|Venue: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay Date: Sunday, 7 February Begin: 23:30 GMT|
|Dwell protection: Watch on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer and on-line; Hearken to commentary on BBC Radio 5 Dwell; Dwell textual content and in-play clips on the BBC Sport web site and app.|
It is a becoming finale to essentially the most distinctive of NFL seasons and the blockbuster sport that everybody wished to see, because the widely-recognised best of all time Tom Brady takes on arguably the best expertise of his technology in Patrick Mahomes in Tremendous Bowl 55.
In these Covid instances Sunday’s showpiece match between Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Mahomes’ Kansas Metropolis Chiefs might be very totally different off the sphere, however guarantees to be a basic on it.
However will Brady or Mahomes be celebrating on the finish? Who else may affect the sport? And the way will the coaches attempt to outwit one another?
The GOAT versus the Child GOAT?
Brady, 43, has rolled again the years in his first season on the Bucs to get them to their second Tremendous Bowl and what might be an unimaginable tenth look personally.
A winner six instances with the New England Patriots, Brady is contemplating taking part in till he is at the very least 45, and that appears extremely possible given he has checked out his greatest this season, along with his 4,633 passing yards the fifth most of his profession and crucially the 34 passes of 20 yards or extra essentially the most he has ever thrown – displaying that his arm is as sturdy as ever.
Whereas Brady is eyeing a seventh Tremendous Bowl ring, Mahomes is in search of his second and to make the Chiefs the primary staff to defend their Tremendous Bowl title since Brady himself with the Patriots 17 years in the past.
There’s the biggest age hole between quarterbacks (18 years and 45 days) in Tremendous Bowl historical past and when it comes to types they’re polar opposites.
Mahomes is a blinding mover, a artistic passer able to no-look throws and sidearm strikes, whereas Brady is the cerebral pocket passer who research defences on the line and decides the place to assault earlier than the ball even will get into his fingers.
What binds these two fashionable greats, even at reverse ends of their careers, is their sheer need to win that extends off the sphere and into each coaching session of on daily basis all through the season.
Brady has all the time put profitable forward of ego, of passing numbers, and even of zeros on his contract at instances, and Mahomes is aiming to emulate Brady in that as a lot as his unfathomable success, to affix the true elite of American sport.
“Should you have a look at guys like Tom, Michael (Jordan), Kobe (Bryant), LeBron (James), A-Rod (Alex Rodriguez), all these particular guys, on the finish of the day you see their work ethic and drive to win is simply totally different than everyone else’s,” stated Mahomes.
“That is what makes them particular, and hopefully I can attempt to do no matter I can to have that very same work ethic and drive in my profession.”
A Tremendous Bowl like no different
Coronavirus restrictions have taken a few of the fizz out of what could have been essentially the most hyped-up Tremendous Bowl of all time – Mahomes versus Brady with the Buccaneers being the primary staff to play in a house Tremendous Bowl, however it’s on the low-key aspect for apparent causes.
The common media free-for-all has been executed politely by way of video conferences, with mute buttons being a welcome addition for some, whereas the Chiefs have remained in Kansas Metropolis all through the week and flew in on the weekend. Whether or not that calms nerves and helps them deal with it as a standard sport stays to be seen.
The NFL have restricted attendance to 22,000 followers inside Raymond James Stadium, together with 7,500 vaccinated healthcare staff who’ve been invited as a present of gratitude for his or her work in the course of the pandemic. Conventional Tremendous Bowl events and fan gatherings across the metropolis have additionally been scratched or restricted as a precaution.
An eagerly-anticipated half-time present will function The Weeknd, who insisted there can be no shock visitors and stated the stage for his efficiency has been constructed “inside the stadium” for security causes.
Historical past can even be made on the sidelines as Sarah Thomas turns into the primary girl to officiate within the Tremendous Bowl.
Strengths and weaknesses
Most pundits expect an exhilarating shootout, with Mahomes to shine along with his unorthodox throws and off-script working capacity.
Round him he has speedy receivers in every single place, and possibly the quickest in Tyreek Hill, who scored three touchdowns when the groups met earlier within the season.
Tight finish Travis Kelce, who had his personal primetime TV relationship present, is a primetime participant setting information as he goes, whereas on defence Tyrann Mathieu (referred to as the honey badger) is their play-maker who usually appears in every single place.
The large drawback for the Chiefs comes on their offensive line – the large males tasked with defending Mahomes – as accidents imply they’ve needed to re-shuffle. With Tampa Bay’s Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul haranguing Inexperienced Bay’s Aaron Rodgers all evening within the Championship sport two weeks in the past, Mahomes will see quite a lot of these two close-up on Sunday.
For the Buccaneers, Brady has most likely the most effective set of attacking choices he is had in his complete profession, with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Cameron Brate prime pass-catchers, and the excellent tight finish Rob Gronkowski.
The Chiefs gained 27-24 in the course of the season, with Mahomes carving up their defence so search for Tampa Bay to try to run the ball as usually as doable with Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones. Brady’s greatest energy is pondering on his toes, taking what opposition groups give him and judging simply what it’ll take to win.
Jack Nicklaus used to determine what rating he would want to win a significant and play to that, Brady has confirmed over time to have the same sense of find out how to get the job executed.
Who will win the Tremendous Bowl?
If you’re viewing this web page on the BBC Information app please click on right here to vote.
The boys in cost
Chiefs boss Andry Reid and Bucs head coach Bruce Arians make up the oldest head teaching mixture in Tremendous Bowl historical past, with 68-year-old Arians being the oldest coach to make his big-game debut and probably the oldest winner.
Each Arians and 62-year-old Reid are threat takers, they prefer to play a quick, thrilling sport, with Arians’ ‘no threat it, no biscuit’ mantra mirrored in his play calling. He got here out of retirement to steer the Bucs and maybe his greatest transfer has been to largely enable Brady to play his personal sport – even calling his personal performs at instances.
‘Huge Crimson’ Reid has constructed a dynamic, artistic and modern assault underneath Mahomes, and he is additionally not afraid to go for the jugular as he confirmed in the course of the play-offs.
It is his twenty second season as a head coach and third Tremendous Bowl look as he appears for a second win. He is additionally one of the profitable and likeable across the league – regardless of the brand new breed coming in he is nonetheless main the best way when it comes to offensive creativity.
Each coaches are additionally main the requires larger range within the NFL teaching ranks, with Arians compiling essentially the most various workers within the league. Tampa Bay are the one staff to have black coaches in all 4 prime coordinator positions and likewise the one staff to have two ladies as full-time coaches.