The Kansas City Chiefs are heading back to the Super Bowl where they’ll square off against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after dismantling the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship game.
It definitely seemed like a long season for the Chiefs. They went 14-2 in the regular season but it seemed like they were worse than their record indicated. Of their 16 wins this year (including the playoffs), ten of them were by fewer than ten points and 6 of those were fewer by 5 points. As a matter of fact, after they beat the Jets on November 1, their next double-digit win was against the Bills in the AFL Championship game.
The Buccaneers, on the other hand, had 10 games where they won by 10 or more. The Buccaneers were the third leading scoring offense in the league, averaging 30.8 points a game while the Chiefs came in at sixth averaging 29.6 points a game. The Chiefs, however, led the league in offensive yardage, averaging 415.8, the only team in the league to average over 400 yards per game. The Buccaneers finished 7th averaging 384.1 yards per game.
These teams seem to be carbon copies of each other. In almost every team statistic, they are very close. Defensive points per game: Tampa 22.2; Kansas City 22.6. Yards allowed per game: Tampa 327.1; Kansas City 358.3. Passing yards per game: Tampa 289.1; Kansas City 303.4. Turnover differential: Tampa +8; Kansas City +6.
The biggest difference seems to be in the running game. The Buccaneers allowed 80.6 yards per game, first in the league while the Chiefs allowed 122.1. On the flip side, the Chiefs averaged 112.4 rushing yards a game while the Buccaneers averaged 94.9, the sixth worst in the league.
All eyes will be on Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who is making his second Super Bowl appearance and Bucs quarterback Tom Brady who is making his tenth appearance. That’s 4 more than the next person. As a matter of fact, only 2 quarterbacks have been in 6 or more, Brady and John Elway.
Like Brady or hate him, when a guy goes to ten Super Bowls, especially a quarterback, he has to be considered one of the best ever. It’s easy to see why he’s considered the greatest quarterback to ever play the game. Maybe that’s why a lot of people don’t like him, because all he does is win and people seem to not like teams or players who win all the time, except for fans of the particular team.
Everyone would agree that there is currently a youth movement at quarterback in the NFL, but did you notice that the four QB’s playing in the AFC Divisional round were all 25 years or younger? Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield are all 25 and Josh Allen is 24. These teams may be around for awhile.
This Super Bowl is shaping up to be an instant classic. Could it be the proverbial passing of the torch, the old-timer, greatest quarterback ever, passing it on to the young up and comer who already has a mantle full of accomplishments? One thing I know….it’s going to be a lot of fun!
–Rob Mooney, Metro Voice sports writer