PFT’s Super Bowl LV picks

NFL: FEB 02 Super Bowl LV Preview
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With one game left, we’re both 9-3 in the playoffs. Someone will claim the postseason crown, because MDS and I disagree on the outcome of Super Bowl LV.

Against the spread, the best I can hope for is a tie. MDS is 7-5, and I’m 6-6.

For our Super Bowl selections, keep read. (Or not; the page view already has registered.)

MDS’s take: Never in NFL history has there been a quarterback matchup better than this one: Tom Brady is polishing off the greatest résumé any NFL player has ever put together, while Patrick Mahomes is the one young quarterback who might plausibly surpass Brady one day. We’re lucky to get to see these two great players, one young and one old, face each other in the Super Bowl.

But it is, of course, about much more than just the quarterbacks. The Chiefs have Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce going up against a Buccaneers secondary that’s young and may not be 100 percent healthy. Kansas City has the ability to create so many mismatches that I just can’t see the Bucs’ defense holding the Chiefs’ offense in check. The Buccaneers do have a good defensive line going up against a banged-up Chiefs offensive line, and that could put a lot of pressure on Mahomes. Bucs defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, in particular, is a player I could see having a big game. But Mahomes is comfortable enough throwing on the run that even if he does face a lot of pressure, I think he’s due for another Super Bowl MVP performance.

Can Brady match that with another Super Bowl MVP performance of his own? I see him falling short. The Chiefs will bring pressure with Chris Jones and Frank Clark, and I see Tyrann Mathieu making some impact plays in the secondary. In the fourth quarter, the Chiefs’ offense will pull away while the Chiefs’ defense shuts down Brady’s final comeback attempt.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 31, Buccaneers 21.

Florio’s take: I have a dilemma. Before the season began, I picked the Buccaneers to win the Super Bowl. As the Buccaneers prepare to play in the Super Bowl, I’m not so sure the Bucs will win. I predicted a Bucs-Pats matchup in Tampa, and I envisioned Tom Brady’s new team getting the better of his old team. Tampa Bay versus Kansas City presents a different analysis.

The Chiefs have played extremely well as the hunted. They play even better when they are also hunting. That’s why the postseason version of the Chiefs seems to be even better than the regular-season edition.

This year, the regular-season Chiefs were good enough to run up a 17-0 lead in Tampa and then hold on. While the Chiefs may not have similar luck right out of the gates, a more focused and locked-in Chiefs team easily could blow out the Buccaneers. From a pick-your-poison-and-then-be-fed-both-anyway offense featuring Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce catching passing from Patrick Mahomes to a defense with the firepower up front to put maximum pressure on Tom Brady (especially with 2007 Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo drawing up the K.C. defense) and the skill on the back end (led by Tyrann Mathieu) to slow down the Tampa receivers, the Chiefs seem loaded.

But the Buccaneers have Brady a great array of pass-catchers, a couple of very good ballcarriers, and an offensive line that has gotten better and better. The defense has, too, with high-end talent at every level.

Without the defense, the Bucs wouldn’t have gotten past the Saints. Without the defense, the Bucs wouldn’t have survived Brady’s three interceptions in three possessions in Green Bay. Without the defense, the Bucs would have no chance to outscore the Chiefs.

With the defense, the Bucs have a chance. With the defense, someone like Shaq Barrett, Devin White, or Antoine Winfield Jr. can provide the spark that flips the field and/or breaks serve, keeping the Chiefs from scoring and giving the Bucs more points.

In nine prior Super Bowls, Brady has always kept things close. Eight games ended within one score. Two years ago, the Patriots beat the Rams by 10, but the score remained 3-3 with fewer than eight minutes to play.

Although I can see the Chiefs winning, and winning easily, I can’t abandon the Bucs now. Brady, I believe, will keep it close. Brady, I believe, will make a big throw in a big spot. The defense, I believe, will make a big play in a big moment. The Buccaneers, I believe, will manage to look up at the scoreboard when the game is over and see, through the confetti, that they scored more points than the Buccaneers.

Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 30, Chiefs 27.

81 responses to “PFT’s Super Bowl LV picks

  1. But but but packer trolls said that they had the SB locked up this year? Did I miss something? Were they humiliated at home once again?

    🤔

  2. The Buccaneers, I believe, will manage to look up at the scoreboard when the game is over and see, through the confetti, that they scored more points than the Buccaneers.

    ——————————————————————–

    Say what?

  3. This game just feels like it will be close, so whoever steps up in the final minutes or has the clock on their side could be the victor. Andy Reid is a little deficient in the clock-management game, but since he’s had Mahomes, it hasn’t reared its ugly head much.

