2020 NFL SEASON
Good luck at the window this season and enjoy the 2020 NFL season whiles it lasts, because with the ways things are going it won't be long!
Sunday, 6:30 PM, Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL (Weather: Chance rain; low 70s)
Keys: The focus here is always the games ATS and statistics are obviously a huge aspect of these previews. In fact, many times the numbers almost bog down the preview to the point of “paralysis by analysis”. The Super Bowl can be more about the story lines than the Xs and Os, and there are almost too many story lines to speak of here. The Buccaneers are the first team in NFL history to host the Super Bowl. Tom Brady left New England and came to Tampa Bay to do exactly this. Brady is playing in his 10th Super Bowl and has won six. The man who prevented him from winning two more Super Bowls, Jason Pierre-Paul, is now on his side. Patrick Mahomes is playing in his second Super Bowl in four years, which sounds a lot like the start to Brady’s career. Andy Reid has a chance to solidify himself as one of the greatest coaches in NFL history. Speaking of coaches we’re about to witness Tom Brady v. Steve Spagnuolo III, and we all know how the first two went (Spagnuolo 2-0).
Super Bowl LV comes down to experience, without a doubt, but many people are focusing on the wrong experience. While many are focused on Brady’s 10th Super Bowl, I’m focused on Kansas City’s second in two years. While many speak of the experience Brady brings to Tampa Bay, I speak of how little experience Tampa Bay brings Brady. Sure, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians has two rings as a Pittsburgh Steelers assistant; a number of other Buccaneers assistants have Super Bowl experience as well. Several players have limited Super Bowl experience, while a few have extensive experience, most notably Brady’s New England Patriots teammate Rob Gronkowski and Pierre-Paul, whose experience with the New York Giants famously came at Brady’s expense. I’m talking more about Tampa Bay’s current stars, guys like Mike Evans and Devon White, to name a few, who play critical roles on both sides of the ball and haven’t seen anything like the pressure of the Super Bowl, although one could argue covid has largely alleviated most of the outside pressures. The simple fact the Chiefs were just there, and faced an even better defense in the San Francisco 49ers, bodes well for Kansas City, as does the fact Frank Clark, with all of his experience playing in recent Super Bowls with the Seattle Seahawks, plays his best in the big game.
The bottom line to this game is simple: Can Patrick Mahomes overcome the injuries along his offensive line and do Patrick Mahomes things? If so, it’s over for the Buccaneers. Does Spagnuolo and the Chiefs, with Clark and Chris Jones, rattle Brady a la Pierre-Paul all those years back? Then it’s over for the Buccaneers. But if it starts raining, and/or the Chiefs offensive line starts breaking under Todd Bowles’ defensive pass rush schemes and/or the Chiefs have to rely solely on the running game more than anticipated against the Buccaneers top-ranked rush defense, then Tampa Bay has a chance. I don’t buy into the “don’t bet against Tom Brady” creeds, not only because I witnessed those aforementioned losses to the New York Giants, and the Philadelphia Eagles (not to mention the miracle win that occurred v. the Atlanta Falcons), as a devoted Patriots fan, but also because that was a Patriots dynasty filled with coaches and players that combined have 100 or more Super Bowl games worth of experience, most notably Bill Belichick, who helped guide of one the greatest defenses in NFL history in the New York Giants to two Super Bowls in the late 80s. This time around for Brady the Super Bowl will be more like taking aspects of his Super Bowl games from the early (defense) and late (WR talent) ought's and mixing it with his diminished skillset. In other words, there’s potential for greatness, but there’s equal potential for disaster, because if we remember correctly, those explosive Patriots offenses couldn’t score when it mattered most, and that’s when Brady had a stronger and more accurate arm and was a little more mobile, for whatever that’s worth. That’s where Spagnuolo comes into play most. It’s hard to believe Spagnuolo won’t have another plan for Brady with Jones and Clark et al.
So how does Super Bowl LV plays out? I don’t think the Chiefs will be forced solely into the run game, and I don’t think Mahomes will succumb to the pass rush. Some of Mahomes best work comes out of the pocket, which is the last thing you would ever say about Brady. I don’t think the rain will effect anyone, unless there’s a lightning delay, which would be terrible for Brady. You might laugh, but Brady struggles after 8 pm anyway, and a long delay is hurting the 43-year old a lot more than it’s hurting the 25-year old. As far as Pierre-Paul is concerned, he’s not even a starter anymore and his last Super Bowl heroics were ten years ago, so if he has another dominant performance on Sunday I’ll be surprised, even against back-up offensive linemen. Buccaneers LB Devin White could have a game, but it’s more likely the guy he’ll have to cover at times in TE Travis Kelce will have the game. The Tampa Bay defense is one of the best in the NFL, but they haven’t faced an explosive team like Kansas City with the likes of Kelce and WR Tyreek Hill led by a guy like Mahomes. But wait, they did, and although that Week 11 game seemed close (KC won 27-24), Tampa Bay was torched by three Mahomes to Hill TDs (Mahomes: 462 passing yards; Hill: 13 receptions for 269 yards). They say you don’t bet against Tom Brady, but it’s starting to look like you shouldn’t bet against Patrick Mahomes, because the big games seem to wake these Chiefs up, and there’s no bigger game than Super Bowl LV. Good luck at the window Sunday and we’ll see you next season. Maybe even in person!
If you came here for a Super Bowl LV review you came to the wrong place. If you came here for bitterness pull up a chair. First, let me take my lumps. When an assistant coach of the Chiefs hits children with his car while allegedly drunk the night before the SB, and one of the injuries is life-threatening, and the coach happens to be the embattled son of Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, it should've been a huge red flag for any bettor. I never should've bet so confidently on a team missing key offensive linemen. I should've payed more attention to Patrick Mahomes' turf toe, which hampered his mobility, something I keyed in on for SBLV. I should've payed more attention to mismatches among the Chiefs poor LBs and DBs with the Buccaneers dynamic WRS, including, of course, Gronk and AB, which brings me to the meat of my SBLV review: Fuck the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Fuck Tom Brady and his calculating Tom v. Time and upcoming "no one believes in me" documentaries. Fuck Brady's aww shucks attitude as he proudly displays a MAGA hat in his locker. Fuck Brady unceremoniously leaving New England acting like he was wronged for 20 years because he actually sucks if he doesn't have an All-Pro squad around him. Fuck his corny legacy, which is clearly the only thing he cares about. It certainly isn't integrity, as Brady repeatedly went to bat for a serial domestic abuser and alleged rapist in Antonio Brown. Fuck Antonio Brown while we're at it, but he's hardly worth a sentence on this website. Fuck Gronk, who stood at the podium of the CBD company he was repping before the Bucs signed him and cried about how much football damaged his body and brain and how he'd never play again. Fuck Leonard Fournette, who was such a disappointment after being drafted 4th and such a chemistry issue the Buccaneers landed him for pennies on the dollar. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers put it all in to win a Super Bowl and it worked. While I'm at it, fuck Florida. Those people don't even care about people dying of covid, so why would they care if one of their WRs is the biggest piece of shit this side of Tyreek Hill, who looked like a clown Sunday. Yes, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are Super Bowl LV champions and all they had to do was mortgage their future and their soul to do it.