Tom Brady steered the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a snug 31-9 victory over the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs to increase his report for Tremendous Bowl wins to seven.
In his first season after a glittering 20-year stint with the New England Patriots, the evergreen quarterback helped Tampa Bay grow to be the primary crew to play a Tremendous Bowl in their very own stadium.
And regardless of enjoying Kansas Metropolis and their dynamic younger quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who got here in as favourites, Brady threw three landing passes to stop the Chiefs changing into the primary back-to-back NFL champions since Brady and the Patriots within the 2004 season.
At 43 years and 188 days, Brady turned the oldest participant to play within the greatest recreation in US sport, extending his report for Tremendous Bowl appearances to 10 and becoming a member of Peyton Manning as the one quarterback to win Tremendous Bowls with two completely different groups.
Already broadly thought-about the best NFL participant of all time, Brady determined to depart New England within the low season for a brand new problem and was lured to Tampa Bay, whose solely earlier Tremendous Bowl win got here within the 2002 season.
He reportedly instructed the Bucs he needed them to usher in former Patriots team-mates Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Brown, in addition to Leonard Fournette, and the trio shared Tampa Bay’s 4 touchdowns as they eased residence after main 21-6 at half-time.
Whereas the Chiefs got here into the post-season as the highest seed within the AFC Convention, Tampa Bay have been the NFC’s sixth seed and have become the primary wildcard crew to win a Tremendous Bowl because the Inexperienced Bay Packers 10 years in the past after a outstanding play-off run.
After shedding to the Chiefs in week 12, the Bucs completed the common season with 4 wins earlier than beating three division winners – on the highway – to succeed in the title decider for simply the second time.
Brady proves some extent
Whereas at New England, Brady fashioned the NFL’s most profitable quarterback-coach partnership with Invoice Belichick, and when he left, some felt that Belichick deserved extra of the credit score, that Brady would get ‘came upon’ with out him.
However the Patriots endured their first shedding season since 2000 – the 12 months earlier than Brady turned their beginning QB – whereas Brady has gained one other Tremendous Bowl, with a crew he joined throughout a pandemic, after a closely disrupted low season with no pre-season video games.
It was additionally a crew that, earlier than this season, had not gained a play-off recreation since profitable Tremendous Bowl 37. They’d not reached the post-season in any respect since 2007.
However Brady recognised they have been regularly constructing a aggressive roster. They’d a strong defence that might shield him within the pocket and two of the NFL’s greatest receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.
Throughout Tremendous Bowl week, coach Bruce Arians mentioned Brady was “the lacking piece”. For good measure, they lured Gronkowski out of retirement, gave Brown one other likelihood and picked up free agent Fournette.
All have come to the fore because the Bucs ramped up for an unlikely run on the Tremendous Bowl and after Kansas Metropolis opened the scoring with a subject objective, Brady discovered Brown twice on the subsequent drive earlier than sending tight finish Gronkowski over with a display screen go.
The pair mixed to devastating impact at New England earlier than Gronkowski retired after profitable Tremendous Bowl 53 with Brady and the Patriots. The 31-year-old had a quick stint in WWE and tv throughout his trip. However after easing again into the rigours of the NFL with seven touchdowns through the common season, he caught a 17-yard strike by Brady for his second of Tremendous Bowl 55.
The Chiefs lastly bought some offence going to answer with a subject objective however left 64 seconds for Tampa Bay to attain earlier than the half, and Brady accomplished a 71-yard drive by discovering Brown ultimately zone.
Kansas Metropolis rallied in the beginning of the second half and minimize the deficit with one other subject objective, however the Bucs continued to dominate on each side of the ball, stifling the NFL’s greatest offence.
And Brady discovered Gronkowski for an additional huge play earlier than Fournette burst by way of for a 27-yard landing to seal a victory which many dreamed of in Tampa when Brady got here aboard, however few would have thought was potential.
Brady to Gronk, but once more – Tremendous Bowl stats
- Rob Gronkowski turned the primary man to make no less than one catch in 5 Tremendous Bowls.
- Tom Brady and Gronkowski have linked for 5 passing touchdowns in Tremendous Bowls, passing Joe Montana and Jerry Rice (4) for essentially the most in Tremendous Bowl historical past.
- Brady and Gronkowski have mixed for extra post-season touchdowns than every other quarterback-receiver duo all-time – 14.
- At 68 years and 127 days, Bruce Arians turned the oldest coach to win the Tremendous Bowl.
The Weeknd makes most of Covid restrictions
Mark Savage, BBC music reporter
The Tremendous Bowl Half-time Present is historically constructed on grand gestures and eye-popping spectacle.
Take into consideration Girl Gaga diving off the roof of Houston’s NRG stadium, or Katy Perry using an animatronic lion, or Diana Ross hovering out of Arizona’s Solar Satan Stadium, waving to followers by way of the open door of a helicopter.
This 12 months was slightly completely different. Canadian R&B star The Weeknd was the interval act and, for the primary time within the recreation’s 55-year historical past, he was largely compelled to carry out from the stands, reasonably than the pitch, in compliance with strict coronavirus protocols.
And his 12-minute present was “watched” by hundreds of cardboard cut-outs, who bulked out the 25,000 socially-distanced followers.
However the 30-year-old made the many of the restrictions with a gimmick-free present that put the emphasis on his songs.
Learn extra of Mark’s assessment
Extra to observe.