Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Rapid Reaction: Buccaneers 31, Chiefs 9

Your Buccaneers are Super Bowl LV Champions!

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The Chiefs Travis Kelce called the toss at midfield opposite Buccaneers Lavonte David as the visitor. Kelce called heads and the coin was flipped heads, winning the Chiefs the toss as they elected to defer to start Super Bowl LV. It meant Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay offense got the first chance of the game.

The Bucs opened with a play action pass to wide receiver Chris Godwin. It was complete but only resulted in a gain of one. Faced with third-and-seven on the series, the Bucs would surrender their first possession with a punt with 13:33 to go in the first quarter.

The Chiefs' first series would go much the same way, though Mahomes was able to move the ball to midfield thanks to a third-down scramble on Kansas City's first series. The next one would be stopped behind a ton of pressure from the Bucs' defensive front and a good job by the secondary in covering their man. The Bucs took back over with 11:21 to go in the first.

Tampa Bay would punt again despite a first down run from running back Ronald Jones that went for 13 yards on the first play of the series. They'd stall after a third-down sack of Brady and the Chiefs would take back over.

The Chiefs were able to move the ball a bit thanks to a big second effort by running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire on third down. Another run by Mahomes and the Chiefs got past midfield. They wouldn't get much further thanks to some creative pressure by Bucs' defensive backs and good coverage by safety Antoine Winfield Jr. on a completely insane on-the-run third-down throw by Mahomes. It went incomplete and the Chiefs settled for the 49-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead with 5:10 left.

The Bucs got into their groove on the next drive thanks in large part to the legs of running back Leonard Fournette and a couple clutch tight ends. The next series, helped by a Chiefs penalty, kept the Bucs driving until it ultimately ended in an eight-yard screen to tight end Rob Gronkowski that he took the rest of the way into the end zone. It gave the Bucs a 7-3 lead with 37 seconds left in the first quarter.

The Bucs would stall the Chiefs on their next drive thanks to some insane pressure by all different levels of the defense. Kansas City punted again and gave the ball back to the Bucs just a little bit inside the second-quarter mark.

Tampa Bay would take the ball all the way to the Chiefs' one-yard line and enlisted the help of nose tackle Vita Vea on the goal-line series. It didn't end up helping though as Kansas City stood tall on a huge goal-line stand. They took back over their own one-yard line though.

The Chiefs got a quick first-down on a completion to wide receiver Tyreek Hill but wouldn't get much more than that as the Bucs' defense again stood them up. They'd punt again with just over nine minutes to go in the half. The Chiefs would re-run the punt because of a penalty and the ensuing re-kick was then shanked. The Bucs took over at the Chiefs' 38-yard line as a result.

The next Bucs' series almost ended in disaster as Brady was picked off by safety Tyrann Mathieu on a deflection. There was a flag on the Chiefs instead which resulted in a first down for Tampa Bay. They wouldn't be able to get the ball in the end zone AT FIRST but then Kansas City was hit with an offsides call that gave the Bucs a fresh set of downs. The first ensuing play was then another pass from Brady to Gronk and yet another touchdown. The successful point after meant the Bucs took a 14-3 lead with 6:05 left in the second quarter.

The Chiefs went all the way down the field again – well nearly, before the Bucs' defense was able to stop them. Third down and six and outside linebacker Shaq Barrett broke free immediately, chasing Mahomes deep into the backfield. Mahomes was forced to get rid of it and Kansas City was forced to settle for the field goal as the cut into Tampa Bay's lead a little bit. The score was 14-6 with just a minute left in the half.

The Bucs would make the most of that minute. Helped by multiple Chiefs penalties, they were able to drive down the field and get within scoring range. The drive ended in a touchdown to Antonio Brown from the one-yard line and the Bucs went into the half up 21-6.

The Chiefs got the ball to start the second half and immediately went to the ground where they got a good run from Edwards-Helaire for 26-yard pickup. They'd get past midfield but not much more than that as the Bucs' defense again applied pressure. This time, they were helped out majorly by the efforts of Lavonte David and they were forced into trying for a 52-yard field goal. Kicker Harrison Butker was good and made the score 21-9 with 11:26 left in the third quarter.

The next series looked as though it may stall with the Bucs in a third-and-four situation but a 12-yard completion to Fournette kept the drive alive. A 25-yard pass to Gronkowski got the Bucs in scoring position and then Fournette punched it in from 27 yards out to put the Bucs up 28-9 with 7:45 left in the third quarter.

Kansas City would have their next series cut short for a couple of reasons. The pressure finally got to Mahomes as Barrett got the first sack on him on the night, dropping him for a loss of six. It brought up third and long when Mahomes let the ball loose and safety Mike Edwards got a piece of it. The ball was tipped up in the air and rookie safety Antoine Winfield Jr. came down with it for the interception.

Therefore, the Bucs' next drive began on the Kansas City 45 as they again went to Fournette to help move the chains. It was Jones that ended up converting a third and one that kept the Bucs moving. A couple straight incompletions and then a bad snap on third down would result in a 52-yard field goal try for the Bucs. Succop was good from the distance and it put the Bucs up 31-9 with 2:46 left in the third quarter.

The next series went all the way down the field again for the Chiefs. They got as far as the 11 yard-line before a couple straight incompletions under pressure resulted in a fourth and nine situation. Mahomes was chased down by defensive tackle Will Gholston and tripped up. As he was falling, he still threw a perfectly catchable ball that was broken up by White at the goal line. The Bucs took over on downs at their own 12 yard-line with 13:32 left in the game.

The Bucs kept the ball mostly on the ground to milk the clock and still managed to move the chains thanks to both Jones and Fournette. They approached midfield before they were stalled and ended up surrendering the ball after an incompletion on third down. It was their first punt since the first quarter and gave the Chiefs the ball back with 8:06 to go in the game.

Kansas City started their next drive from their own eight-yard line. Suh managed another sack on Mahomes but then Jason Pierre-Paul was hit with a roughing the passer call that moved the chains for the Chiefs anyway. They got into Bucs' territory and were faced with a third and one at the Bucs' 31-yard line. Mahomes completed it over the middle to Hill and kept the drive alive. A holding penalty backed the Chiefs up to first and 20 and on the next play, another sack by Suh would back them up to third and 33. They wouldn't convert but went for it on fourth down and 10. It was Winfield Jr. who broke up the pass and then threw up the peace sign to Hill.

Winfield Jr. was hit with a penalty for that so the Bucs took over on downs at their own 13-yard line with 3:58 left to play in the game. The Bucs ran the ball and then Brady aired it out on third down but it was incomplete. Tampa Bay punted the ball back with 3:41 left in the game to the Chiefs who had burned through all of their timeouts.

Hill fielded the punt and returned it to midfield, giving Kansas City good field position to try to cut into the Bucs' 31-9 lead. They managed to drive down the field, converting a fourth down and three on a pass to Hill. The possession would prove futile as White tipped Mahomes' pass to himself and picked it in the end zone. It sealed the deal and after a few downs of the ball the Bucs were Super Bowl champs! CONGRATS TAMPA BAY!

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