Super Bowl LV: Chiefs-Buccaneers preview, live stream, kickoff time

Arun Srinivasan
·Writer
·7 min read

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Super Bowl LV is a dream matchup for casual viewers and hardcore fans alike, as Patrick Mahomes and the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs face off against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This game is dripping with tailor-made storylines, along with plenty of subtleties that we’ll get into here, and for the next two weeks leading up to the big game.

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Mahomes, the face of the league, might already be the most prodigious athlete in the history of men’s North American team sports. Just 25, Mahomes has won an MVP, Super Bowl, Super Bowl MVP and in his fourth season led Kansas City to a league-best 14-2 record. He is expected to be the runner-up for NFL MVP, but make no mistake, the only thing he cares about is lifting the Lombardi Trophy for the second consecutive year.

On the other side is Brady, who will be making his unfathomable 10th Super Bowl appearance, in his first season with the Buccaneers. Brady won six Super Bowls with the Patriots and his transition to his new surroundings has been seamless, armed with two elite wideouts in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, along with his former Patriots teammate and favourite target, Rob Gronkowski. Simply, we have the greatest player of all-time in Brady squaring off against Mahomes, who is on the trajectory to become the greatest and is the most accomplished young quarterback ever. This game is a history buff’s dream, but it also pits two explosive offenses against each other in what should be an enthralling experience for those in search of an up-tempo game.

COVID-19 always threatens to wreak havoc on the proceedings, but the Buccaneers will become the first team to play at home during the Super Bowl — a development that occurred out of sheer happenstance as Tampa was awarded the hosting rights before the season — while the Chiefs will make sure their team takes all safety precautions seriously.

Super Bowl LV preview: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

All eyes will be on Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady as they look to add to their considerable individual legacies during Super Bowl LV. (AP/Jason Behnken)
All eyes will be on Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady as they look to add to their considerable individual legacies during Super Bowl LV. (AP/Jason Behnken)

Date: Sunday February 7 at 6:30 p.m. ET
How to watch: Live on DAZN Canada

Kansas City looks and plays the part of your prototypical juggernaut as the defending champs breezed through the AFC to the No. 1 seed and a cool 14-2 record. Much to its own detriment at times, however, Kansas City is so remarkably talented that it has developed an on/off switch, speeding up its tempo, urgency and downfield risks only when the game necessitates it. Before Kansas City routed Buffalo 38-24 in the AFC title game, it had been involved in seven consecutive one-score games with Mahomes under center — we’ve purposefully omitted the Week 17 loss against the Chargers as the Chiefs rested the vast majority of their starters. Now, with their place in history on the line, the Chiefs’ offense appears to be activating their kill switch, as the Bills’ defense had no answers for All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce, while Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman’s world-class speed left them completely on their heels.

Mahomes can simply do it all, his improvisational ability and arm strength is unmatched, he can make no-look passes, throw curveballs, and though this wasn’t his very best season, he still finished with an eye-popping 38 touchdowns against six interceptions. In their head-to-head matchup on Nov. 29, Tyreek Hill torched Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis for seven catches, 203 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter. It was one of the best performances by a wide receiver against a cornerback this season, arguably the game of Hill’s career, and one that drove Davis briefly into infamy. Hill’s speed is a problem for any defense, and Davis, who has been outstanding throughout the playoffs, is almost certainly brooding for another chance to take on Kansas City’s roadrunner.

Travis Kelce is a matchup nightmare for any defense, and it’ll be curious to see how the Buccaneers’ All-Pro linebacker tandem of Lavonte David and Devin White handle Kansas City’s superstar tight end. Kelce destroyed the Bills as he constantly was able to get open and line up all over the field, stretching the defense, and opening up major holes for Hill and Hardman to exploit throughout the game. He may be the NFL’s most unguardable player at the moment and the Buccaneers have two weeks to figure it out.

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Brady, conversely, is armed with arguably the most amount of talent he’s ever had at the skill positions. Chris Godwin has elite speed, size, and route-running ability to give any cornerback a headache, while Mike Evans is arguably the NFL’s best player at drawing pass interference penalties, dominates against smaller cornerbacks and is too quick for your average safety. Chiefs defensive back Tyrann Mathieu is one of the NFL’s most cerebral players, and has starred as a cornerback and slot cornerback at different stages of his career. Mathieu will have to provide help for corners Charvarius Ward and Bashaud Breeland, and instruct L’Jarius Sneed on where he can provide freelance help. Sneed, a rookie fourth-round pick has quietly turned into a revelation for the Chiefs and will provide help over the top.

There are more than a few X-factors to watch, so we’ll visit them quickly: Kansas City will be without both of its starting offensive tackles, Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz, due to injury and Tampa Bay’s relentless pass rush of Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul — both of whom have won Super Bowls before — could be in for monstrous nights. Antonio Brown, meanwhile, may be out again for the Buccaneers, but second-year pro Scotty Miller has turned into a legitimate downfield option, and if the Chiefs are preoccupied with Evans and Godwin, he could turn himself into a household name on Feb. 7.

Buccaneers vs. Chiefs: Tale of the Tape

Category

TB

KC

Record

11-5

14-2

Head-to-Head

0-1 (24-27, Nov. 29)

1-0 (27-24, Nov. 29)

Points For (per game)

30.8

29.6

Points Against (per game)

22.2

22.6

Chiefs will win because

They are the defending champions, they’ve been the NFL’s best team since the minute the season kicked off and have a superstar quarterback in Mahomes at the height of his powers. Kelce submitted arguably the best season by a tight end ever, and the Chiefs just ran the 13-3 Bills off the field in a game that was more lopsided than the 38-24 scoreline suggested. This is the truest anatomy of a powerhouse, and Mahomes will continue his unprecedented trajectory en route to becoming an all-time great well before his 26th birthday.

Buccaneers will win because

Brady is the most experienced player in Super Bowl history, and his teammates on the Buccaneers could hardly be characterized as young and inexperienced. Godwin and Evans are a headache for any team, Gronkowski can turn back the clock for one night, and the Buccaneers are perfectly suited to take advantage of a Chiefs team that has coasted on its embarrassment of riches for large swaths of the season. If anyone can pull off an upset, it’s Tom Brady. Can the Buccaneers become the rare offseason winners, who actually win it all come February?

What’s the NFL Playoffs schedule in 2021?

  • Wild Card games: January 9-10

  • Divisional games: January 16-17

  • Conference championships: January 24

  • Super Bowl: February 7

NFL Super Bowl 55 Schedule

Sunday February 7

Time (ET)

Matchup

Stream

6:30 p.m.

Chiefs vs. Buccaneers

DAZN Canada

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