With the Super Bowl one day away, the Field Gulls team of writers once again got together to make our predictions for the showdown between the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs and the home team Tampa Bay Buccaneers. We don’t really have a clear rooting interest compared to the absolute need to not see the San Francisco 49ers win it last year. Even with the obvious want of a 49ers loss (which we got!) the staff was split down the middle in its predictions. What about this year? You’ll find out soon enough.
Here’s how we picked this game!
Mookie Alexander: It really comes down to the lines. If Kansas City’s depleted unit can’t pass protect then it will damage the passing offense — won’t even entertain KC having an effective rushing attack in the trenches — and the Bucs can sit on their quick throws because they won’t have time to go deep down the field. If the Buccaneers can’t protect Tom Brady then he’s far worse under pressure than Patrick Mahomes and those will be drive killers. The Chiefs will surely blitz a lot and they blitz so well. Their defense is not great and it’s inferior to Tampa Bay but it’s also quite underrated. Tampa did shut down KC’s offense in the 2nd half of the regular season matchup but to do it over a full game just seems nearly impossible. They’ll need turnovers and in bunches or else I just see too much speed for the Bucs to defend over 60 minutes. Hill, Watkins, and Hardman as your top three wideouts is not even fair. Kelce is on his way to being one of the three greatest TEs of all-time. I’ll be interested to see if the Bucs try and exploit Kansas City’s rush defense with Fournette and Jones or just air it out with their vaunted receiving corps. I’d be shocked if we get a blowout either way and super shocked if KC is blown out. I picked the Chiefs to repeat as Super Bowl champs at the start of the season and I’m not going to waver now. KC wins the turnover battle and the third down battle to get another trophy. Chiefs 34 Buccaneers 27.
John Fraley: Buccaneers. Super Bowl MVP Mike Evans cleans up with three touchdown grabs. Mahomes commits one more turnover than Brady and that’s the difference. A little defense is played but not too much. TB 34, KC 29
John Morgan: KC. Mahomes looking like Maude last game gives me pause, but I’m unconvinced by Brady’s three-game impersonation of peak Derek Anderson. Guy’s sniping with a Gyrojet. Plus Spags seems to be the Spy to Brady’s Marshal in the peculiar game of Stratego which is NFL football.
Briefly close and maybe not even that, Tompa fails to effectively win a slow game of field goals and field position. Before the half KC’s put two-score pressure on the Bucs. Early in the fourth quarter whilst chasing what’s soon to be his second pick six thrown of the game Brady explodes into a cloud of bats.
One of which Andy Reid deep fries. Chiefs 44 Bucs 20
Brandan Schulze: Can I just pick the quarterback of the team that has the ball with about 45 seconds or more left on the clock?
Mookie: No you can’t Brandan.
Brandan: How about the quarterback to have the ball first in overtime?
Mookie: You’re supposed to pick a team! And uh… yeah I guess.
Brandan: Fine. I’m going to take the Bucs. Tom Brady gets the ball back with 1:12 left in the fourth quarter down 30-28 after a failed point-after conversion attempt by the Chiefs. Brady leads the team methodically down the field in position for a 40-yard field goal and a win as time expires. Bucs 31, Chiefs 30
Tyler Alsin: I choose TB in TB because he solved the “Bill or Brady” question in one year, and in the most decisive way possible. The New England Patriots are at home watching, while Tom Brady dismantled the Green Bay Packers in two quarters, before playing blindfolded duck hunt with the football to finish the game. There will come a moment, even if only one, when it will matter that Patrick Mahomes is not Tom Brady. Bucs 31 Chiefs 28
Frank T. Raines: I am going to geek-out on “stats for the casual fan” when making my pick.
STAT #1: In Super Bowls 45 through 54, the higher seed won exactly once while the lower seed won four times. The other 5 games were a 1 vs. a 1 or a 2 vs. a 2. SB 55 is a 1 vs. a 5, so . . . Edge: Tampa Bay.
STAT #2: The team with the better record during the regular season has won the Super Bowl twice in the past ten tries while failing to win five times. For this stat, the 3 games that featured teams with identical records don’t count. KC had the best record in the league this season . . . Edge: Tampa Bay.
STAT #3: Seattle vs. New England in SB 49 was a “pick’em” - pun not intended, but damn does it seem appropriate in retrospect. In the other nine Super Bowls that I am using for my analysis, the Underdog prevailed 5 times and the Favorite prevailed 4 times. This one is close, but . . . Edge: Tampa Bay
STAT #4: Brady has 6 rings, Mahomes has 1 and while, yes, Brady got “a head start” (since Mahomes was in kindergarten when Brady was drafted), 6 is still more than 1. Plus, only two teams have repeated as Super Bowl Champions in the past 25 years . . . and Brady was the QB of one of them. I am throwing in with “experience” on this one . . . Edge: TOMpa Bay
As for the score, I am going with the “Over” (56) since that has been the result in 6 of the last 10 Super Bowls. Tampa Bay 34, Kansas City 28
John Gilbert: Kansas City. The Chiefs are 16-1 in games in which they put forth the effort to win this season, and as good as Brady and the Bucs might be, I just don’t think they’ll have enough juice to pull it off. Also, Bruce Arians was an assistant coach for the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers, so while I can certainly respect the difficulties he’s faced during his life, I wish him no success in a game with the Lombardi trophy on the line. Chiefs 38, Bucs 30
Frank: I was unaware of Bruce’s connection to the ‘05 Pittsburgh conspiracy. Is it too late to change my pick?
Mookie: No it isn’t.
Frank: Well, there are approximately 31 NFL coaches that I would rather see win a Super Bowl before Bruce Arians does, but . . . my stats still indicate that TOMpa Bay is going to prevail.
Willie Keeler: Great close game, however Brady throws an interception at the goaline to end the game. “Pete Carroll” and “Marshawn Lynch” proceed to trend on Twitter after the game and every sports talk show the next morning is discussing the foremost question on everyone’s minds: “Is Brady the GOAT or was it actually all Belichick?” Chiefs 38 Bucs 33
Chiefs - 4
Buccaneers - 4
Wow again?! I swear I did not coax them into making this event. This is unlike consensus opinion that the Chiefs will become the first team with an actual amazingly great quarterback to beat Tom Brady in a Super Bowl. The previous Brady conquerors were the inferior Manning brother twice and Nick Foles. Much better quarterbacks have come at the king and his team and taken an L. Maybe this year is different.
I’m looking forward to a great game and join us for tomorrow’s game thread, plus the Enemy Reaction afterward early next week!
Who takes Super Bowl LV?
This poll is closed