Prove your humanity


With the shocking 31-9 finish in Super Bowl LV that favored the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, there are several talking points that will be discussed by fans for weeks to come.

Super Bowl LV was a matchup that many saw as a “passing of the torch” moment for the NFL. 

With an aging Tom Brady leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to their first Super Bowl since 2003, many thought the NFC Champions would run into a brick wall when facing the Kansas City Chiefs in the biggest game of the season. However, the exact opposite happened, as the Bucs conquered the Chiefs 31-9 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. 

Brady was not ready to pass the torch to the Chiefs’ rising star quarterback Patrick Mahomes just yet. Instead, he won his seventh Super Bowl ring — only continuing to build quite possibly the greatest individual legacy in all of sports.

Here are four perspectives on this year’s Super Bowl contest:

Tom Brady: Most dominant athlete ever? Reid Conant

Before Super Bowl LV even kicked off, Tom Brady was the greatest football player in NFL history. That was cemented when he won his sixth title two years ago by defeating the Rams in Super Bowl LIII. Then, at age 43, Brady did it once again — this time with a different team — by defeating Mahomes and the defending world champion Chiefs.

Somehow, Brady just keeps managing to one-up himself. No matter what you think of the guy, love him or hate him, he has seven rings. Let that sink in. That’s more than any NFL franchise has — Patriots and Steelers each have six — in the history of the game. When he left New England, he took a bet on himself, and it only took him one season to prove to the Patriots that their pride might have been their biggest downfall.

With his seventh ring, Brady moves past the basketball G.O.A.T., Michael Jordan, who won six championships in just 13 years with the Chicago Bulls. Although MJ did it in fewer seasons, what Brady did will most likely never be repeated in any sport.

Brady’s career is an underdog story that just continues to become more and more unfathomable. What Brady has accomplished over the course of his 21 seasons as a sixth-round draft pick has left fans completely in awe of the future Hall-of-Famer. I found myself watching in disbelief, at the Buccaneers playoff run and eventual Super Bowl victory. He did it again. Just like the six times before; and he easily could do it again. 

Brady’s greatness may never be matched on the gridiron or in any major sport ever again. What he’s done simply can’t be described in one word, but here’s a few: Greatest Athlete of All-Time.

We all forgot the golden rule of football Luke Eggers

Have we forgotten? Have we forgotten the golden rule of America’s game? That undeniable truism that makes it so unique.  As the venerable Bear Bryant once said, “Offense sells tickets. Defense wins championships.”

Tampa Bay Head Coach Bruce Arians should know this expression better than anyone; he spent two seasons as an assistant under Bryant in his twilight years at Alabama. However, it was Arians who played second fiddle for Tampa Bay’s coaching staff on Sunday night. Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, who orchestrated the daringly precise sabotage of Patrick Mahomes, deserves all the credit for their Super Bowl LV victory. 

The Bucs defense prevented the best offensive unit in the NFL from scoring a single touchdown, a first for Mahomes in his young career. That alone would be enough for a team to win virtually any contest, but it didn’t just happen, the Bucs made it happen. Bowles coordinated an aggressive, calculated attack – a rare description for a defense – forcing Mahomes to consistently make off-schedule throws into heavy coverage.

The front seven for Tampa has been elite all season long, but they peaked when it mattered most. Their four-man pass rush of Suh, Barrett, Vea and Pierre-Paul was relentless, tallying three sacks and pressuring Mahomes on 59% of his dropbacks, the highest QB pressure rate in Super Bowl history. With Mahomes running for his life all night long, the Bucs secondary was able to intercept Mahomes twice.

The Mahomes vs. Brady matchup is what filled the seats, both sofa and stadium, but the Buccaneer defense contained Mahomes in unprecedented fashion, and that is what gave them the victory. 

Tampa’s win exemplifies the success a diverse coaching staff can haveCandice Evans

Tom Brady’s mythology can not be expressed enough. But what isn’t being talked about enough is the diverse coaching staff that made the most formidable team look like the NFL’s version of the Washington Generals.

The Buccaneers are the only team in the NFL with all Black coordinators. Tampa Bay was also the first to hire two female coaches.

This is huge in the NFL, as it is a league that is constantly in the news cycle for its lack of diversity. White men are normally given the opportunity to become head coaches, while people of color, particularly Black men, aren’t given that same opportunity with consistency. Only 24 people of color have served as permanent NFL head coaches in the league’s 101 years. 

In this year’s hiring cycle, only one team took the chance on a Black candidate for their head coaching vacancy. Reports and rumors were saying that Black coordinators did not get head coaching positions because they “don’t interview well.” That claim is puzzling because the newly-hired Detroit Lions’ head coach Dan Campbell recently ranted about cannibalism at his opening press conference, which was strange.

While Campbell’s rant doesn’t reflect his interview skills or even his coaching ability, it’s a reminder that creating narratives to perpetuate the lack of diversity in NFL head coaching is ridiculous.

The Tampa Bay coaching staff, particularly their coordinators, are an example that minority men and women are more than capable of greatness in the NFL and deserve the opportunity to succeed in this league.

Even Mahomes can’t make a bad o-line look goodJordan Green

When people look back at the picture of Patrick Mahomes nearly lying flat in midair, somehow completing his throwing motion, many will immediately reflect on his athleticism. My first thought, sadly, will be, “Geez, he really had no help in that game.”

To say the Chiefs’ offensive line had the worst collective performance in Super Bowl history would not be an understatement. Although the unit entered the game decimated with injury, Mahomes was pressured on 29 of his 56 dropbacks. On 24 of those plays, that pressure reached the quarterback in two and a half seconds or less. When there was time for Mahomes, his receivers were incapable of escaping coverage. 

Simply put, No. 15 was left alone to face the Bucs’ defense — a danger that even he couldn’t escape from.

Todd Bowles and Tampa Bay’s defense deserves exceptional credit; they played masterfully. But we cannot act as if they were not taking advantage of the situation they were placed in. 

They blitzed only five times throughout the entire 28 minutes they were on the field. When a four or three-man rush consistently reaches the quarterback, it allows you to play the rest of your seven players in coverage. Based on matchup numbers alone, not even the versatile Kansas City offense can withstand such an approach.

On the other side of the ball, Tom Brady was only pressured on four of his dropbacks, which out of his 10 Super Bowl appearances is the lowest percentage of pressure he’s seen in those games. Last night’s shocking result once again proved that you win the game of football up front, defensively and offensively. 

Not only were the Chiefs beat in those areas on Sunday — they were utterly annihilated. That, and Tom Brady’s excellence, is the reason Tampa secured their second Lombardi Trophy.