2021 Super Bowl: 55 things to know for Super Bowl LV matchup between Chiefs and Buccaneers


Super Bowl LV is right around the corner. The Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made it this far, and now it’s time to crown the champion of the 2020 NFL season. Will it be the league’s hottest young quarterback, or its hottest old quarterback? The storylines are Super Bowl-caliber themselves, but the game promises to be just as fun.

As we approach the big game, what better way to ring in the 55th Super Bowl than with 55 things to know entering the matchup? Find yourself a beverage, buckle your seat belt, and enjoy:

1. The game will be played between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, marking the first time the two teams have squared off in the Super Bowl.

2. The Chiefs are looking to become just the eighth team in NFL history to repeat as Super Bowl champions. They beat the San Francisco 49ers, 31-20, in Super Bowl LIV to claim their first-ever Lombardi Trophy.

3. The Buccaneers will be making just their second Super Bowl appearance in team history. The last time they made it, they closed the 2002 season with a 48-21 rout of the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII.

4. This will be the Chiefs’ fourth Super Bowl appearance. Before winning it all in 2019, they fell to the Green Bay Packers in 1966 during the first-ever Super Bowl, then won their first title with a 23-7 rout of the Minnesota Vikings in 1969’s Super Bowl IV.

5. Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is making his 10th Super Bowl appearance, an NFL record. This will be his first outside of New England, where he spent the first 20 seasons of his career with the Patriots.

6. Brady, who already owns an NFL-record six Super Bowl rings, would become the first player to ever win seven NFL championships with a victory in Super Bowl LV. Three others — Packers linemen Fuzzy Thurston and Forrest Gregg and defensive back Herb Adderley — have won a combined six NFL championships or Super Bowls in their careers. If we’re counting All-American Football Conference championship wins, Brady can match Otto Graham for the most titles with his seventh win.

7. Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who won Super Bowl MVP in the Chiefs’ last title, is looking to become the youngest QB in NFL history to win multiple Super Bowls. He won in 2019 at age 24 and is looking to do it again at 25.

8. The Buccaneers are the first team in NFL history to play a Super Bowl in their own stadium. Raymond James Stadium, their home since 1998, has hosted two Super Bowls before, in 2000 and 2008.

9. This will be the 17th Super Bowl hosted in Florida. The city of Tampa will be hosting its fifth this year, while Miami (11) and Jacksonville (one) have also held the big game in previous seasons.

10. Super Bowl LV is scheduled to kick off at 6:30 p.m. ET on CBS. You can stream it free on CBSSports.com or the CBS Sports App. More details here.

11. The Chiefs are slight favorites to win, opening with a three-point advantage at William Hill Sportsbook.

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12. Kansas City got to the Super Bowl by winning a franchise-record 14 games in the regular season, then beating the Browns and Bills in the playoffs. Andy Reid had also never won 14 games before, logging his most victories since a 13-3 finish and Super Bowl run with the Eagles back in 2004.

13. The Buccaneers got to the Super Bowl by going 11-5 in the regular season — their best finish since 2005 — and beating Washington, the Saints and Packers in the playoffs. They notably lost to New Orleans, the AFC South champions, twice in the regular season before edging them in the divisional round.

14. Andy Reid and Bruce Arians have only coached two games against each other, with each claiming one win. Both games were three-point contests.

15. This will be Arians’ first Super Bowl appearance as a head coach. He made the big game three times with the Steelers, first as wide receivers coach (2005) and then as offensive coordinator (2008, 2010). Pittsburgh went 2-1 in those Super Bowls.

16. Reid will be making his fifth Super Bowl appearance and third as a head coach. He won with the Packers in 1996 as an assistant offensive line and tight ends coach, then appeared in Green Bay’s return bid in 1997 as QBs coach and assistant head coach. He narrowly lost to the Patriots as the Eagles’ head coach in 2004, then won his first as a head coach with the Chiefs in 2019.

17. Both teams’ QBs ranked in the top five in the league in passing yards and touchdowns in 2020. Brady threw for 4,633 yards (third) and 40 TDs (second), while Mahomes threw for 4,740 yards (second) and 38 TDs (fourth).

