No one could have imagined that the Kansas City Chiefs‘ “run it back” 2020 campaign would have ended like this. They entered Super Bowl LV as three-point favorites over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. At the very least, most observers expected a record-smashing offensive shootout between two of the best offenses in the game. As it turned out, the Chiefs did set or tie some Super Bowl records — and not good ones.
Penalties cost Kansas City the game
Something that wasn’t often brought up about the Chiefs until after the game is their overall lack of discipline. Over the past three seasons, they are the second-most penalized team in the league, behind only the Jaguars. This finally came back to bite them in the rear during the Super Bowl.
In the first half, the Chiefs committed a whopping nine penalties, the most any team has committed in either half of a Super Bowl. Throughout the game, they gifted the Buccaneers six first downs by penalty, also a Super Bowl record.
Several of those flags became a point of contention. Late in the first half, Bashaud Breeland was flagged for pass interference on a throw that may not have even been catchable (as seen above). After the Buccaneers scored, Tyrann Mathieu was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for starting an argument with Tom Brady, although in that instance, either one of them could have earned the penalty.
The Chiefs’ offense fails to show up
Unfortunately, the Chiefs’ worst wounds were self-inflicted.
As Tony Romo and Jim Nantz made sure to point out on the CBS broadcast, Kansas City entered the game with a makeshift offensive line. The Buccaneers’ defensive line exploited this throughout, forcing Patrick Mahomes into desperate throws that he did not want to make. Tampa Bay finished the game with two interceptions and three sacks.
The most important stat of all: the Chiefs became just the third team in Super Bowl history to fail to score a single touchdown. For an offense that practically toyed with opposing defenses throughout the regular season, this was almost inconceivable.
It’s a testament to Patrick Mahomes‘ incredible skill that he came away with 270 passing yards — 69 more than Brady, who won the Super Bowl MVP award. Tight end Travis Kelce led all receivers with 133 yards, although most of those came in garbage time.
Another jewel in Tom Brady’s crown
Speaking of Mahomes, one of the persistent and annoying narratives of this game was the “GOAT” narrative. Each quarterback would inevitably need to win this game if he needed to cement his legacy as the “greatest”.
Unfortunately, Patrick Mahomes’ quest to become the “GOAT” (if there is such a thing) is on indefinite hold. With his seventh Super Bowl ring, Tom Brady can now finally claim more championships than Michael Jordan, as well as more titles than any NFL team.
Thanks to his sheer longevity, Brady either set or extended many Super Bowl records on Sunday. With his two touchdown passes to Rob Gronkowski, the tandem broke the mark for most touchdowns for a quarterback-receiver duo with five overall. Most remarkable of all, across his ten Super Bowl appearances, Brady has 3,039 passing yards. That’s enough for a half-decent season.
Mahomes has some catching up to do.