Super Bowl LV


Mr. Parent

Super Bowl LV is one for the past, present, and future of the game. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made it to this point by attracting the best QB of all time to be their field general. The Chiefs have figured out how to keep their explosive offensive weapons a year after winning it all. As much as I would like to talk defense, it is the QB for each team which deserves the attention. This one is the G.O.A.T. versus the Kid.  

The Past: Tom Brady was a sixth round pick out of Michigan who started his career playing behind a pro bowl QB in Drew Bledsoe. Coach Belichick made a clairvoyant decision to keep a young Brady in after Bledsoe healed from an injury. The impact of this decision goes way beyond having Brady and the Patriots defeat our hometown Rams the day my oldest son was born. No, Brady and Belichick would go on to be the most successful coach/QB tandem in the history of football. Nine Super Bowl appearances and six wins. The greatest QB before this was either Joe Montana with four Super Bowl wins, or Johnny Unitas with one Super Bowl and three NFL Championships (before the Super Bowl era.) Brady has eclipsed those idols and became the best the game has ever seen. Tom Brady now holds every meaningful record for the playoffs, and most of them for the regular season. My favorite record is the playoff games won. Brady is at 33 and the next in line, Montana, is at 16. Brady has won 75% of all of his playoff games in his career. This is second only to…Patrick Mahomes at 86%.

The Present: This moment presents us with the best possible QB matchup – the young gun-slinger who is almost unbeatable; and the elderly GOAT who has always found a way to win. They have already played once this season. It was Nov. 29 and it ended with a 27-24 Chiefs victory. In that game, Mahomes passed for 462 yards, three TDs, and zero INTs. Brady went for 345 yards, three TDs, and two INTs. The Chiefs got off to a hot start and the Bucs played catch up the remainder of the game to make it close. Since that point, both teams have gotten better. To make it to the big game, Brady had to defeat the Saints, with Drew Brees playing his last football game of his storied career; and the Packers, who have one of the all-time greats in Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers will probably win the MVP this season. In the youngster division, Mahomes outplayed up-and-comers Baker Mayfield of the Browns and Josh Allen of the Bills. The Chiefs went 14-2 this season and dominated almost every opponent along the way. The Bucs took second in their own division with an 11-5 overall record, winning their last four of the regular season. Do not forget that Mahomes has Super Bowl experience as well. He went to the big game last year, won, and was named Super Bowl MVP. 

The Future: Brady will be gone sometime soon, and his records will be safe for the time being. But Mahomes will be entertaining us for quite some time to come. Some of the records that he has already set are:

  •   Most consecutive 300-plus passing yard games: Eight (tied)
  •   Consecutive double digit deficits overcome including playoffs (Six)
  •   Fastest to 10,000 career passing yards: 34 games
  •   Fastest to 100 career touchdowns: 40 games
  •   Career quarterback rating (minimum 1,500 attempts): 110.7

What else will he do? What will be his legacy? Will he surpass Brady as the G.O.A.T.? I know this: if he wants to take that title in the future, then he has to knock Brady off his throne now, in this Super Bowl. In other words – to be the best, you have to beat the best. It may be his only chance to do this in a Super Bowl. This game will be remembered for one of two things: the passing of the torch from Brady to Mahomes; or Brady establishing himself as the ultimate QB the NFL has ever and will ever see. 

The Prediction: This game, as with all team sports, is about more than just one player. In football, it usually comes down to the offensive and defensive lines. Whoever controls the line of scrimmage usually controls the game. This game presents a large challenge for the Chiefs, as they lost one of their key pieces in offensive left tackle Eric Fisher to an Achilles injury suffered last week. Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has put together a formidable defensive line and linebacker corps for the Buccaneers, with stars in Ndamukong Suh and William Gholston on the line and Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaq Barrett at linebacker who will bring the heat from the edge. For these reasons, and because going against Brady has been a losing cause for 20 years, I pick the Bucs to win by two in a great game.