Well, this is Super Bowl week and an interesting one at that.
We have the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs and the NFC Champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers facing off at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium, making it the first time a team has played a Super Bowl in its home stadium.
Let’s get started with the positional comparisons. We start with the position of quarterback just to get it out of the way. Kansas City has Patrick Mahomes II, the present and future great at the position, while Tampa Bay has the most accomplished quarterback in history in Tom Brady, who won his first Super Bowl when Mahomes was six years old.
I’d give Mahomes a fairly large edge in physical talent since Brady is 43 and is using as much guile as talent nowadays.
Going to running back, Kansas City is confident enough in their depth that a third-string player has gotten most of their rushes in the postseason, albeit due to injuries. Tampa Bay uses two runners about equally. Edge: Tampa.
The receiving corps for both teams rank just behind the quarterbacks for fame. KC is led by Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce while TB has Mike Evans and Chris Goodwin atop a good corps. Edge: Chiefs.
The offensive lines are pretty much even. Kansas City suffered a blow when left tackle Troy Fisher got hurt in the playoffs.
I’m going with Kansas City in the special teams area for two reasons. First, Andy Reid places an emphasis on it. Second, this team has speed all over the place including the return game.
Kansas City has Chris Jones, the AFC’s best defensive lineman, while Tampa Bay has a solid four-player core. Edge: Buccaneers.
The back seven defensively are pretty much even. KC has Tyrian Mathieu who is a game changer at free safety.
As far as coaching is concerned, Reid, should the Chiefs repeat, will be considered an all-time great. Bruce Arians has been a difference-maker with two teams and is one of the best coaches ever in working with quarterbacks.
I’m going with the Chiefs 31-27.
Jeff Harvey is a freelance reporter and columnist for the Princeton Times. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.