Super Bowl LV: Buccaneers beat Chiefs for Tom Brady's magnificent seventh (2024)

Whoever said records were made to be broken didn’t have Tom Brady in mind.

Tampa Bay’s ageless marvel captured a record-extending seventh Super Bowl championship on Sunday night, helming the underdog Buccaneers to a 31-9 rout of the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs and further bolstering his claim as the greatest quarterback ever in the epilogue of a storied career that shows no sign of winding down.

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Brady, who is two weeks older than John F Kennedy when he was elected president, continues to recalibrate our expectations of what’s possible on a football field. The 43-year-old’s seventh Vince Lombardi trophy – after six during a two-decade run with the New England Patriots – effectively places him out of reach of any foreseeable challenger. No other quarterback in NFL history has won more than four Super Bowls – or even played in more than five.

The game at Raymond James Stadium, where the Bucs became the first team to play in a Super Bowl in their home venue, was billed as a quarterback matchup for the ages: the first ever title game between the winning signal-callers of the previous two. But it was the elder statesman who stole the show from Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs’ 25-year-old star who was compromised by a toe injury and injury-racked offensive line. Given ample time all night by Tampa Bay’s stout line, Brady completed 21 of 29 passes for 201 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions, leading the Buccaneers to the team’s second championship in franchise’s 45-year history and winning the game’s Most Valuable Player award for a record fifth time.

Mahomes, who was a six-year-old Texas kindergartener when Brady won his first title back in the foggy wake of 9/11, found himself under heavy duress from the opening series behind a line that had been compromised by injuries and slumped to the worst game – by far – of his four-year professional career. Harried, hassled and hounded by Tampa Bay’s front four all night, Mahomes completed 26 of 49 attempts with no touchdowns and two interceptions for a 52.3 passer rating – with the lion’s share of his 270 passing yards coming when the outcome was long beyond doubt.

Tampa Bay’s edge rush tandem of Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul dined out on the inexperienced tackles Andrew Wylie and Mike Remmers, helping silence and ultimately overwhelm a Kansas City offensive juggernaut that went off as three-point favorites and had lost exactly once in 23 meaningful games over the past 454 days. The winning game plan was a feather in the cap of 68-year-old Bruce Arians, the football lifer who became the oldest head coach to win a Super Bowl.

Brady has traditionally been a slow starter in Super Bowls and Sunday’s game was no different as both defensive units dug in for most of the first quarter. The Bucs went three-and-out on the game’s first possession after the Chiefs won the coin toss and deferred, while Kansas City only managed one first down on their first series.

The Bucs came up empty again on their second possession, then fell behind 3-0 when Harrison Butker kicked a 49-yard field goal after Kansas City’s second drive stalled.

But Brady came to life on Tampa Bay’s final series of the first quarter, marshaling an eight-play, 75-yard drive capped by an eight-yard touchdown pass to former Patriots teammate Rob Gronkowski.

The Chiefs went three-and-out again on their next drive and Brady picked right back up where he left off, engineering a 69-yard march down to the one-yard line. Kansas City rallied to make a heroic goalline stand, stuffing Tampa Bay running back Ronald Jones II on fourth-and-goal to keep the Bucs from adding to their lead – for the time being.

Super Bowl LV: Buccaneers beat Chiefs for Tom Brady's magnificent seventh (1)

Less than three minutes later, Brady again found Gronkowski in the end zone for a 14-3 lead, but the six-play scoring jaunt was helped mightily by a pair of Kansas City errors: a potential Tyrann Mathieu interception erased by a holding call, then a fourth down turned into a fresh set of downs when Antonio Hamilton lined up offside on a field goal attempt.

Gronkowski, who came out of retirement to reunite with Brady after the quarterback signed a two-year, $50m contract with the Buccaneers in March, caught his 13th and 14th career postseason touchdowns from Brady before the break, eclipsing the record of 12 they had shared with Jerry Rice and Joe Montana.

As Kansas City took over for their final possession before intermission, Mahomes was 3-of-12 for 23 yards. He appeared to find a vein of form with six quick completions in succession, but Kansas City were stopped again short of the red zone and the Chiefs settled for another Butker field goal that closed the margin to 14-6 with 1:04 remaining in the first half.

But those 64 seconds were more than enough for Brady, who led a five-play, 71-yard drive capped by a one-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown. Again, error-strewn play by Kansas City made it possible: this time a pass interference penalty on Bashaud Breeland, who was beaten deep by Mike Evans down the left sideline.

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The big-play Chiefs can never be counted out, not after becoming the first team in NFL history to overcome three double-digit deficits during their run to last year’s Super Bowl crown. They immediately showed signs of life on their opening drive of the third quarter, starting with a 26-yard scamper by rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire that was their longest play of the game. But Tampa Bay’s swarming defense locked down again, forcing Kansas City to settle for a third field goal.