  4. I predict the Chiefs’ offensive line is going to get destroyed in this game. Vita Vea didn’t play in the first meeting. Patrick Mahomes and his receivers will have three turnovers. Brady will score a touchdown off each turnover in this game, and he will open this super bowl with a scoring touchdown drive, which would be his first touchdown scored in the 1st quarter of a super bowl in his playing career. In the end, the Bucs will win by 11 points.

  5. Gee. Florio picked Brady – I mean the Bucs. I don’t even think he is the reason they got there (cue the Defense). I take the Chiefs by double digits (-10).

  6. Yes! I was hoping Florio was going to pick the Bucs.👏

    This will add a little more joy for me when the Chiefs win.😏

    Not a shocker how he hedged his bet: “Although I can see the Chiefs winning and winning easily”…

    What a joke😌

  7. Both Florio and MDS make great cases for both teams and it is a tough one to pick…I’ll ride with Florio, I think the Bucs win by 2!

  8. I wouldn’t remind anyone I picked the Patriots to go to the Super Bowl this year.

  9. People have lost the ability to objectively evaluate Brady. Every win is all his credit and thank goodness this article recognized how purely dreadful he was in one half against the Packers and how he signlehandedly kept Green Bay in the game and was saved by his defense. I wonder how his second half rates in terms of all time worst half of football by a QB in the playoffs.

  10. One team will make a key stand, or two, late in the 3rd, or 4th quarter that will turn the tide in their favor. The game will be close until that stand. Could be a key sack, or a fumble, or an interception that will settle the game.

  11. Who would have thought that the NFC rookie, Brady, could unseat Brees and Rodgers? It boggles the mind that Brady was able to drag his new team to the SB the first try. He has to learn new everything and develop rapport with his new teammates. He is still in that process with his receivers dropping the ball or not in their designated spots. Mahomes is incredibly in sync with his receivers. He could find them on the field with eyes closed. Advantage, Chiefs.

  12. ariani1985 says:
    February 4, 2021 at 1:00 pm
    But but but packer trolls said that they had the SB locked up this year? Did I miss something? Were they humiliated at home once again?

    —–

    How’s that Vikings’ trophy case looking?

  13. Mahomes will be the difference. He’s just as much of a great game manager as Brady, which is rare for him to face; however, Mahomes also plays extremely well in playoff games. I think the story of this game is that the Buc defensive front won’t get pressure on Mahomes because Reid game planned it and wins that matchup.

  14. If Brady plays the SB like he played against the Packers (3) Ints, The Chiefs are going to smoke the Buc’s…

  15. I believe more than not that the hungry team is the most dangerous and will fight 60 minutes till the end…
    Chiefs having just won last year are taking it more lightly… the Bucs haven’t even been in the playoff in over a decade wants to do what it takes to win…

  16. I actually had a dream last night that Brady led the Bucs offense to a score very late in the game but failed to recover the onside kick. I have never had premonitions before, but if it happens, you will remember this post

  17. The Bucs defense will be gassed in the 4th and their salty tears will remind us of the last NFC team that thought they’d beat the Chiefs. Mahommes is 10- 0 after a bye

  18. Brady’s team has had the lead with 5 minutes to go in every Super Bowl he has been in, save one. And he won that one (28-3). So if history is any guide, it will be a close game late in the 4th quarter.

  19. Neither Florio nor Sims mentioned the key factor in this game … the Bucs’ rushing attack. Jones and Fournette will allow Tampa to control the clock, move the chains and make play action more effective. Buccanners 35, Chiefs 31.

  20. I believe the Bucs have enough good to great players to score on most possessions. And to hold themselves to no more than 2 turnovers. And to score 1 FG for every 2 TD’s they score.

    I believe the Bucs have enough good to great players on D to stop the Chiefs a couple of times. And I believe the Chiefs will score on more possessions than the Bucs. And I believe the chiefs will score 1 FG for every 3 TD’s they score.

    Bucs will win due to 2 Chief’s turnovers that result in 14 points on the 2 plays.

    I believe – Buc 29 – Chiefs 24.
    I believe in Florio

  21. This sure looks like a toss-up and close game in the making. Hard to imagine any part of either team breaking down enough to let the game get away, and hard to imagine either offense unable to catch up if they do.

    So my guess is whomever gets the lucky breaks (or avoids the unlucky mishaps) and has the ball late will win. I could see a similar scenario to the Bucs-Packers game.

    While this is possibly the most storied QB matchup in a Super Bowl, it will take a lot for it to turn out to be a better QB faceoff in practice than Brady-Foles was. Two guys playing on fire and Foles giving maybe the best SB performance from a QB I’ve ever seen.

    Hopefully this game will live up to that standard (with some better defense).

  22. Buccaneers 27 Chiefs 23 Tom Brady will barely win with experience. Mahomes is up and coming. But Brady has experience over Mahomes youth.

