Tom Brady passed for 201 yards and three touchdowns and claimed the MVP trophy as his Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 in the early hours of Monday in front of a limited crowd due to the COVID-19 pandemic to become the first NFL team to win a Super Bowl on their home field.
The victory was also a record-extending seventh Super Bowl triumph in ten appearances for quarterback Brady, who joined the Buccaneers last March after winning six championships with the New England Patriots.
Brady threw two touchdown passes to old friend Rob Gronkowski and one to former Patriots teammate Antonio Brown, as Tampa delivered a battering to Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City in Super Bowl 55.
It was the first time Mahomes, who led them to their first championship in five decades last season, lost a game he started by more than one possession since Nov. 19, 2016, when Texas Tech fell 66-10 to Iowa State.
Mahomes came into the game with 17 touchdown passes and no interceptions against the blitz this season, but he missed his first six throws with an interception in those situations Sunday night.
Mahomes was left hobbling off the field at Raymond James Stadium, the beating capping a playoffs in which he sustained a concussion in the divisional round against Cleveland and a turf toe injury that will likely require surgery.
The win was Brady’s first without Patriots coach Bill Belichick and at 43-years-old Brady broke his own mark for oldest player to win a Super Bowl and joins Hall of Famer Peyton Manning as the only quarterbacks to win one with multiple franchises.
“I’m not making any comparisons,” Brady said. “Experiencing it with this group of guys is amazing.”
The Buccaneers (15-5) won their second NFL title and first in 18 years.
“I’m so proud of all these guys,” Brady said. “We had a rough November but we came together at the right time. We knew this was gonna happen. We played our best game of the year.”
Tampa’s victory prevented Mahomes and the Chiefs (16-3) from becoming the first repeat champions since Brady’s Patriots did it in 2003-04. Bruce Arians became the second-oldest oldest coach at age 68 to win the Super Bowl.
Due to the virus, only 25,000 mask-wearing fans were allowed in, including approximately 7,500 vaccinated health care workers who were given free tickets by the NFL. About 30,000 cardboard cutouts made the stadium look full.