Super Bowl LV 2021 highlights: best plays of the game
Four touchdowns were enough to secure a comfortable win for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the Kansas City Chiefs, with Tom Brady the unsurprising MVP.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers held the Vince Lombardi Trophy aloft inside the Raymond James Stadium on Sunday night as they became the first team ever to win a Super Bowl on home turf. A relatively comfortable 31-9 victory - as well as the journey into and through the playoffs - was greatly aided by the help of arguably the greatest player of all time, quarterback Tom Brady, who threw three of their four touchdowns.
Super Bowl LV: key plays
The evergreen 43-year old watched as cannons fired, fireworks exploded and cheers rang out from the limited number of fans in attendance, before collecting his own prize, a record-extending seventh championship ring. Brady's age-defying performance, which earned him the Most Valuable Player award, brought the curtain down on what was perhaps the most challenging season the NFL has had to navigate because of the covid-19 pandemic.
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The pandemic kept stadiums mostly empty throughout the season and restrictions limited Super Bowl attendance to 25,000 spectators, including 7,500 healthcare workers, sprinkled among 30,000 happy-faced cardboard cutouts. And although not necessarily the spectacle that many were hoping for, the key plays were enough to allow this game live long in the memory.
Bucs and Brady off to a quick start
The NFL's championship game had been hyped as a battle between Brady, widely recognised as the greatest quarterback of all-time, and 25-year-old Chiefs counterpart Patrick Mahomes, considered the best in the game today.
But in the end it was no contest as the Bucs' rampaging defense harassed Mahomes, who threw a pair of interceptions, the entire night to bring the Chiefs' Super Bowl title defense to a jarring end. The only team to play a Super Bowl on their home field, the Buccaneers made the most of the opportunity as they were crowned champions for the first time since January 2003.
Brady got the Bucs off to fast start as he found former Patriots teammate Rob Gronkowski, who came out of retirement to join the Bucs this season, for a pair of touchdown strikes to build a 14-3 lead. Just check out their almost telepathic link up play, first with Gronkowski dropping short…
…and then checking across once inside the end zone to lose his marker.
There is no doubt that Brady had added a burst of belief into the Bucs players and the quarterback made the Chiefs pay dearly for some undisciplined penalties that set up a one-yard scoring pass to Antonio Brown with six seconds left in the half to build a 21-6 cushion.
While the home side’s confidence grew, Mahomes and the Chiefs' explosive attack could not get in gear with first-half scoring limited to a pair of Harrison Butker field goals. Although it may not have been the best day at the office for the Kansas boys, their young quarterback did throw some incredible passes under pressure. But they just wouldn’t stick.
Fournette adds to second half comfort zone
Ahead of the game, many commentators had noted how good the Chiefs were at coming back with rapid points scoring and they were the ones to strike first in the second half, with Butker booting another field goal.
But the game looked lost and this was ensured when the Buccaneers hit back with a Leonard Fournette 27-yard touchdown run and a Ryan Succop field goal to cruise into the fourth quarter with a 31-9 lead.
Leonard Fournette (27-yard rush TD)— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) February 8, 2021
🔹 Top Speed: 19.96 MPH*
🔹 Rush Yards Over Expected: +22
🔹 TD Probability: 0.9%
*Fournette: 2nd-fastest speed as a ball-carrier this season#SBLV | Powered by @awscloud pic.twitter.com/mGt4I8VcxG
In terms of decisive plays in a Super Bowl, those were the keys to victory for the Bucs. One other performance worthy of mention, however, one that was enjoyed by all those in attendance, was that of The Weeknd, who gave his all in the ever popular halftime show.
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