BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) Super Bowl LV is officially in the books and the GOAT was back at it, helping bring Tampa their second title.
But it was more than just Tom Brady that contributed to the Bucs win. I will focus on two of those here.
The first is a familiar face to Buffalonians and one that has been sailing the seas with the GOAT for a long time, Rob Gronkowski. To me even more impressive than his six catches for 67 yards and two touchdowns was his blocking. Gronk’s real value has always been being a complete tight end. Last night Gronk was like having another tackle at the end of the line and if you watched closely the vast majority of rushing yards the Bucs had came on whichever side Gronkowski was lined up on.
The fact that Tampa could run the ball so well, 29 times for 147 yards and a touchdown, was due to Gronkowski being able to handle a Chiefs defensive end at the point of attack with no help.
The other major factor in Tampa’s win was their defense. Shaq Barrett gave Patrick Mahomes fits coming off the edge all night long, Devin White was dominate, and unsung linebacker Lavonte David was outstanding.
Barrett only had one sack but was a thorn in the Chiefs side every time Mahomes dropped back to pass. The scheme used by Todd Bowles defense was dialed in perfectly. The defensive front took advantage of the Chiefs banged up offensive line and pressured Mahomes on almost all of his throws.
If Devin White is not the best middle linebacker in the NFL, he doesn’t fall farther than number two or three. For a player with his size and speed, he is always around the ball making plays.
Now to talk a little about Lavonte David. He was matched up against arguably the best tight end in the game, Travis Kelce. A look strictly at the numbers and you may say he didn’t do that good of a job, Kelce had 10 catches for 133 yards. But a good portion of those yards came in the second half when the game was pretty much decided. David was stuck pretty tightly to Kelce and even when he made some of those catches, he was immediately tackled.
The Bucs affectively kept Tyreek Hill in check as well by doubling him on almost every play. Hill had 7 catches for 73 yards.
In retrospect, maybe the Bucs defense as a whole should have been given the MVP for keeping what is arguably one of the best offenses in NFL history out of the end zone the entire game!
Now a reminder to fans everywhere and most “experts” that football is a team game and one person can not singlehandedly win a game. People constantly become enamored with incredible quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers, but, Patrick Mahomes was never going to be successful in that game with the Chiefs missing two starting tackles and it seemed most experts just chose to ignore that fact. This is not an excuse for the Chiefs or Mahomes, but more of a fact of the importance of offense and defensive lines.
The most important thing for all NFL fans, but even more so for Bills fans to remember is that the start of the 2021 season is only 213 days away!