Super Bowl LV pick: Chiefs overcome Bucs in close game

Super Bowl LV will be the 55th championship game for the National Football League. The game will kick off at 6:30 EST.


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The National Anthem will be sung by Grammy-nominated artists Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan while the halftime show will be performed by The Weeknd.

After a long and crazy NFL season, only two teams remain. Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs will represent the American Football Conference (AFC), and Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will represent the National Football Conference (NFC) in the 2021 Super Bowl. After winning last year’s Super Bowl, the Chiefs are now just one win away from becoming the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls since the 2003-2004 Tom Brady-led Patriots. 

In just his first season as a member of the Buccaneers, Brady has turned the franchise around. After finishing last season at 7-9 with Jameis Winston as their quarterback, Brady came in and led the Buccaneers to their first Super Bowl appearance since 2002.

Although the Chiefs are listed as slight favorites to defeat the Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV, their offense won’t be at full strength. The Chiefs will most likely be without both of their starting offensive tackles. Eric Fisher, a former first-round pick and left tackle for the Chiefs, tore his Achilles tendon in the AFC Championship Game, and pro-bowl right tackle Mitchell Schwartz is still recovering from a back injury and is expected to miss his 13th straight game. Although Mahomes had a stellar performance in the AFC Championship game just a week after suffering a concussion, he is still dealing with a turf toe injury that has been bothering him since the first half of the divisional round.  

However, the Chiefs aren’t the only ones entering the big game a little banged up. The Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown and starting safety Antonie Winfield Jr. both missed the NFC Championship game and have yet to practice. Brown is dealing with a knee injury he suffered against the Saints in the divisional round, and Winfield Jr. is nursing an ankle injury. Although both have yet to practice, there is speculation that they are just resting and will be ready to play on Feb. 7.

The Buccaneers will make history by becoming the first team to play a Super Bowl on their home field. Brady and the Buccaneers will hope to take advantage of this, but the question remains: will this advantage significantly impact the game? 

Due to COVID-19 guidelines, there will only be an estimated 22,000 fans in attendance even though the stadium has a capacity of around 65,000 and is expandable to more than 70,000.. However, before the AFC and NFC Championship games were played, it was announced that about 7,500 vaccinated health care workers were invited to the Super Bowl and would be attending the game for free.

As to who will be crowned Super Bowl champions, I believe the Chiefs’ powerful offense will be too much for the Buccaneers defense to handle. Although Mahomes’ mobility is restricted with his injury and the potential absence of his two starting tackles, I believe the Chiefs’ offense will prevail and put up big numbers, while the defense slows down Brady on critical drives to secure a close victory and their second title in as many years.