What started as 32 teams was whittled down to 14, and now there are just two squads vying for one trophy in Super Bowl 55.
Even with a few coronavirus breakouts reaching NFL squads throughout the year, the league navigated pretty tough waters and is gearing up for what should be a dazzling finale pitting well-aged Tom Brady and the Buccaneers vs. the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes.
Stop us if you’ve heard this before: Brady is making a Super Bowl appearance — his 10th, in fact. But this time, the uniform will be different; he’s making his first appearance as Tampa Bay QB. This is a rematch a few years in the making, with Brady and the Pats knocking off Mahomes and the upstart Chiefs in the AFC championship game during the 2018 season.
Mahomes coach Andy Reid and KC would rebound nicely. They broke through and won the Super Bowl last year, defeating the 49ers in a very entertaining game. Now, the young NFL master-passer has a chance to exact sweet revenge in this year’s Super Bowl, earn his second ring and prevent Brady from winning his seventh.
Here’s what you need to know about Super Bowl 55:
Who is in the Super Bowl 2021?
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Kansas City Chiefs
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are defending their home turf against the Kansas City Chiefs in the much-awaited playoff rematch between Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes.
This marks the first time the Buccaneers are in the Super Bowl since 2003 (the 2002 season), when the Jon Gruden-led Bucs beat the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl 37. For perspective, Gruden was 39 years young when he won that Super Bowl as the Buccaneers’ head man. Brady will have a chance to win the 2021 game at 43.
Of course, this is the second consecutive appearance for the much younger Mahomes and the Chiefs, and Mahomes himself is making history as the youngest quarterback in NFL history to start two Super Bowls. Not bad.
When & where is Super Bowl 55?
- Date: Sunday, Feb. 7
- Kickoff time: 6:30 p.m. ET (unofficial)
- TV network: CBS
- Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla.
The Buccaneers are vying for a Lombardi Trophy for the first time since 2003, and they’ll be able to sleep in their own beds as they prepare: The Bucs are playing in their home stadium, Raymond James Stadium, in Tampa, Fla.
Given its warm climate, Florida is a popular state for Super Bowl showdowns: Last year, Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens hosted Super Bowl 54.
Super Bowl 55 odds, line, spread
- Opening spread: Kansas City Chiefs -3
- Moneyline: Kansas City Chiefs -180; Tampa Bay Buccaneers +160
- Over/under: 57.5
The Chiefs open as field-goal favorites over the Buccaneers. Vegas also expects this game to be high-scoring, with an over/under sitting slightly below 60 points. Depending on who is and isn’t available for both sides, expect the numbers to move over the coming two weeks.
How many times have the Buccaneers been to the Super Bowl?
The Buccaneers will be making just their second appearance in the big game. The last time they visited the Super Bowl, they won it on Jan. 26, 2003.
The Bucs, led by quarterback Brad Johnson and the famed Tampa 2 defense, blew the doors off the Raiders 48-21. The franchise is making its first appearance with Tom Brady throwing passes.
How many times have the Chiefs been to the Super Bowl?
The Chiefs are making their fourth Super Bowl appearance and have a 2-1 record in prior games. They lost Super Bowl 1 to the Green Bay Packers 35-10, and then returned in Super Bowl 4 in 1970, winning it all against the favored Minnesota Vikings.
That would be their last Super Bowl appearance until 2020, when they defeated the 49ers 31-20 in Super Bowl 54.