Marauding Mahomes: What the Bucs need to do in order to beat the Chiefs in Super Bowl 55


What a wild trip it’s been and my goodness has it been enjoyable. By no means in 1,000,000 years would I’ve believed you had you instructed me that the Bucs would make it to the Super Bowl in their first season with Tom Brady.

I purchased into the notion that it might take a season for Brady and the remainder of this offense to click on. Certain, it seemed that means at the starting of the season, however now? It’s virtually night time and day.

On the defensive facet, I didn’t assume this unit was prepared to maintain up in opposition to the greatest that the NFL had to supply. Whereas I used to be ready to acknowledge their expertise, I believed that they had been too younger and wanted some extra time to develop.

Properly, they certain proved me mistaken and I couldn’t be happier. Not only for myself, however for all of the followers and gamers who’ve suffered via dropping season after dropping season.

Nonetheless, whereas it’s good that they’ve come this far, there’s nonetheless one to go. With all of the success that we’ve seen this season, it simply wouldn’t really feel full and not using a Lombardi Trophy to put an exclamation level on what seems like a magical 12 months.

In order to get there although, they need to get via certainly one of the greatest groups in the NFL who simply occur to have the new face of the league as their quarterback. Not solely that, however they’re nonetheless the defending Super Bowl Champions and so they certain look keen to “run it again.”

So far as the nationwide media is anxious, it appears as if the Chiefs have already performed simply that since many are viewing the Buccaneers as large underdogs who would require some type of miracle to pull off a win.

In some methods, they’ve a degree. The Chiefs on paper appear like the higher group, particularly with how simply they took aside the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship. Regardless of this, if Kansas Metropolis thinks they’ve it in the bag, they higher assume once more.

Tom Brady hasn’t been to 10 Super Bowls for nothing and this Bucs group isn’t right here for no motive. They’ve fought and clawed their means in and so they aren’t taking place and not using a struggle.

(*55*)So what is going to they need to do to pull off this momentous feat? Let’s dive proper in.

Name and execute a whole recreation

That is fairly a broad key to profitable this recreation however belief me, I’ve a little bit extra nuance for it. What I imply by this, is that the Bucs will need to be firing on all cylinders from begin to end. To go even additional, the Bucs have been dangerous on sure downs persistently in video games and so they need to repair these points if they need to win.

In opposition to the Chiefs in Week 12, third down didn’t go effectively for them in any respect, particularly early in the recreation, and so they ended up down 17-0 in the first quarter in consequence. This was primarily a problem of execution, moderately than play-calling.

As for the Packers in the NFC Championship, they had been abhorrent on first down, whether or not it was a run or a go, and this was extra of a play-calling situation. In actual fact, in opposition to Inexperienced Bay two weeks in the past, the Bucs ended up selecting up three or much less yards on 15 of their 23 first down makes an attempt. If they need to win this week, they’ve to be sure that each their play-calling, and execution are close to excellent.

Taking a look at Week 12, we will see that there have been instances when this offense seemed out of sync and that led to the poor execution.

The issue with this, is that it may be an actual drive-killer if this happens on any down, however particularly on third down which we noticed a number of instances in their final assembly.

Right here’s an instance of that right here:

So this play was a 3rd and 6 at a degree the place the Bucs had been solely down three factors and it simply doesn’t go effectively. The Chiefs are sending strain right here, and Brady acknowledges it immediately. He is aware of that he’s going to have to get the ball out rapidly, so he goes along with his first learn which is Mike Evans on the outdoors.

From the means the throw seemed, it looks as if Brady was anticipating Evans to proceed his route upfield, however Evans ended up curling again just a few yards previous the sticks.

Whereas there isn’t a assure that Evans makes the catch if they’re on the identical web page, it’s nonetheless a a lot greater probability than this disjointed look right here which had no hope of changing on an early third down.

Right here’s one other look, this time it’s Antonio Brown popping out of the backfield on a wheel route:

On this specific play, Brady once more reads blitz and is aware of that he has to get the ball out rapidly, so he appears to be like to Brown who must be broad open beneath for a primary down. Sadly, Brown stems this route very narrowly and it permits his cowl man to make up area and be in place to break up the go.

This third and three play ought to’ve been simply picked up, however the lack of execution is what ended up stalling this drive and forcing the Bucs to give the ball again to Mahomes.

Whereas each of those performs weren’t the main motive that the Bucs misplaced the recreation in Week 12, these are potential factors being left off the board merely due to miscommunication.

Give Brady some brief choices in the deep passing recreation

So this may occasionally extra so be a hope than a key, particularly since scheme is just about set in stone by this level in the 12 months, however I believe this could possibly be extremely useful to this offense.

The explanation that this could be so useful, is as a result of Brady has thrown an excellent variety of interceptions when a blitz virtually hits dwelling when he has no fast choices. In actual fact, this occurred in Week 12 in opposition to the Chiefs after Ronald Jones II missed a key blitz pickup:

The difficulty on this play isn’t essentially the missed block, regardless of the incontrovertible fact that it in all probability pressured Brady to throw even quicker than he initially meant. The precise situation is that everybody went deep, and there’s nobody to throw to beneath.

