Super Bowl Odds 2021: Final Predictions for Chiefs vs. Buccaneers Winner, ScoreFebruary 7, 2021
The Kansas City Chiefs were the last team to defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Following the teams' Week 12 meeting at Raymond James Stadium, the Bucs reeled off seven consecutive wins to secure the NFC crown while the Chiefs extended their dominance atop the AFC.
Although the November 29 game was decided by three points, the Chiefs had control of the contest from the beginning. They rushed out to a 20-7 halftime advantage and did not concede the lead.
If Kansas City turns in a similar start in Super Bowl 55 on Sunday, it could erase the one potential playoff concern around the team and join the rarified air of back-to-back champions.
Super Bowl 55 Prediction
Kansas City 34, Tampa Bay 27
Kansas City surged to a 17-point lead before the end of the first quarter in Week 12.
Tyreek Hill recorded touchdown plays of 75 and 44 yards on his way to a career best 269 yards, and Travis Kelce caught all eight of the balls thrown to him by Patrick Mahomes.
The way Kansas City started the Week 12 contest and its two playoff games suggests it has rid itself of the cause of the poor openings that it suffered through last postseason.
Kansas City has scored 41 of its 60 playoff points before halftime this year. It recorded 34 of those points in the second quarter through four touchdowns and two field goals.
In Super Bowl 54, the Chiefs scored 10 first-half points against the San Francisco 49ers. They used 21 points in the final 15 minutes to capture the title. In the two games that preceded the clash against the Niners, the Chiefs fell behind 21-0 to the Houston Texans and 17-7 to the Tennessee Titans.
If the Chiefs turn in another impressive first half Sunday, they should be able to keep the advantage, or at worst be tied with Tampa Bay, going into the fourth quarter.
The difference between Week 12 and Super Bowl 55 could be the impetus to put as much pressure on Tom Brady as possible.
Because of Brady's long list of playoff comebacks, Kansas City can't sit back and attempt to take time off the clock in the second half. The Chiefs must try to score as many points as possible to avoid the heartbreak a handful of other franchises have suffered at the hands of the six-time Super Bowl champion.
Six of the nine Super Bowls that featured Brady were decided by four points or less, so there is a good chance the Buccaneers remain within one possession for the bulk of the contest.
Even if Kansas City surges in front, Tampa Bay has knowledge from Week 12 for how to bounce back from a double-digit deficit against the Chiefs.
While it is possible for Brady's offense to put up a good amount of points, it may not have the firepower required to outscore Kansas City.
Hill is the most dynamic playmaker on either roster, and Kansas City has a collection of speedsters in him, Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson and Byron Pringle who can strike in an instant. Hill, Hardman, Pringle and Kelce all averaged more than 11 yards per catch in the regular season.
If the Chiefs can burn Tampa Bay's secondary again, they could create enough of an advantage to avoid a potential come-from-behind victory out of Brady.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90. Statistics obtained from Pro Football Reference.