The Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are meeting for Super Bowl 55, and the defending champions enter as favorites.
Kansas City Chiefs
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sunday, Feb. 7
6:30 p.m. ET
We made it. Super Bowl LV.
All week, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the quarterbacks. Yes, Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady are facing off. It’s a great storyline, but what will determine the game is largely elsewhere.
Without rehashing every narrative, you know the drill. To win, the Bucs need to get ample pressure on Mahomes sans blitzing. They must get home repeatedly and not only get him off his spot, but force throwaways and turnovers. Moving Mahomes means nothing. He needs to be forced into negative plays. Here’s the problem: Mahomes has eight turnovers all year.
When picking playoff games, there’s a good rule to live by. Pick the team with the most paths to victory.
If Tampa Bay can’t pressure Mahomes, the game is essentially over. Bruce Arians’ club is really talented on both sides of the ball, but it has a singular path to victory.
Kansas City can win even if Mahomes is battered (see: New Orleans). The Chiefs can win by pressuring Brady into mistakes (see: Week 12). They can win by scoring 30+ points (see: most games since 2018). They can win throwing short (see: AFC Championship Game) and can win throwing deep (see: again, Week 12).
Mahomes can be beat, but it’s brutally tough. He’s 25-1 in his last 26 starts.
Can the Chiefs lose this game to Brady and the Bucs? Absolutely. But Kansas City has the best coach and quarterback on earth, a criminally underrated secondary and the best weaponry in the game.
It’s a recipe for a repeat.
Pick: Kansas City 30, Tampa Bay 20