The first prediction, early lines, and quick analysis of all the 2021 NFL playoff games – Super Bowl version.
We did this already.
Kansas City beat Tampa Bay 27-24 in Week 12 when Tyreek Hill went wacky with 13 catches for 269 yards and three scores. The Chiefs held a 27-10 lead before Tom Brady hit Mike Evans for two scores in the fourth quarter to make it interesting, but it was too little too late.
It was wild, both star quarterbacks threw for a bazillion yards, and …
Can we have that again?
Without doing any research or giving it any real thought, here’s the knee-jerk thoughts and prediction for your Super Bowl LV. The actual line is added after the thing is written and predicted.
As always, this can and will change over the next two weeks when our game preview comes out, but until then …
Always go with your first answer.
2021 NFL Playoffs: Super Bowl LV
5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs 1 Kansas City Chiefs
Sunday, February 7th
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: Maybe you watched the fabulous HBO documentary on Tiger Woods, and you surely saw the phenomenal series ‘The Last Dance’ on Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls.
As amazing as they were, they were so, so bittersweet – who didn’t want to go back in time and relive the greatness at an all-time level?
Here you go. You’re getting Tom Brady in his tenth Super Bowl.
Best of all, this isn’t like Peyton Manning taking home Super Bowl 50 in a last gasp, along for the ride sort of way. This is Brady still playing as well as any quarterback in the NFL, even if he’s off just a wee bit.
Here you go. You’re getting Patrick Mahomes in his second Super Bowl, and almost certainly not his last.
There obviously weren’t any issues against Buffalo after the concussion suffered against Cleveland, and the toe problem didn’t slow him down a bit, but getting two weeks off to rest up isn’t going to hurt.
Getting two weeks off to rest up isn’t going to be a bad thing for the 43-year-old guy, either.
The home field side of this for Tampa Bay doesn’t make a difference. It’s the Super Bowl – it’s not going to feel like anything like normal for the Buccaneers.
What will make a difference, though, is the Tampa Bay pass rush that managed to harass Aaron Rodgers for a full 60 minutes, and a run defense that’s the best in the NFL.
Watch out for a reverse of the first meeting in styles.
Kansas City wasn’t able to run all that well, and Mahomes was protected, but the offense still held on to the ball for almost 37 minutes to go along with the tremendous day from Hill and the passing game.
Brady threw a few picks, and the offense couldn’t move the chains, but this time around, it’s going to be pound, pound, pound as the Bucs go against type and try controlling the clock and the tempo.
Of course it’s all going to be about Brady vs. Mahomes, but Leonard Fournette will be every bit as important. Tampa Bay was able to get away with Green Bay having the ball for almost ten minutes longer in the NFC Championship, but in this, expect the Bucs to try doing everything possible to grind this down to a stop early – that’s where Fournette comes in.
And then the Kansas City defense will step up.
The two weeks off will allow the two coaching staffs time to figure out how to take out the opposing main men. That will last for a while for the Bucs, but eventually the dam will break, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill will start to get going in the third quarter, and Mahomes will find his groove.
Brady will be fantastic right up until a key interception early in the fourth quarter turns the game completely around. Boom, boom, boom – three plays later, Kansas City gets into the end zone and takes control of the game.
It’ll be fascinating. It’ll be history. It’ll be the greats going at it before the documentaries come out.
Knee-Jerk No Research Prediction: Kansas City 33, Tampa Bay 27
Early Line No-Look Guess: Kansas City -4
Actual BetMGM Line: Kansas City -3.5 o/u: 57.5