With Super Bowl LV in the books, that brings another NFL season to a close and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been crowned champions.
It has been a memorable year for so many reasons, not least of which the sheer stubbornness of the league to get the full season in (mostly) on time.
For one last time, we’ve got our five biggest takeaways from the final week of the 2020 NFL season.
1 – Balance Is Everything
There will be plenty of plaudits for Tom Brady becoming the most successful franchise in NFL history with his 7th title, but this game showed just how important a supporting cast can be.
Last year there was a feeling that Brady had entered the John Elway, late 1990’s stage of his career where he could still win games on his arm but having some talented players around him sure made things a bit easier.
With a strong running game helping take time off the clock, and a defence that harassed and harried Mahomes, Brady just had to be his usual poised self.
His final stat line of 21/29 for 201 yards and three touchdowns is far from his most impressive performance in the Super Bowl but he avoided all making a mistake that would have given Kansas City a chance to get back into it.
2 – Tom Brady Still Has More to Accomplish
Seven Super Bowls is insane, but it doesn’t sound like Brady thinks he has completed the NFL just yet.
Aside from going for ring number eight, and giving himself a nice cushion against Mahomes going on a run over the next decade, Brady has one NFL team he is yet to beat: the New England Patriots.
A trip to Gillette Stadium is on the cards for the defending champions next season and we can almost certainly pencil that in for mid-November.
The combination of Brady and Belichick on the Patriots roster made many games a must watch over their 20 year run, but seeing the two of them facing off for the first time is going to be insane.
Whoever is running the Patriots social accounts knows not to give TB12 any extra motivation.
3 – Patrick Mahomes is Human
As phenomenal as the start to Patrick Mahomes’ career has been, he was not good in his second Super Bowl appearance.
While there are plenty of external factors to blame his poor performance on, the depleted offensive line, his injured toe, Mahomes was unable to produce the magic we have seen over the last three seasons.
He went 26/49 for 270 yards and a pair of interceptions that were brought about mostly because he was pressing to try and keep the Chiefs in the game.
It’s not like this loss will turn the Chiefs into the 2015 Carolina Panthers who were scarred beyond belief by losing the Super Bowl.
This team is well set up to make another run next season and while it’s a common theory after every Super Bowl, a rematch in 12 months time is entirely possible.
4 – Gronkowski Still Comes Through When Needed
There was a saying among New England sports writers in the 2017 and 2018 campaigns, “there are two versions of the guy wearing 87, Robert Gronkowski and ‘Gronk’”.
For most of 2020 Robert Gronkowski was playing for the Buccaneers but in the clutch moments, Gronk broke out to give Tampa Bay the lead.
Punters that backed Gronkowski for the first touchdown were treated to a nice collect at $15 and those who took the insurance of Gronk anytime were paid out early at $3.30.
The Brady to Gronkowski combination has been rolling for a decade now and it would have been a real dagger to the Patriots fans who missed that iconic connection.
5 – The LA Rams Are the Team to Watch Out For in 2021
It would be remiss to not mention the biggest non-Super Bowl story from the last fortnight and the LA Rams acquiring Matthew Stafford.
Based on the price they paid to not only bring Stafford in from Detroit and offload Jared Goff’s contract in the process, the Rams know they might not have much time to win the Super Bowl with their current roster.
Aaron Donald won defensive player of the year over the weekend at the NFL Honors and will lead a strong and talented unit.
If you are looking for a side to jump on early in our Super Bowl LVI markets, the Rams might be the best positioned team to knock off Tampa Bay this season.