  23. As a Pats fan, and a Brady fan here is my .02.
    Arians loses this game for Brady. You saw the shades of it last game vs Green Bay. Up comfortably, with GB not really doing anything and the calls keep coming in to sling it.
    Bill B. it would have all been about minutes ticking away going into the late 3rd and 4th. Short safe plays, run the ball, eat the clock, and win. That GB game should have been over going into the 4th. But Brady, because of the plays called gave them 3 chances that shouldn’t have happened.
    This is also the recipe for beating Mahomes if you get the lead. Don’t let him have the ball. Arians doesn’t have boring dink and dunk kill the clock in his DNA, and I think it will cost his team in the end.

  24. “The Buccaneers, I believe, will manage to look up at the scoreboard when the game is over and see, through the confetti, that they scored more points than the Buccaneers.” Uhhhh, ok. Great analysis here.

  25. if the bucs dont take out mahomes, chiefs win.
    .
    you have to score over 30 to beat mahomes…and once you hit 30, youve only moved into the “can” win collumn…nothing guaranteed

  26. Chiefs have faced numerous really tough defenses this year. And beat them all. Bills, Saints, Ravens, Bucs, etc.

    After Sunday, they’ll have a new,slogan for next year. Something about a 3peat.

  27. Chiefs 35
    Bucs 31

    Last second TD drive for the Bucs ends in a Mathieu interception to seal the best SB we’ve seen since SF was winning them.

  28. I agree with Mike, except for one thing: The Buccaneers, I believe, will score more points than the Chiefs, not the Buccaneers.

  29. Don’t worry, I’ll come back here to roast the people who picked against the Bucs all season long. First, it was they wouldn’t make the playoffs. Then, it was that they couldn’t beat a team with a winning record. Next, it was that they would lose to the Redskins in the wild card round. After that, they said the Bucs had no chance against the Saints and Packers. Vegas will make bank off all the people picking Kansas City to win.

  30. Did I miss something? Were they humiliated at home once again?
    —–
    Yeah, you missed a month of Viking football because they didn’t sniff the playoffs. Apparently, to you, this is preferable to going to the championship game.

  31. I have no strong preference in this game. I’d just like to see a good game leading to a 1 score win by the Chiefs.

  32. In the beginning of the season you don’t have a body of work to look at. The bucs lost more games than they won against playoff teams. The Chiefs didn’t lose to a playoff team. The Chiefs dominated the Bucs the first time out and they will win the game. How has betting against the Chiefs worked out since Mahomes became the starter?

  33. without any specifics, I came up with CHIEFS 42- BUCS 19
    No word on how the Chefs will do…

  34. Tom Brady will inevitably bring his career Super Bowl winning percentage closer in line with his unprecedented career regular and postseason records by notching his 7th Super Bowl win in 10 games. Don’t get against the GOAT,

  35. I can admire the 8 Mile approach Florio took. Admitting he picked the Pats to reach the super bowl before the season before anyone could dig it up and use it as ammo against him. Softens the blow a bit

  36. Work smarter not harder.
    Tom Brady saves the day.

    QUALIFICATION… the Not Fair League:
    The third team on the field — OFFICIALS — can effectively appoint either team the victor, at their sole discretion. Traditionally, this has been in favor of the Steelers: Immaculate Reception; Seahawks endzone penalty; Cardinals with one-toe-in catch [later photos prove Steelers out-of-bounds].

    Also take note of recent pass interference debacles with Saints and Rams.

  37. The heart is with Brady and the Bucs, and the head says Mahomes and the Chiefs. Regardless, take the over. The winner of this game will have 30+, and so may the loser. Hoping for a great, exciting game.

  38. “Never in NFL history has there been a quarterback matchup better than this one”

    How old is MDS? I mean – yeah – this is a fantastic matchup of QB’s – but so was:

    Bradshaw/Staubach (and we got that more than once)
    Montana/Marino
    Montana/Elway
    Favre/Elway

    Just don’t think it’s clearly definitive as “never in NFL history” – unless NFL history for you covers the last ten years or so.

  39. If I have 10 million I’d put on the Chiefs. Brady may be the goat now but he’s scared to get hit. On the other hand, Mahomes is the most talented qb to ever play the game. He’s elusive and can make every throw on the run or in the pocket. Chiefs 35-27.

  40. Wait. Aren’t the Packers supposed to be playing in Superbowl as proclaimed by their fans? It’s a shame they do this and choked every year. 😅🤣😂😇

  41. I like the Bucs to win in a shootout. The GOAT will get ring # 7. The team will finally get a taste of being the best, because Brady has changed the culture in Tampa Bay. It will be a close one, but Bucs win.

  42. LOL. Florio just can’t get past Brady. This is a simple analysis. The Chiefs are a better team and should win. That doesn’t mean they will, but they should.