It unraveled quickly from there. Tampa Bay running back Leonard Fournette, who was cast aside by the Jacksonville Jaguars before the season, ran untouched 27 yards to paydirt to give Tampa Bay a 28-9 lead, joining Terrell Davis (1997 Denver Broncos) and Larry Fitzgerald (2008 Arizona Cardinals) as the only players to score touchdowns in four playoff games in a single postseason. He would finish the night with a game-high 89 rushing yards on 16 carries.

When Mahomes, given no quarter by Tampa Bay’s ravenous front seven and desperate to make something happen, threw an interception on the ensuing drive, the outcome was all but a handshake away.

Brady becomes only the second quarterback to win titles with two different teams, joining Peyton Manning, who earned one apiece with the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos.

“I’m not making any comparisons,” he said. “Experiencing it with this group of guys is amazing.”

Super Bowl LV: Buccaneers beat Chiefs for Tom Brady's magnificent seventh (2024)


Who caught Tom Brady's final Super Bowl touchdown pass in Super Bowl LV? ›

That person is Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate. Brate caught an eight-yard touchdown in the final minutes of the Buccaneers' Wild Card matchup against the Dallas Cowboys on Jan. 16. The Buccaneers would fall 31-14, making it Brady's final game in an NFL uniform.

Why did the Chiefs lose Super Bowl LV? ›

Chiefs didn't look ready

There were dropped passes, coverage busts, missed tackles and shanked punts. The execution was severely lacking by the standards that we've come to hold this team. The team was either overconfident going into this game or they were simply outcoached throughout, maybe both.

Who was the MVP of the Super Bowl LV? ›

Tom Brady, Quarterback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was Super Bowl LV MVP (2021).

Who is the coach for the Buccaneers when Tom Brady won the Super Bowl? ›

Prior to Monday night's matchup, Omaha Productions and the Manningcast announced who their special guests would be, and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Super Bowl-winning head coach Bruce Arians will be joining Peyton & Eli for the first half.

Who stripped Tom Brady in the Super Bowl? ›

Brandon Graham delivered a play for the ages when he stripped the ball from quarterback Tom Brady that was recovered by Derek Barnett in the fourth quarter of the 41-33 win over the Patriots that brought home the Eagles' first Super Bowl Championship.

Who did Patrick Mahomes lose Super Bowl to? ›

The year after signing his contract, he led the Chiefs to their second consecutive Super Bowl appearance, but they lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV.

How many times did the Kansas City Chiefs lose the Super Bowl? ›

This marks their fourth appearance in five years, a testament to their consistent excellence on the field. The Chiefs have a notable record in the Super Bowl, with three wins and two losses in their previous five appearances.

How did Chiefs lose to Bucs? ›

The most dominant aspect of the game came from Tampa's defensive front, which throttled an injured Chiefs O-line. The Bucs often were through the line a second after the snap, causing Mahomes to retreat on first step. Tampa destroyed backup Chiefs offensive tackles with Shaquil Barrett constantly in Mahomes' face.

What did Kelce do to Andy Reid? ›

Angered that Reid had taken him out of the game during the first half, Kelce pushed the 65-year-old so hard on the sideline that the Chiefs head coach momentarily lost his balance, while the tight end continued to shout in his face. Kelce was eventually pulled away by teammate Jerick McKinnon.

Does Super Bowl MVP get extra money? ›

The MVP only receives a trophy, as no other prize is attached to the award.

Who has the most Super Bowl rings? ›

Which teams have the most Super Bowl wins? The New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers are both tied for the most Super Bowl wins with six each. The Patriots also have the most Super Bowl appearances in history with 11, having lost the title game five times.

Did Tom Brady win two Super Bowls with the Buccaneers? ›

He and Peyton Manning are the only starting quarterbacks to win the Super Bowl for more than one franchise, with Brady winning six for the Patriots and one for the Buccaneers.

Did Tom Brady win any Super Bowls with the Buccaneers? ›

It was with the Buccaneers that Brady won his seventh, and what has turned out to be his final, Super Bowl ring, which is a record for any player in history. It is also more Super Bowl wins than any one franchise has ever won.

Who was the QB for the Bucs when they won their first Super Bowl? ›

Coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Brad Johnson led the team to a 48-21 victory over the Raiders. Following the Buccaneers' triumphant Super Bowl win, the championship drought would continue for another 18 years, until future hall-of-fame quarterback Tom Brady came to town in 2020.

Who bought Tom Brady's last touchdown pass? ›

Miami-based real estate broker Ron Firman bid $518,628 for the ball that Brady threw to receiver Mike Evans in the NFC Divisional game against the Rams. The quarterback announced his retirement from the NFL a few weeks later, and Firman bid on what he believed to be the final touchdown pass of Brady's career.

Who caught Tom Brady's last TD? ›

The FINAL touchdown pass of Tom Brady's career. 🐐 An 8-yard pass to Cameron Brate. Via: NFL | By Sunday Night Football on NBCFacebook.

Who caught the pass in the Super Bowl? ›

Former UGA wide receiver Mecole Hardman catches winning Super Bowl pass. ATLANTA - A Georgia native and former receiver for the University of Georgia caught the winning pass for the Kansas Chiefs in Sunday night's Super Bowl game at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

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