With Patrick Mahomes running the show, the Kansas City Chiefs can rack up monster point totals against pretty much any defense. Unfortunately for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the league’s most terrifying offense just received a big boost heading into Super Bowl 55.
Will the return of one of Mahomes’ key weapons result in a rough night for a Buccaneers defense that boasts a boatload of Pro Bowl-caliber players? Or can Tom Brady outduel the only quarterback capable of stealing the GOAT title from him?
Patrick Mahomes and his talented teammates continue to dominate on the scoreboard
Coming off their first Super Bowl title in franchise history, the Chiefs once again find themselves in a position to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. To no surprise, their high-octane offense continued to frustrate defenses en route to a 14-2 regular-season record.
Somehow, Patrick Mahomes seemed to fly under the radar despite putting up MVP-caliber numbers. In his age-25 season, the NFL’s biggest star completed 66.3% of his passes for 4,740 yards and 38 touchdowns.
Of course, it helps to have talented weapons by his side.
While Brady certainly has an impressive supporting cast of his own, Mahomes benefits from having Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce on his team. Despite their vast physical differences, both players possess the ability to take over a game at any time.
Hill set a career-high with 15 touchdown receptions. Kelce surpassed 1,000 receiving yards for the fifth consecutive season,, which may have cemented his case as the greatest pass-catching tight end in NFL history.
In addition to their two All-Pros, the Chiefs also got important contributions from other skill players. Mecole Hardman and Sammy Watkins combined for 78 catches as part-time starters. Exciting running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire totaled 1,100 yards from scrimmage as a rookie.
The Chiefs’ terrifying offense just received a huge boost heading into Super Bowl 55
Surprisingly, the Chiefs’ third-leading receiver this season wasn’t Hardman or Watkins. That honor belonged to Demarcus Robinson, who totaled 45 catches for 466 yards and three touchdowns.
Unfortunately for the 2016 fourth-round pick, he landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday. The former Florida Gator was deemed a close contact with the barber who tested positive for the coronavirus as Chiefs players waited to get their hair cut.
Fortunately for Kansas City, Robinson’s stint on the list has officially come to an end.
On Friday, the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported via Twitter that the 26-year-old wideout has been cleared to practice. Robinson tested negative every day, which puts him in line to suit up for Super Bowl 55.
For the Chiefs, getting the 6-foot-1, 203-pound receiver back represents a big boost to their already-terrifying offense. While the Buccaneers obviously have to deal with Hill and Kelce, they cannot afford to forget about Robinson. Although he doesn’t fall into the “star” category, the fifth-year pro has caught a touchdown pass on 9.1% of his career receptions. Kelce checks in at a rate of 7.8%.
Mahomes now has has full slate of pass catchers available for the biggest game of the season. So if the Bucs want to celebrate a Super Bowl victory in their home stadium, they better have a sound plan to combat the league’s most explosive offense.
Do the Buccaneers have any shot at slowing down such a high-powered attack?
Demarcus Robinson’s return forces Tampa to have to account for yet another talented pass-catching option. Given their ridiculously deep arsenal of weapons, the Chiefs have the ability to score in so many different ways from anywhere on the field.
Luckily for the Buccaneers, they counter with a star-studded defense that could make life difficult for the reigning Super Bowl MVP.
Up front, Tampa features a scary defensive line headlined by Jason Pierre-Paul and Ndamukong Suh. Both boast plenty of big-game experience, and the Chiefs’ injury issues along the offensive line could get exposed by the two Pro Bowlers.
Plus, Shaq Barrett, Lavonte David, and Devin White provide incredible athleticism and sideline-to-sideline speed to keep up with Kansas City’s running backs and tight ends.
The real test, however, will be on the back end. Can Tampa’s young secondary step up against the NFL’s fastest group of receivers? Or will the Bucs get exposed by a Chiefs offense that’s capable of scoring 30-plus points with relative ease?
For Tom Brady’s sake, he better hope his defensive teammates saved their best performance for the last game of the year. If not, the NFL legend won’t add a seventh Super Bowl ring to his collection this season.
All statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference.