The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are setting history when they take the field on Sunday for Super Bowl LV as they will become the first team to play on their home turf in the Super Bowl.
However, the Bucs will have to go through the reigning Super Bowl Champions and back-to-back AFC Champions, Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs have the opportunity to start the next NFL dynasty; the first one since Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
For Tampa Bay, they look to avenge their loss to the Chiefs during Week 12 of the regular season. Here are three keys for the Bucs to hoist the Lombardi Trophy on Sunday:
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Get Pressure on Mahomes
The Buccaneers have one of the NFL’s best pass-rushing attacks. In the regular season, Todd Bowles’ defense recorded 48 sacks, which was tied for the fourth-most in the league.
In the NFC Championship against the Packers, Tampa Bay got constant pressure on Aaron Rodgers, tallying five sacks. The Packers’ offensive line allowed only 21 sacks all season, which was tied for the second-least in the league.
The Chiefs are at a disadvantage as they are without both tackles. Mitchell Schwartz remains on Injured Reserve and Eric Fisher tore his Achilles against the Bills in the AFC Championship Game. This leaves the Chiefs without three of their five starters from the start of the season. And Kelechi Osemele tore tendons in both knees earlier in the season.
The Buccaneers have to take advantage of the Chiefs’ loss at the tackle positions and get pressure on Mahomes and the Chiefs’ offense.
Control Time of Possession
What has been the key for every team that has beaten the Chiefs since Mahomes became the starter? Dominating time of possession.
The best way to keep the Chiefs off the board is to keep the offense off the field and keep the defense on the field. The Buccaneers are going to need to sustain long drives to burn the clock and finish them off with touchdowns.
Tampa Bay has to finish drives with touchdowns, or the Chiefs will be able to control the game by counteracting field goals with touchdowns.
Dominate the Run Game
The Buccaneers have the duo of Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette, who have combined for over 1,200 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns in the regular season.
In the playoffs, Fournette has 211 rushing yards in three games and has been the lead back. The key for the Bucs is to use both of their running backs to open up the passing game for Brady and his weapons.
Don’t forget, running the ball will help dominate the time of possession and keep Mahomes and Co. off the field.