While we wait for the action on Sunday, I turned on my Xbox, started Madden NFL 21, and created a simulation of the matchup that will take place in just three days at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Super Bowl LV. Let’s just say we’re facing an instant classic when the real game is something like what I just saw myself in my house.
Tom Brady He has six Super Bowl titles in his name (most of all time), so it may not be that surprising to know that some of these championships have played out in a similar way. Yes, we have Super Bowl XXXVI and Super Bowl XXXVIII where Brady got two rings on his fingers thanks to game-winning kicks from Adam Vinatieri. While the quarterback may be playing for a different team while he is making this latest title bid, the Madden NFL soccer gods are making our latest CBS Sports simulation of Super Bowl LV On Sunday Brady will repeat what is probably the most exciting championship of his career.
Jordan Whitehead jumped into the same class as before Patriots Corner kick Malcolm Butler (circa Super Bowl XLIX) when he was able to secure a Super Bowl-winning interception in the end zone Patrick Mahomes. With 33 seconds left to play at the 1-yard line at Super Bowl LV and Kansas City while Mahomes went down six points, he rolled to the left and tried to connect to a tight end Travis Kelce for a touchdown. Then Whitehead was able to jump in front of the throw, intercept Mahomes’ pass, and help Tampa Bay in a 20-14 win to give them their second Super Bowl in franchise history.
Super Bowl LV is almost here and you can watch it for free on the CBS Sport App.
Before that epic interception, this game was a pretty close affair. The Buccaneers took the opening start and got on the board early thanks to a Leonard Fournette 12 yard touchdown run. However, Kansas City responded quickly in the early minutes of the second quarter when Mahomes connected with him Tyreek Hill on a nice pass in the far left corner of the end zone.
That second quarter saw most of the scoring happen when Tampa Bay responded with its own quick touchdown ride to break the 7-7 draw courtesy of a Mike Evans Landing. The receiver finished the game with a team high of 51 yards and that score.
One of the first first slip-ups for Kansas City was the ride that followed. With Mahomes and Company getting the ball early in the second half, it was an ideal opportunity to score points on the board on two consecutive possessions before the Tampa Bay offensive could touch the ball again. However, this ideal situation never materialized. Mahomes threw his first interception of the day when he tried to hit Demarcus Robinson on a sloping route. Buc’s corner Sean Murphy-Bunting was able to alternate between quarterback and receiver and recover last year’s Super Bowl MVP pass. From there, Tampa Bay was able to score a field goal before half time and gain double digits.
Kansas City wasted no time getting back into that game early in the second half, demolishing two chunk games that totaled 58 yards before Mahomes bonded with the receiver Sammy Watkins, who got a 30-yard pass in the previous game for a 7-yard touchdown.
At this point in the game, both defenses were really starting to jam. Tampa Bay closed in the third quarter, and KC’s Front 7 was able to pressurize Tom Brady much more often, including a keybag that late in the offensive on a field goal early in the fourth quarter. Both defenses forced three and two failures in the fourth series, including a clutch stop by the Bosseswho returned the ball to Mahomes and his offensive by more than two minutes and had the opportunity to march across the field to win their second straight title. And they almost did it.
In a third-and-7 game 40 seconds ahead, Mahomes did what was set up for the game. While on the run, he threw an arrow at Tyreek Hill, who was able to flick a toe right at the 1-yard line before going out of hand.
The next game, however, resulted in the Whitehead picks you saw earlier in this story that gave the Buccaneers their first title since the 2002 season and Tom Brady a championship in his seventh career. Brady finished the game with a 186 yard pass and one touchdown, while Mahomes had 204 yards through the air, two touchdowns and two picks. Whitehead was named a Super Bowl MVP.
It should be noted that Mahomes was also to lose at the end of our simulation last year and ended just fine outside of the virtual world and in the actual Super Bowl LIV matchup with San Francisco. Can he beat the computer again and win another title? We’ll find out on Sunday.