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Arians: Not Really Excited to Face Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 26, 2021

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians before the start of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Washington Football Team, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

The idea of playing in the Super Bowl is great. Playing the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl is less than ideal.  

"I mean, you go back and you look at the game and what matchups you had," Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians told reporters ahead of Super Bowl LV. "I'm not really excited playing Tyreek Hill and [Travis] Kelce and [Patrick] Mahomes. That's a formidable challenge, but our guys will be up for it."

The Chiefs and Bucs crossed paths in Week 12, and the final score—27-24 in favor of Kansas City—obscured how much Tampa Bay struggled to contain the Chiefs' high-octane offense.

Mahomes finished 37-of-49 for 462 yards and three touchdowns. Kelce had eight grabs for 82 yards. Hill seemingly made it his singular purpose to give Carlton Davis nightmares, finishing with 13 catches for 269 yards and three scores.

Tampa Bay successfully atoned for its two regular-season defeats to the New Orleans Saints by beating them in the divisional round. Shutting down an offense led by 42-year-old Drew Brees isn't quite the same as the test the Bucs face on Feb. 7, though.

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Any coach would obviously love to be in Arians' shoes right now, but that doesn't mean he isn't going through some stress right now as he and his staff draw up a game plan.