Tom Brady made his seventh Super Bowl title look familiar – despite moving south to a new team and conference during a pandemic.
Brady threw two touchdown passes to old friend Rob Gronkowski and one to good pal Antonio Brown, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City 31-9 on their home field in Super Bowl 55 on Sunday.
The GOAT (Greatest of all-time) extended his Super Bowl titles’ record in his 10th appearance, his first without Patriots coach Bill Belichick. The 43-year-old Brady broke his own mark for oldest player to win a Super Bowl and joins Hall of Famer Peyton Manning as the only quarterbacks to win one with multiple franchises.
“I’m not making any comparisons,” Brady said. “Experiencing it with this group of guys is amazing.”
Brady was also named the MVP of the game for the fifth time in his career. That moves him past LeBron James and leaves him one behind only Michael Jordan’s 6 for most championship series/game MVP awards won by a player in North American major pro team sports history.
I’m so proud of all these guys. We had a rough November but we came together at the right time. We knew this was gonna happen. We played our best game of the year – Tom Brady
The Buccaneers (15-5) won their second NFL title and first in 18 years while becoming the first team to play the big game at home, capping an unusual and challenging season played through the novel coronavirus. They won three road games as a wild-card team to reach the Super Bowl.
Tampa’s victory prevented Mahomes and the Chiefs (16-3) from becoming the first repeat champions since Brady’s Patriots did it in 2003-04.
Bruce Arians became the oldest coach at age 68 to win the Super Bowl. His mom, 95-year-old Kay Arians, witnessed it in person. Brady, Gronk and defensive co-ordinator Todd Bowles helped Arians get that Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Bowles devised a masterful plan to frustrate Mahomes and shut down the Chiefs, the complete opposite of Kansas City’s 27-24 win in Tampa in Week 12, when the Chiefs jumped to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter. Tyreek Hill had 269 yards receiving and three TDs in that one. He was held to 73 yards on seven catches.
The NFL completed its 269-game season on time without any cancellations, a remarkable accomplishment that required nearly 1 million COVID-19 tests for players and team personnel.
Due to the virus, only 25,000 mask-wearing fans were allowed in, including approximately 7,500 vaccinated health care workers who were given free tickets by the NFL. About 30,000 cardboard cutouts made the stadium look full.
The game also featured a halftime performance by Scarborough-born R&B superstar The Weeknd. The Grammy-winning singer performed a medley of his hits, including “Can’t Feel My Face,” “Earned It” and his most recent chart topper, “Blinding Lights.”