In opposition to a group like the Chiefs, who ship numerous distinctive blitz packages from throughout the discipline, performs like this may find yourself costing the Buccaneers factors, if not the recreation. I’m not saying that there must be no deep routes or something like that, however one check-down choice is commonly needed in opposition to a group that blitzes as a lot as the Chiefs do.

Right here’s the identical precise factor, on what appears to be like to be the identical play from the NFC Championship:

Not a lot else to add, apart from the incontrovertible fact that this throw might’ve price them the recreation, simply because it has the potential to in the Super Bowl. It’s not like RoJo and Leonard Fournette are going to abruptly grow to be elite in go safety, why not toss some scorching calls in there?

Strain Mahomes with 4

Many individuals are saying that if the Buccaneers need to win, they’ve to have the option to reap the benefits of the Chiefs damage points at offensive line and strain the heck out of Mahomes. Properly, they’re proper.

If the Bucs need any hope of slowing down Mahomes, they’re going to need to get there with 4, particularly as a result of he’s so good at studying and reacting to the blitz. On high of that, he’s additionally actually good at getting the ball out rapidly sufficient {that a} blitz received’t make a lot of a distinction.

When Todd Bowles blitz packages, there are quite a bit that use safeties and corners to rush from the outdoors. My private situation with that (in opposition to the Chiefs particularly), is that DB’s are being taken out of protection and being changed with a lineman or a linebacker, and so they take too lengthy to make a lot of a distinction anyway.

If the Bucs do ship blitzes at Mahomes, I’d need to see them come straight up the center with a man like Devin White, moderately than somebody like Sean Murphy-Bunting from the slot.

Blitzing apart, we will all see why getting there with 4 is vital. One factor that makes me really feel hopeful about them being profitable with this, is that they had been ready to get there with 4 very often in Week 12. This pressured Mahomes to throw some incomplete passes and even an interception (that received referred to as again due to roughing the passer).

Let’s check out that right here:

Jason Pierre-Paul comes via the center on a stunt right here, and will get proper into Mahomes’ face. Whereas JPP does find yourself hitting him in the head inadvertently, it’s clear to see that Mahomes is able to making errors, particularly when he isn’t ready to run round and discover area.

Whereas edge strain is the place the spotlight sacks come from, the up the center strain is what forces numerous quarterbacks into errors. As soon as Mahomes sees JPP coming, he realizes that he has no time to scramble out of this and most undoubtedly can’t step up, so he simply tosses it up for grabs.

If the Bucs can get even one turnover in opposition to the Chiefs, they’ll be in a lot better place to come out of the Super Bowl with a win.

Right here’s Ndamukong Suh getting some strain up the center as effectively:

On this play, Mahomes’ capability to scramble is totally negated by the strain coming from all instructions. The Bucs get via so rapidly that he doesn’t have the time to showcase his patented “take 10 steps again and huck an ideal dart” approach.

With a man like Vita Vea again in the lineup, I believe we will all count on to see some strain developing the center very often. Sadly, even with that strain, Mahomes has the capability to decide aside anybody. Nonetheless with out it, I don’t assume the Bucs have an opportunity.

Double Tyreek Hill

This has received to be a no brainer, proper? After this man went for the 14th most yards in a recreation in NFL historical past in opposition to you? It’s not even like Carlton Davis III performed poorly, he was simply not quick sufficient to sustain with certainly one of the quickest guys in the NFL.

Even when Davis III was in place, the throw was typically positioned in a spot that he couldn’t get to even when he had been the reincarnation of Darrelle Revis.

I imply simply have a look at this throw:

Davis III is in nice place right here, however this throw is solely outrageous. It finally ends up going to the backfield shoulder of Hill, which makes it troublesome to break up once you’re on the inside even along with your head circled.

A method that Hill could possibly be mitigated although, is by placing somebody on him beneath, with a security over the high. If Antoine Winfield Jr. was taking part in this over the high, Davis III would have the option to get away with outdoors leverage, which means that the again shoulder throw wouldn’t be open.

One other optimistic side of tossing a security over the high of Hill is that it might assist to eradicate the deep throw. Let’s check out one other Tyreek Hill landing from Week 12:

Even with Davis III taking part in about 10 yards off the line of scrimmage, Hill is in a position to get proper previous him.

I imply the man is simply ridiculously quick, I don’t know what else to say. There’s not a lot you may do about it, besides to put a security over the high of him. Whereas this could clearly not be an each down factor, utilizing it in key conditions could possibly be useful in slowing performs like this down.

It doesn’t matter what the Bucs do, they’ve to do it higher than they did in Week 12. Whereas they confirmed numerous coronary heart in the comeback effort, they weren’t ready to get the job performed and that clearly can’t occur this week.

Whereas the Chiefs are an excellent group with certainly one of the greatest younger quarterbacks ever, they aren’t invincible. If the Bucs need to sluggish them down, they’re going to have to not solely get to Mahomes, however they’re going to have to do a greater job of taking his favourite targets away.

Offensively, they only have to restrict errors via excellent execution and higher play-calling in sure conditions. All the items have been there, however now they need to put them collectively and make this the greatest recreation they’ve ever performed.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 60 minutes away from glory. After being written off time and time once more, they’ve proved everybody mistaken. Time for them to do it one final time.