18. Both Brady and Mahomes ranked in the top three in passing yards per game this year, with Brady averaging 289.6 and Mahomes averaging 316, the best total in the NFL.

19. Both QBs also hold impressive conference championship track records. Brady has appeared in 14 different AFC or NFC title games, winning 10 of them. Mahomes, meanwhile, has appeared in three straight, winning his last two.

20. The offensive bread and butter for both teams, as you may have guessed, is throwing the ball. Reid has long been one of the most pass-oriented coaches in the NFL, and Arians has a similarly firm reputation as a fan of the aerial attack.

21. There are a combined 16 career Pro Bowl honors between the Buccaneers and Chiefs’ top wide receivers in Antonio Brown, Chris Godwin, Mike Evans and Tyreek Hill. Brown is in his first year in Tampa Bay alongside Godwin and Evans, while Hill has been one of Kansas City’s top targets since 2016.

22. Tight end Travis Kelce is the Chiefs’ deadliest weapon outside of Hill. At 31, he went off for a career-high 105 catches, 1,416 yards and 11 touchdowns this season.

23. The Buccaneers tend to spread the ball around more. Though Mike Evans led the team with 70 catches for 1,006 yards and 13 scores, Antonio Brown, Chris Godwin, Scotty Miller and tight end Rob Gronkowski all posted at least 50 targets, 30 catches and 480 receiving yards.

24. Scotty Miller might be one of the underrated X-factors in the Super Bowl. The second-year man is just 5-foot-9 and under 180 pounds but has been one of Tom Brady’s top deep-play targets, averaging 15.2 yards per catch.

25. Speaking of big plays, no one hits on them quite like the Chiefs. Whereas Kansas City isn’t always the most methodical, it can almost never be counted out for scoring in a hurry, with Kelce, Hill and fellow pass catcher Mecole Hardman all averaging more than 13 yards per reception. Kelce and Hill alone combined for 26 TD catches in the regular season.

26. Neither team boasts a 1,000-yard rusher, with Ronald Jones (978 yards) and Clyde Edwards-Helaire (803) leading the Bucs and Chiefs on the ground, respectively. Tampa utilizes more of a committee approach, with Leonard Fournette chipping in alongside Jones, while Kansas City tends to prioritize Edwards-Helaire, with Le’Veon Bell serving a minimal role.

27. Defense is neither team’s specialty. Both the Bucs and Chiefs have been vulnerable all year. But they have their perks: Kansas City, under coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, boasts a major interior presence in Chris Jones and a savvy patrolman in Tyrann Mathieu; and Tampa Bay, under Todd Bowles, has a proven pass rush with Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaquil Barrett, as well as a hard-nosed rookie safety in Antoine Winfield Jr.

28. At 43, Brady will be making his third Super Bowl start since turning 40. No other QB has ever made it to the big game in his 40s.

29. This will be Brady’s fifth Super Bowl appearance in seven years. He’s gone 3-1 in that time. For his career, Brady is 6-4 in Super Bowl appearances.

30. Brady’s matchup with Mahomes marks the first time the previous two Super Bowl-winning QBs face off in the next Super Bowl. Brady last won in 2018, as the Patriots beat the Rams. Mahomes and the Chiefs topped the 49ers in 2019.

31. Both Brady and Mahomes will be vying for another Super Bowl MVP. Mahomes won the award during his first Super Bowl win in 2019, while Brady has claimed the award four times, in 2001, 2003, 2014 and 2016.

32. Super Bowl LV will be the first title game featuring just one team that entered the playoffs with a first-round bye since 2013. The last seven Super Bowls saw both contenders finish as a top-two seed in their conference.

33. The Chiefs enter as an unofficial standard-bearer for the AFC over the last half-decade. They’ve won double-digit games in six straight seasons, and seven of their last eight, since Reid became coach in 2013.

34. Unlike the Chiefs, the Buccaneers have been far from a playoff mainstay as of late. Their current playoff run is their first in 13 years, with the team missing the postseason from 2007-2019. They hadn’t won a postseason game prior to this year since 2002, the last time they went to the Super Bowl.

