The football world continues to reel from the surprising loss suffered by the Kansas City Chiefs by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV. In some respects, the game won’t be forgotten as not only did Tom Brady continue his domination of the league, but he also helped Tampa Bay become the first location to win a Super Bowl on its home turf.
And, from the opposite end of the spectrum, the loss was particularly brutal for the Chiefs with their strong regular-season record and reputation as a budding dynasty. While the Chiefs’ loss comes at an unfortunate time for the up-and-coming Patrick Mahomes, whose $500 million-dollar-contract will likely push him to look for another Lombardi Trophy.
Though fans will have to wait another year to see which teams will be heading to the Super Bowl, NFL betting odds are available already for fans looking to place a futures bet on the big game. While it may seem a bit early, it’s one of the most competitive times for punters—especially those still fresh off a surprising loss in Tampa.
But what, precisely, went wrong for the Chiefs at Raymond James Stadium? Aside from facing a prepared and lethal team, the Kansas City franchise also made a few costly mistakes of their own.
Piling On Missteps
Heading into the Super Bowl, the Chiefs were already a step behind the competition following a car accident that saw outside linebacker coach Britt Reid stuck at home. The fatal incident left the Chiefs with an emotional toll to carry into the big game.
However, there were other technical mistakes that cost the Chiefs their momentum—if not the game. In the first half, multiple errors helped the Buccs make two trips to the endzone. First, Travis Kelce, the Chiefs’ near-perfect wide receiver, missed a third-down pass.
The mistake led to rookie Tommy Townsend making an ill-fated punt, which then led to the Buccs’ second touchdown. From there, the penalties piled on. First came an unnecessary roughness call against lineman Chris Jones, then came multiple pass interference calls that led to the Buccs scoring a third touchdown before the first half ended.
In the third quarter, Mahomes threw an interception which led to a field goal, and finalized the score 31-9. Though the fourth quarter saw two near-touchdown passes from Mahomes, neither team shifted momentum near the end.
A Worthy Opponent
When the Chiefs weren’t busy shooting themselves in the foot, the Buccaneers pushed defensive and offensive lines to the limit. Offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles had surprises in store for the Chiefs.
While the KC squad planned on man coverages and heavy blitzing from Bowles and the Buccs’ defense, the defensive coordinator switched up the plan. He shifted his safeties deep to stymie Tyreek Hill and left his top linebackers to stifle Travis Kelce.
Without starting tackles like Eric Fisher, the Chiefs couldn’t compete and adapt quickly enough to find ways to push the ball forward. However, this may not be a commentary against the Chiefs’ adaptability, but instead a testament to Todd Bowles’ leadership. Knowing he’d face the league’s deadliest offense, Bowles planned accordingly.
Battle of the QBs: Brady vs. Mahomes
This Super Bowl saw two of the greatest quarterbacks face off against one another. With Mahomes aged only 25 years, he’s on the docket to surpass Brady’s (age 43) prolific career setting records in the NFL—or, at least, he was before Super Bowl LV.
Brady now has seven Super Bowl championships under his belt, and Mahomes only has one. Brady earned his fifth Super Bowl MVP title, breaking previous records, while Mahomes still only has one.
In other words, Mahomes and the Chiefs have plenty of time to rectify the mistakes made in the Super Bowl. However, the stakes are higher for Mahomes, who isn’t just competing for another Lombardi Trophy but is also looking to top records left by one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history.