Tom Brady cements his GOAT status with a seventh Super Bowl win

Brady, with the help of stellar defensive play, led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to their first Super Bowl victory since 2003


Michael Pitts, Contributing Writer

On Feb. 7, the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers squared off for the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Brady and the Bucs made history, becoming the first team to play — and win — a hometown-based Super Bowl. The victory earned the Buccaneers their first NFL Championship since 2003, when they defeated the Oakland Raiders. 

In the era of COVID-19, there was no way Tampa Bay’s Raymond James Stadium, which seats over 65,000 fans, was going to be filled with spectators. The NFL made a decision to fill 22,000 of these seats, with at least 30% of them (7,500) filled by healthcare and other essential workers. 

In front of the hometown crowd, the Buccaneers prevailed 31-9. The victory came in large part due to Tampa Bay’s defense holding the high-powered Chiefs offense to zero touchdowns and only three field goals. Brady threw for three touchdowns, and running back Leonard Fournette punched another in on the ground. 

Since their Week 13 bye, the Buccaneers had not lost. In that span, the team scored 33.9 points a game and averaged 413.3 offensive yards per game, both league bests. 

The Chiefs were short-handed with injuries to their two tackles on the offensive line, Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher. The absence of the Pro Bowl players greatly impacted the Chief’s ability to slow down their opponent’s offense. 

It was a one-sided battle on the line of scrimmage from the start, as Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was pressured 29 times throughout the game, the most in Super Bowl history. 

The Buccaneers defense was dominant, although Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles only blitzed five times. The Bucs ability to put consistent pressure on the quarterback speaks to the ability of their starting four up front: Jason Pierre-Paul, William Gholston, Ndamukong Suh and Vita Vea. Despite this lack of blitzes, the defensive line forced Patrick Mahomes to scramble often. The quarterback finished the game completing 26 of 49 passes for 270 yards with two interceptions.

Unlike Brady — who had a clean pocket for most of the game — Mahomes was not afforded the luxury of time to allow fully formed plays to develop, thus limiting the potency of his two most explosive targets, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. 

In the first half, the Chiefs were hampered by penalties, racking up 95 total yards in defensive flags. A notable pass interference call gave Tampa Bay a free first down, which resulted in Brady throwing a touchdown to Antonio Brown.

Of course, the main storyline of the game revolved around Brady. In his first year as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the former Patriot captured a seventh Super Bowl ring and was awarded the title of MVP. Sunday’s performance helped solidify Brady’s title as the greatest football player of all time, but he isn’t done yet. Next year, Brady will be back to defend his crown.