  43. elvoid says:
    February 4, 2021 at 3:51 pm
    “Never in NFL history has there been a quarterback matchup better than this one”

    How old is MDS? I mean – yeah – this is a fantastic matchup of QB’s – but so was:

    Bradshaw/Staubach (and we got that more than once)
    Montana/Marino
    Montana/Elway
    Favre/Elway

    Just don’t think it’s clearly definitive as “never in NFL history” – unless NFL history for you covers the last ten years or so.
    ________________________________________________

    True. Also Manning and Wilson. Manning and Brees.

  44. Brady loses his fourth SB thus sharing a record for most SB losses in NFL history.So when the Brady fan club brags about his six rings ,remember the record four losses.

  45. Whoever scores first will have the lead and whoever is ahead at the end will win. Take it to the bank.

  46. “The Buccaneers, I believe, will manage to look up at the scoreboard when the game is over and see, through the confetti, that they scored more points than the Buccaneers.”

    We should definitely take this prediction super seriously.

  47. Bucs 31 Chiefs 27 A balanced clock killing offense and a couple of turnovers from the Chiefs give Tommy Boy his 7th ring.

  48. catchanotherpassadams says:
    February 4, 2021 at 4:43 pm
    Brady loses his fourth SB thus sharing a record for most SB losses in NFL history.So when the Brady fan club brags about his six rings ,remember the record four losses

    —-
    Ooohhh, burn!

    This remains one of the dumbest takes of all time. Brady making it to 10 Super Bowls puts him in a class above everyone else by a mile, and that’s all there is to it. He’s the winningest QB in history.

  49. I’ll be here when the Chiefs lose yet another super bowl, Brady wins a 7th ring, and the Bucs become the 7th wild card team to win the super bowl. They just snapped the Packers’ 7-game winning streak. He also had a 73-yard scoring drive in his second touchdown against Green Bay. HIs longest touchdown pass in his playoff career was a 73-yard pass against the Broncos in Denver of the 2005 season. He also entered the playoffs with 73 touchdown passes, and he’s entering this super bowl with 7 touchdowns to 3 interceptions in this season’s playoffs. And, he had his 7th five-touchdown pass game against the Chargers. It’s amazing how people can’t see through this script.

  50. It’s gonna come down to a questionable call against the Chiefs.Like a finger hitting Brady’s face mask while he throws what could be a game ending interception.Roughing the QB will be what wins it for Tampa.You know I’m right

  51. After reading this, I suddenly believe I’m gonna regret betting on the Buccaneers…

  52. Brady was up and down in the Green Bay game. He had a few terrible throws that lofted in the air for several seconds. If he does that again, the Bucs will lose. If he stays sharp the Bucs will win because the their defense is playing great.

  53. It’s gonna come down to a questionable call against the Chiefs.Like a finger hitting Brady’s face mask while he throws what could be a game ending interception.Roughing the QB will be what wins it for Tampa.You know I’m right
    =====

    Nah.. they don’t even need to be subtle about it now.

    Bucs DBs can redirect WRs and pick off passes.

    Maybe we’ll have a terribly officiated game that can match SB XL?!

  54. But here’s an important thing to keep in mind…most of the people picking against the Bucs in this game, also picked them to lose to the Saints and then lose to the Packers. Correct? This is a team that has won 3 playoff games on the road, two where they were underdogs. I don’t care if it’s a COVID-year or not, that’s not easy for anyone to do. Once in a while there is a team that goes on a run, defies the odds, and just seems like they have the wind at their backs and the stars are aligned. Remember the 05 Steelers and the 07 Giants on their runs going on the road for 3 playoff games and winning it all.. that’s what this Bucs team reminds me of. You can’t explain it, but something is there. They are on a heck of a run. They are peaking at the right time. They are healthy. They are confident. And they have Tom Brady…. And anyone who thinks Tom Brady can’t win another one is a fool.

  55. Chiefs are more talented. Bucs have the better D but that typically doesnt impact the Chiefs O at all. Good offense are so far ahead of good defenses these days. You could say there arent good defenses these days. Id like to see both Ds step up early on and make it interesting vs Chiefs score at will, Bucs mostly score at will.

  56. “If Brady plays the SB like he played against the Packers (3) Ints, The Chiefs are going to smoke the Buc’s…”

    Brady rarely has 2 bad games like that in a row. Typically he comes back from a bad performance with a terrific one.

    I like the Bucs in the SB

  57. The Buccaneers,I believe, will end the game in the victory formation after possessing the ball the final 4 ½ minutes.

  58. catchanotherpassadams says:
    February 4, 2021 at 4:43 pm

    Brady loses his fourth SB thus sharing a record for most SB losses in NFL history.So when the Brady fan club brags about his six rings ,remember the record four losses.
    —————————————————————————–
    This was a terrible take, and an even worse prediction.

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