The Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs are ready to match up in Super Bowl 55. Many are thinking that this will be one for the ages. It could go down as the greatest Super Bowl of all time.
Almost everyone is predicting a Chiefs win. Some even expecting a blowout.
The Bucs lost to the Chiefs 27-24 in late November. The Bucs were missing a big piece on defense as defensive tackle Vita Vea was out with a broken ankle.
Both teams should be the healthiest they have been since opening day for the big game.
Here are a few matchups that the Bucs must win to beat the Chiefs and win their second Super Bowl.
—The Bucs defensive line vs. the Chiefs defensive line. The Chiefs are missing their two starting offensive tackles.
Vita Vea is back in the middle of the Bucs defensive line, and his presence makes a huge difference. Vea often draws double teams which frees up the edge rushers to get to the quarterback.
In the NFC Championship game, Vea returned, and his presence in the lineup freed up Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul to get to Aaron Rodgers, and he was sacked five times.
The Bucs need to win this battle in the trenches.
—The Bucs secondary against Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. In their last meeting, Hill toasted the Bucs secondary for 203 yards in the first quarter alone.
Carlton Davis was the lone defensive back on Hill in that first game, and the Bucs need to get him some help. Perhaps Jamel Dean, who is a bit quicker than Davis but not as physical or athletic, will help cover Hill.
You’re not going to shut down these receivers. But you do have to contain them. You can’t let them make a ton of big plays.
The man to man press won’t be successful against these Kansas City receivers.
—Use Scotty Miller and Antonio Brown. Miller had zero catches, and Brown had two catches for 11 yards in the matchup in late November.
Miller seems to make one or two big plays a game that helps the Bucs win. Miller needs to be involved in the offense on Sunday.
—Red zone efficiency. The Bucs have to get six when in the red zone. Three points two and three consecutive trips into the red zone is a recipe for losing.
No lead is safe against Kansas City. It is imperative when you can get points that you maximize the points you can get.
—-Bucs offense needs to control the game. The fewer times that Patrick Mahomes is on the field the better it will be for the Bucs.
In the last two games, the Bucs have had just the right balance on offense between the run and the pass. That needs to continue with more of an emphasis on running the ball and keeping the chains moving.
Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones have had their best games the last four games of the regular season and in the playoffs.
Look for the Bucs running game to continue to run the ball against a Chiefs defense giving up 121 yards a game in the playoffs.