A battle of the ages: Mahomes vs. Brady

Jake Blancher, Staff Reporter

The opening kickoff of the 2021 Super Bowl is just days away in Tampa Bay, Florida, marking the conclusion of an NFL season unlike any other. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic that regularly ravaged rosters, we saw a virtual draft process, empty stadiums, pumped-in crowd noise, player opt-outs and even a wide receiver starting at quarterback for the Denver Broncos.

The matchup between the top-seeded, reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs and fifth-seeded Tampa Bay Buccaneers is a battle of new versus old. Tom Brady, widely considered the greatest NFL player of all time with six Super Bowl wins already under his belt, leads the Buccaneers against rising superstar Patrick Mahomes, who just signed the largest contract in sports history, and the Chiefs.

This is Tom Brady’s first season with the Buccaneers, after forming a dynasty in the 20 seasons he spent in New England with legendary head coach Bill Belichick. Mahomes and head coach Andy Reid could be well on their way to laying the foundation for the next NFL juggernaut, having already amassed two Super Bowl seasons in Mahomes’ three years as a starting quarterback.

The Chiefs’ high-powered, electric offense headlined by the aforementioned Mahomes, speed demon Tyreek Hill and All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce had them smooth sailing to the best regular season record in the NFL this season at 14-2, with one of their losses coming in week 17 when they rested all of their starters. In the playoffs, they beat the Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills in close games.

The Buccaneers ruled the gridiron this season with a star studded offense including Brady, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, Leonard Fournette and LeSean McCoy, cruising to an 11-5 record. Their playoff wins were against the Washington Football Team, our hometown New Orleans Saints — who had previously beaten Tampa twice in the regular season — and Green Bay Packers. In each playoff game, second-year cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting has recorded an interception, so keep an out for the Central Michigan product this Sunday.

According to Las Vegas, the Chiefs are favored by three points and their moneyline is currently set at -174, meaning you would need to bet $174 to net a $100 profit, should the Chiefs win. 

Given the ample weapons that each club wields on offense, whichever team’s defense proves more stout at slowing the opposing offense’s passing attack should be well positioned to be crowned the next Super Bowl champion. 

The 2021 Super Bowl will kick off at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 7, from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida. The Super Bowl will air on CBS and can be streamed on CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports app.