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By Joe Kazmar
For the Record 

Kaz's Korner

Brady's offense, Todd Bowles defense stymies Chiefs in SB LV

 

Last updated 2/9/2021 at 6:06pm



I was one of the perhaps 90 per cent of sports analysts who picked the Kansas City Chiefs to successfully defend their world championship in Super Bowl LV Sunday night incorrectly, doubting Thomas Brady could notch his incomparable seventh title, but not figuring how great the Tampa Bay defense really would be.

CBS, which televised the annual football extravaganza, figured out after the game that Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes scrambled 497 yards from the pocket after taking the snap from center in an attempt to avoid the pass rush devised by Tampa Bay’s defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.

The end result was Mahomes completing only 26 of his 49 passes for a net 243 yards and zero touchdowns with two interceptions and strapping the brilliant 25-year-old quarterback with his first double-digit loss and the fewest points of his four-year career as the Brady-led Bucs won an easy 31-9 Super Bowl victory.

The Buccaneers’ defense put pressure on Mahomes 29 times of his 56 drop-backs which is a Super Bowl record.

With Kansas City missing four of it starting offensive linemen, Tampa Bay reverted to a “smash-mouth” brand of football and easily won the battle in both the offensive and defensive trenches.

And as was heard on Monday morning’s “First Take” program on ESPN, Brady had enough time in the pocket to phone his wife and tell her what he wanted for supper.

Although the Chiefs trailed 21-6 at the half, it was no cause to panic as Head

Coach Andy Reid had trailed numerous times in the playoffs over the years and still devised a formula to rally in the second half and pull out an easy victory.

But this time was different. Maybe it was because Andy’s son was involved in a serious auto accident Friday in which two children were seriously injured and he was suspected of being under the influence of alcohol and it was a huge distraction, or that the Chiefs played a sorry game.

The Chiefs chalked up 11 penalties—offsides, unnecessary roughness, unsportsmanlike conduct, pass interference and lots of holding-- for 120 yards, which is very uncharacteristic of a Reid-coached team.

And 50 years from now, it still will be remembered that Patrick Mahomes got completely outplayed by a 43-year-old goat who beat him twice in a Super Bowl.

The Buccaneers became the sixth team since the Super Bowl Era which began in 1970 to win their final three playoff games as an underdog and the first team to defeat three Super Bowl quarterback MVPs—Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Mahomes—in a post-season.

Tampa Bay also was the fifth wild card team to win a Super Bowl since 2000 and the first team since the 2010 Green Bay Packers.

Head Coach Bruce Ariens, who was encouraged to return to the NFL by his 85-year-old mother, is the second-oldest coach (68 years, 217 days) to win an NFL title since George Halas did it long before the Super Bowl era.

Bucs tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was encouraged to un-retire by Brady, caught two touchdown passes in the first half, giving him 14 post-season TD receptions from Brady.

And speaking of Brady, who won his seventh Super Bowl and fifth Most Valuable Player award, Sunday’s victory will really hurt New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick’s legacy.

Instead of keeping Brady around and letting him retire as a Patriot, Belichick felt Brady’s usefulness was severely diminished at his age and put him out to pasture.

Brady, out to prove that was a huge mistake, declared for free agency and hoped to hook up with another NFL team. But sadly, 30 of the 32 franchises adapted Belichick’s way of thinking and passed on him. Only the LA Chargers and Tampa Bay expressed an interest.

Needless to say, the Buccaneers and Brady worked out the contract and the rest is history.

I’ll bet that Tampa Bay season tickets will be hard to find in another couple of weeks!!!

KWICKIES…Kansas City’s stellar tight end Travis Kelce, who caught a Super Bowl record 10 receptions for 133 yards, should be a sure-bet to be inducted into the Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio after his playing days are finished.

Brooks Koepka, who spent the past 18 months recovering for knee and hip problems, looks like he has come back as good as ever last weekend, He rallied from five strokes down to Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele in Sunday’s final round of the PGA Tour Waste Management Phoenix Open to record two eagles and fire a six-under 65 to finish 19-under and beat Schauffele and Hyoung-Hoon Lee by one stroke.

Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa avoided an arbitration hearing by agreeing to a $11.7 million contract for the 2021 major league season, the final year before free agency. In January, Correa asked for a $12.5 million salary and the Astros countered with $9.75.

To no one’s surprise Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry was named The Associated Press 2020 NFL Offensive Player of the Year award for his 2,027-yard rushing season, the eighth player to surpass the magic 2,000-yard mark. Five of the previous seven to manage the feat won the award.

JUST BETWEEN US…One of the biggest challenges facing Houston Texans brand new head coach David Culley is to keep Deshaun Watson as his quarterback. Some relate that task as to an Eskimo trying to sell bikinis from his igloo.

 

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