Regular-season winner is now 6-8 in Super Bowl rematch

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Sunday night’s game proved yet again that a regular-season appetizer to a Super Bowl matchup means absolutely nothing.

With the Chiefs losing to the Buccaneers after beating Tampa Bay in Week 12, the team that won round one is now 6-8 in the Super Bowl. (When the AFC team wins in the regular season, it’s now 0-5 in the Roman numeral rematch.)

Beyond the initial game being meaningless, there’s an argument to be made that it’s a detriment to the team that won the first time around. That team will be inclined to do what worked, and not to change it. The team that lost, however, will be ready for that approach, and prepared to counter it.

Charean Williams made a great point on Monday’s PFT PM. The Bucs, in her view, would have lost in the Super Bowl if they hadn’t already had a chance to face the Chiefs. The lessons learned by the Buccaneers in getting burned (especially early) by the Chiefs in Week 12 helped the Tampa Bay defense pivot to something that would be more productive.

The fact that it happened in Week 12, and not in say Week Two, made that game more relevant, the experience fresher.

Whatever happened on that day in November, it worked. The Bucs lost to the Chiefs, entered the bye, emerged from it ready for the stretch run, and won every single game. From 7-5 to 8-0 and a Super Bowl win.

8 responses to “Regular-season winner is now 6-8 in Super Bowl rematch

  1. When considering both the Week 12 game and the Super Bowl lets not forget, after the 1st quarter of the Week 12 game the Bucs have outscored the Chiefs 55 to 19 over the last seven quarters played.

    I’d say the Bucs made their adjustments after the 1st quarter of the week 12 game and have dominated the Chiefs since.

  2. I’m not so sure the Bucs would have lost if they hadn’t played the Chiefs before. The score might have been different, but never bet against Tom Brady in the Super Bowl. The Seahawks and the Falcons, amongst others, can testify to that.

    Plus, Tom Brady by this time had played the Chiefs multiple times and won several of those games, including an AFC title game. Don’t you think he would have had some valuable insights on how to defend against them?

  3. I know my Bills accounted for two of these rematch losses, unfortunately. We beat the Giants in 1990 and the Cowboys in 1993 before losing the Super Bowl to either team in those respective years.

  4. tyelee says:

    February 8, 2021 at 7:03 pm
    NFC is just a far better Conference!

    True, after Brady left the AFC.

  5. The Raiders lost by 3 points to each of Philadelphia and Washington in the ’80 and ’83 regular seasons respectively. In the Super Bowl rematch in those seasons the Raiders blew out each of those teams. Each of those Raider teams was coached by 2021 HOF inductee Tom Flores.

  6. The winner of the first game tries to repeat the same game plan that worked the first time, and the loser of the first game makes adjustments based on what happened in game 1. Which begs the question: why wouldn’t the Chiefs have anticipated this and prepared a plan B? Doesn’t a great general try to anticipate his opponent’s moves? Did the Chiefs expect the Bucs to employ the exact same game plan they lost with in game 1? Did they have no plan to deal with the possibility that those backup offensive linemen might be unable to protect Mahomes? And why did they not run the ball when they were faced with a cover-2 all game long?

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