield Jr at safety.
Kansas City’s offense is at a different level and so the Bucs defense has to be at their best. So far in these playoffs, their defense has been pretty dominant and this is one defense that can perhaps give Kansas City some fits.
Tampa Bay’s offense is better than advertised
The Bucs offense has been up and down all season but when they’re on, they are one of the best offenses in the league. Of course, you have QB Tom Brady which I’ll get to later on. But they also have other playmakers who contribute in huge ways. At running back, they have Leonard Fournette who is still one of the most reliable running backs in the game.
He scored two touchdowns in the playoffs so far, including a 20-yard touchdown run vs the Packers in the NFC Title Game. Tampa Bay will also counter with Ronald Jones lll in the run game as well. Jones and Fournette combined for 13 touchdowns in the regular season.
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The Bucs receiving corps is one of the best in the game led by Mike Evans, who had 1,006 receiving yards with 13 touchdowns in the regular season. He also scored two more touchdowns in the playoffs. Evans is paired with another stud wide receiver in Chris Godwin who had seven touchdowns in the regular season.
In the playoffs, Godwin came up big vs the Packers with 110 yards receiving. Antonio Brown also joins the wide receiving mix. The Bucs are also strong at tight end with Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate. The Bucs offense is one that could possibly play in a shootout with KC’s dynamic offense. Kansas City’s defense has also been up and down at times, so if they’re not careful, Tampa’s wide variety of offensive weapons can give the Chiefs D fits.
Then of course there is the ageless Tom Brady. At age 43, Brady is still playing and winning and once again he is back in the Super Bowl. Yes, he may not be the same dominant quarterback that he was back in his prime with the New England Patriots. However, at age 43, you can’t help but be impressed at how he keeps dealing and his numbers prove it this season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In the regular season, Brady threw for 4,633 yards (3rd) with 40 touchdowns (tied for 2nd) and only 12 interceptions. In the playoffs, he once again proved why he’s still one of the best out there, with seven touchdown passes and three interceptions (all vs the Packers). With his longstanding championship pedigree, there is still probably no one who you want with the game on the line more than No. 12. He is still calm and cool and it definitely would not be surprising at all if he comes through again in another Super Bowl and lifts the Lombardi trophy for the seventh time.
I’m predicting a close and sort of high scoring game. It will still be a tough climb for the Bucs due to Mahomes and the rest of the team’s offense, which can put points in a number of ways. When the Chiefs defense is on, it’s capable of slowing any offense as they did with the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship game.
But the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will definitely be no slouch led by Brady and a variety of offensive support and a solid all-around defense. It will be no surprise if Tampa makes this competitive and perhaps pull it off.
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