The Chiefs are on their way to Tampa Bay to play Tom Brady and the Bucs, a team they beat earlier in the season. Clearly, they had their number before, but here are the main keys they need to remember to take down the Bucs once again.
- Exploit the weaknesses
With Tyrann Mathieu on the defense and Mahomes on the offense, I’m sure the Chiefs offense and defense will be studying plenty of film finding out how to attack the Bucs. One key weakness with the Bucs is their rushing offense. They tied with the Jets with 4.1 ypc in the regular season this year. In their last game against the Packers, the Bucs RBs only managed to get 3.2 ypc on 22 carries.
Ronald Jones was shut down in that game especially. He ended the game against the Packers with a disappointing 1.6 ypc. The Chiefs need to exploit this by stopping the pass and forcing the Bucs to have to turn to their lackluster run game. The Chiefs DL would then need to step up as much as they did in the Super Bowl last year.
Another weakness the Bucs have is their pass defense. This year, they’ve allowed a 69% completion percentage and a passer rating of 94.3. They are now facing Patrick Mahomes, who they let tear them apart week 12. Using Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, the Chiefs need to get as aggressive in the passing game as they were in the past to win this game.
2. Get to Tom Brady
Patrick Mahomes vs. Tom Brady in the Super Bowl is something that would sound weird to someone in 2018, but this is a matchup for the ages. Some say it’s like if Lebron and Jordan faced off in the finals, and I have to agree. This is a huge game for both player’s legacy, and the Chiefs need to get after Brady in the hugest game of the year.
Chris Jones is hungry to sack Tom Brady in every game they face off, and they honestly have an underrated rivalry. At this point, I think it’s safe to say Tom Brady is scared of Jones, considering how often he’s been put on his back because of him. The Bucs OL does present a challenge to Jones and the DL though.
This year, the Bucs OL has allowed the fourth least amount of sacks allowed with 22, and the fourth-best pressure rate allowed at 17%. The Chiefs are fifth in the league though in QB knockdowns with 67 on the year. If the Chiefs can at least pressure Brady, they should be able to handle to Bucs offense enough to take control of the game.
3. Bring the “Run it Back” mentality
The most simple thing the Chiefs can do in this game is remembering that they are the defending champs and that they won this game before. They have experience and leadership on this team, and they know how to show up big in the clutch moments. Everyone remembers Wasp and how big that was for the Chiefs, but to Mahomes, it seemed like a routine play.
That doesn’t mean that Tom Brady is not the most experienced Super Bowl player ever, but most of the Bucs team has never played in a Super Bowl before. Most of the Chiefs were here last year, winning it all. The Chiefs have proven they can face any adversity, even in the Super Bowl when down 10 in the 4th quarter.
The Chiefs need to walk into Tampa Bay feeling confident and ready to repeat as champs. Mahomes could become the next face of sports (if he already isn’t) with a second consecutive Super Bowl win. This team has been ready for this game ever since last year’s Super Bowl ended. It’s been “Back to Back” all year and on Sunday they have the chance to prove themselves as potentially the next dynasty.