It all comes down to this: the Kansas City Chiefs vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV. One of these teams will end the 2020 NFL season by earning a championship victory and celebrating with the Lombardi Trophy at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
While the Chiefs are the Super Bowl champions, the Buccaneers haven't won a title since the 2002 season. Kansas City is looking to become the first team to win back-to-back titles since the New England Patriots in the 2003 and 2004 seasons. Tampa Bay is aiming to win its second Super Bowl in franchise history.
The Chiefs went 14-2 during the regular season (with one of those losses coming in Week 17 when they rested most of their starters), and they've notched wins over the Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills in the playoffs. The Bucs went 11-5 in the regular season, and they've won seven straight games, including a trio of postseason victories over the Washington Football Team, New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers, all on the road.
Here's everything you need to know heading into Sunday's game, including predictions for the top performers in the matchup.
Super Bowl LV Information
Date: Sunday, Feb. 7
Start Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
Predictions for Top Performers
Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes: 314 yards and three touchdowns
Tampa Bay QB Tom Brady: 274 yards and two touchdowns
Tampa Bay RB Leonard Fournette: 75 total yards and a touchdown
Kansas City WR Tyreek Hill: 102 yards and a touchdown
Kansas City TE Travis Kelce: 87 yards and a touchdown
Mahomes may only be 25, but he's quickly turned into one of the top stars in the league. He won the NFL MVP Award in the 2018 season. Then, the following year, he took Super Bowl LIV honors while leading the Chiefs to their first Lombardi Trophy since the 1969 season.
Now, Mahomes has the chance to become only the third player to win Super Bowl MVP in consecutive years, joining Bart Starr (Super Bowl I and II) and Terry Bradshaw (Super Bowl XIII and XIV). And based on how he's been playing, he has a strong chance to do that.
Even though the Texas Tech product has had major success since taking over as Kansas City's starting quarterback in 2018, he continues to learn with every passing season in the NFL.
"This year, I felt super comfortable recognizing defenses, recognizing blitzes, recognizing coverages and being able to get us into the right play and get a successful play going and a completion," Mahomes said, per Myles Simmons of NBC Sports. "It’s definitely something that I’ll continue to grow and continue to learn, but I feel like I’m at a way different level than I even was last year."
That's why he should have a strong finish to the 2020 season by having another big showing against the Buccaneers on Sunday. He passed for a season-high 462 yards and three touchdowns in Kansas City's Week 12 win at Tampa Bay and is likely to again put up solid numbers through the air in the Super Bowl.
But there should be plenty of offense from both sides. While the Chiefs had the top offense in the NFL during the regular season, the Buccaneers also have a bunch of playmakers capable of racking up yards and putting up points in a hurry.
Brady is a six-time champion who will be appearing in his 10th Super Bowl, so there isn't going to be pressure on the 43-year-old to have a strong showing. He knows what it takes to have success at this point in the season, and he should make things easier for the talented playmakers around him in Tampa Bay's offense.
It hasn't taken long for the veteran quarterback to get comfortable with the Buccaneers. After spending the first 20 seasons of his NFL career with the Patriots, he's quickly had success since arriving in Tampa.
"I looked at just the whole situation. There were a lot of reasons to come here. Obviously a great coaching staff and a lot of really great players, just wanting to come and compete," Brady said, per Fred Goodall of the Associated Press. "I've loved working with my teammates. We've all worked really hard to get to this point."
Although there should be plenty of offensive production from both sides in Super Bowl LV, the game will end up going in the Chiefs' favor. Many of their players have experience playing on this stage after last year's win, and they'll use that to pull out a close victory late in the game.
Mahomes will lead a late scoring drive to put Kansas City on top. And while Brady and Tampa Bay's offense will have a solid showing, it will run out of time to potentially go back on top on its final drive.
For the second straight year, the NFL season will end with a big performance by Mahomes and the Chiefs' offense, helping them win a Super Bowl title.
Prediction: Chiefs 33, Buccaneers 27