35. Bruce Arians has had somewhat of an unconventional route to this Super Bowl. He didn’t become a first-time head coach until age 60, when he took over the Colts for a rehabilitating Chuck Pagano, winning Coach of the Year in the process. He then spent 2013-2017 running the Cardinals, going as far as the NFC Championship Game, before a one-year retirement.

36. Brady, of course, is best known for his 20-year career with the Patriots, with whom he won six titles, went to 14 Pro Bowls and cemented a Hall of Fame legacy. He signed with the Buccaneers as the headliner of Arians’ “win-now” overhaul in March on a two-year contract.

37. After 53 years of Super Bowls that featured only one team with red as a primary uniform color, Super Bowl LV marks the second straight championship in which both teams primarily wear red. Don’t get the teams mixed up!

38. The Chiefs heavily outweigh the Bucs in 2020 Pro Bowlers, seven to one. Tampa Bay is represented by pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul, with linebackers Devin White and Lavonte David deemed second-team All-Pros. K.C., meanwhile, saw Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, left tackle Eric Fisher, defensive end Frank Clark, defensive tackle Chris Jones and Tyrann Mathieu voted in.

39. Fisher, who’s charged with protecting Mahomes’ blind side, will miss the Super Bowl with a torn Achilles suffered in the AFC title game. He’ll likely be replaced by veteran reserve Mike Remmers.

40. The Chiefs are also expected to be without their starting right tackle, Mitchell Schwartz, a 2018 All-Pro and Super Bowl LIV starter who’s still recovering from a back injury.

41. The Buccaneers went 5-3 at Raymond James Stadium — the site of the game — this season. The Chiefs went 8-0 on the road.

42. Arians, 68, has already insisted he won’t retire regardless of how the Super Bowl ends, joking with reporters he’s “going for two.”

43. Steve Spagnuolo, the Chiefs’ defensive coordinator, has a storied history scheming against Tom Brady. In 2007, as coordinator for the New York Giants, he helped Big Blue stifle Brady and the Patriots for an unforgettable Super Bowl upset, which erased an otherwise perfect season for New England.

44. The last time the Bucs and Chiefs met was Week 12 of this season, Nov. 29. The Chiefs went up big early on, taking a 17-0 lead as Tyreek Hill exploded past Tampa Bay’s secondary, but the Bucs pulled within three in the fourth quarter thanks to some of Brady’s own magic. Ultimately, Andy Reid and Co. sealed the victory, 27-24.

45. Limited seating amid COVID-19 restrictions could skyrocket ticket prices to record heights. Already, CBS has revealed that its ad inventory for the big game is virtually sold out.

46. The Buccaneers have not lost since Nov. 29, the week before their regular-season bye. They’ve won seven straight entering the Super Bowl, including the playoffs.

47. Because backup QBs have played a relatively prominent role in the postseason so far, you’ll want to know the Bucs’ and Chiefs’ emergency signal-callers: Chad Henne is the No. 2 to Mahomes, and Blaine Gabbert backs up Tom Brady. Both reserves are former AFC starters, with Henne once manning the Dolphins, and both vets once playing for the Jaguars.

48. Brady will try to become the only QB other than Peyton Manning to win a Super Bowl for multiple franchises.

49. The NFL will permit 22,000 fans at the stadium for the game, including 7,500 health care workers vaccinated for COVID-19 (all of whom will receive free tickets from the league). That’s roughly one-third the typical capacity of Raymond James Stadium.

50. Carl Cheffers will referee the game as part of a crew featuring Sarah Thomas, who becomes the first woman to officiate a Super Bowl.

51. Three-time Grammy Award-winning artist The Weeknd, a staple of contemporary pop and R&B, will headline the Super Bowl LV halftime show. 

52. R&B artist Jazmine Sullivan will join country singer Eric Church for a duet of the national anthem before kickoff.

53. A special pre-game coin toss will feature poet Amanda Gorman, who recited her work at the presidential inauguration; educator Trimaine Davis, nurse manager Suzie Dorner and Marine veteran James Martin.

54. Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson and Jay Feely will be on the call for the CBS broadcast.

55. You’ll find nonstop coverage of Super Bowl LV, both before, during and after the championship, right here at CBSSports.com and on CBS Sports HQ, our free 24/7 streaming network.





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