Tom Brady steered the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a snug 31-9 victory over the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs to increase his document for Tremendous Bowl wins to seven.
In his first season after a glittering 20-year stint with the New England Patriots, the evergreen quarterback helped Tampa Bay turn out to be the primary staff to play a Tremendous Bowl in their very own stadium.
And regardless of enjoying Kansas Metropolis and their dynamic younger quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who got here in as favourites, Brady threw three landing passes to forestall the Chiefs turning into the primary back-to-back NFL champions since Brady and the Patriots within the 2004 season.
At 43 years and 188 days, Brady turned the oldest participant to play within the largest recreation in US sport, extending his document for Tremendous Bowl appearances to 10 and becoming a member of Peyton Manning as the one quarterback to win Tremendous Bowls with two totally different groups.
Already broadly thought of the best NFL participant of all time, Brady determined to go away New England within the low season for a brand new problem and was lured to Tampa Bay, whose solely earlier Tremendous Bowl win got here within the 2002 season.
He reportedly instructed the Bucs he needed them to herald former Patriots team-mates Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Brown, in addition to Leonard Fournette, and the trio shared Tampa Bay’s 4 touchdowns as they eased dwelling after main 21-6 at half-time.
Whereas the Chiefs got here into the post-season as the highest seed within the AFC Convention, Tampa Bay had been the NFC’s sixth seed and have become the primary wildcard staff to win a Tremendous Bowl because the Inexperienced Bay Packers 10 years in the past after a outstanding play-off run.
After shedding to the Chiefs in week 12, the Bucs completed the common season with 4 wins earlier than beating three division winners – on the highway – to succeed in the title decider for simply the second time.
Brady proves a degree
Whereas at New England, Brady shaped the NFL’s most profitable quarterback-coach partnership with Invoice Belichick, and when he left, some felt that Belichick deserved extra of the credit score, that Brady would get ‘came upon’ with out him.
However the Patriots endured their first shedding season since 2000 – the 12 months earlier than Brady turned their beginning QB – whereas Brady has received one other Tremendous Bowl, with a staff he joined throughout a pandemic, after a closely disrupted low season with no pre-season video games.
It was additionally a staff that, earlier than this season, had not received a play-off recreation since successful Tremendous Bowl 37. They’d not reached the post-season in any respect since 2007.
However Brady recognised they had been regularly constructing a aggressive roster. They’d a strong defence that may shield him within the pocket and two of the NFL’s finest receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.
Throughout Tremendous Bowl week, coach Bruce Arians stated Brady was “the lacking piece”. For good measure, they lured Gronkowski out of retirement, gave Brown one other likelihood and picked up free agent Fournette.
All have come to the fore because the Bucs ramped up for an unlikely run on the Tremendous Bowl and after Kansas Metropolis opened the scoring with a subject purpose, Brady discovered Brown twice on the subsequent drive earlier than sending tight finish Gronkowski over with a display screen move.
The pair mixed to devastating impact at New England earlier than Gronkowski retired after successful Tremendous Bowl 53 with Brady and the Patriots. The 31-year-old had a quick stint in WWE and tv throughout his outing. However after easing again into the rigours of the NFL with seven touchdowns through the common season, he caught a 17-yard strike by Brady for his second of Tremendous Bowl 55.
The Chiefs lastly obtained some offence going to answer with a subject purpose however left 64 seconds for Tampa Bay to attain earlier than the half, and Brady accomplished a 71-yard drive by discovering Brown in the long run zone.
Kansas Metropolis rallied firstly of the second half and minimize the deficit with one other subject purpose, however the Bucs continued to dominate on each side of the ball, stifling the NFL’s finest offence.
And Brady discovered Gronkowski for one more large play earlier than Fournette burst by for a 27-yard landing to seal a victory which many dreamed of in Tampa when Brady got here aboard, however few would have thought was attainable.
Chiefs overawed in Tampa
After main Kansas Metropolis to their first Tremendous Bowl win in 50 years, Mahomes was rewarded with a 10-year contract final July, making him the “first half-billion dollar player in sports history”.
He had turn out to be the youngest participant to win the Tremendous Bowl and the NFL MVP award, and the 25-year-old is probably the most thrilling expertise of a brand new period of athletic quarterbacks.
After steering the Chiefs again to the large recreation, ‘the Child’ now had an opportunity to tackle ‘the GOAT’ within the NFL showpiece. It was the primary to function the quarterbacks who had received the earlier two Tremendous Bowls, and two beginning QBs who’ve each received an NFL MVP and Tremendous Bowl MVP.
However Kansas Metropolis erred in all three phases of the sport – slicing punts on particular groups, dropping catches on offence and giving penalties away on defence. Within the first half alone, they had been penalised eight instances for 95 yards.
After Gronkowski put the Bucs in entrance, the Chiefs pulled off what appeared an enormous goal-line cease to forestall the hosts extending their lead. Then Tyrann Mathieu claimed an interception on Tampa Bay’s subsequent drive, solely to see it cancelled out by a defensive holding name.
After forcing the Bucs to accept a subject purpose, an offside put the ball again in Brady’s palms and on the very subsequent play he was given on a regular basis he wanted to select Gronkowski for his second landing.
Regardless of slicing the rating to 14-6 deficit proper earlier than the break, two move interference calls allowed Tampa Bay to march proper again downfield and make it a 14-point recreation with Brown’s landing earlier than Fournette’s third-quarter rating proved the decisive blow.
Brady to Gronk, but once more – Tremendous Bowl stats
- Tom Brady now has extra Tremendous Bowl wins than any NFL franchise, one away from each the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers (6)
- Rob Gronkowski turned the primary man to make at the least one catch in 5 Tremendous Bowls.
- Brady and Gronkowski have linked for 5 passing touchdowns in Tremendous Bowls, passing Joe Montana and Jerry Rice (4) for probably the most in Tremendous Bowl historical past.
- Brady and Gronkowski have mixed for extra post-season touchdowns than another quarterback-receiver duo all-time – 14.
- This recreation noticed the biggest age hole between quarterbacks in Tremendous Bowl historical past (18 years and 45 days).
- At 68 years and 127 days, Bruce Arians turned the oldest coach to win the Tremendous Bowl.
The Weeknd makes most of Covid restrictions
Mark Savage, BBC music reporter
The Tremendous Bowl Half-time Present is historically constructed on grand gestures and eye-popping spectacle.
Take into consideration Woman Gaga diving off the roof of Houston’s NRG stadium, or Katy Perry driving an animatronic lion, or Diana Ross hovering out of Arizona’s Solar Satan Stadium, waving to followers by the open door of a helicopter.
This 12 months was a little bit totally different. Canadian R&B star The Weeknd was the interval act and, for the primary time within the recreation’s 55-year historical past, he was largely compelled to carry out from the stands, relatively than the pitch, in compliance with strict coronavirus protocols.
And his 12-minute present was “watched” by hundreds of cardboard cut-outs, who bulked out the 25,000 socially-distanced followers.
However the 30-year-old made the many of the restrictions with a gimmick-free present that put the emphasis on his songs.
Extra to comply with.