The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lead the Kansas City Chiefs 21-6 at halftime of Super Bowl LV. Here are our main takeaways from the first half:
Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, & Antonio Brown playing like prime selves
Tom Brady certainly looks like a six-time Super Bowl champion, and nothing like a 43-year-old. Brady has completed 16-of-20 passes for 140 yards (7.0 average), three touchdowns, and no interceptions for a 135.4 passer rating. He connected with longtime Patriots teammate Rob Gronkowski for the first two touchdowns, and then connected with Antonio Brown — who Brady pushed so hard for the Bucs to add Antonio Brown, which they did in October — for a touchdown right before halftime.
Gronk and Brown have combined to reel in all nine targets as well.
Tom Brady to Antonio Brown. Bucs are rollin'. pic.twitter.com/heR9Xh28Od
— The Comeback NFL (@TheComebackNFL) February 8, 2021
Penalties are killing the Chiefs
While a few of the calls have certainly been questionable, Kansas City has committed a whopping eight penalties for 95 yards. Tampa Bay, on the other hand, has only one penalty for five yards.
The Chiefs' 95 penalty yards in the 1st half of Super Bowl LV are the most penalty yards against any team in the 1st half of a game this season#SuperBowl
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) February 8, 2021
The Bucs were outside field goal range with 24 seconds remaining in the first half, but then the Chiefs were called for multiple pass interference penalties, setting Tampa Bay up for the Brown touchdown.
Kansas City needs to play much more disciplined football in the second half.
Patrick Mahomes doesn’t look like Patrick Mahomes
The defending Super Bowl MVP had a very rough first half, completing 9-of-19 passes for 57 yards (3.5 AVG, yikes) and a 56.3 passer rating. He’s been more effective on the ground, running five times for 33 yards. The Tampa Bay pass rush — while having no sacks — has certainly been part of that, with Shaq Barrett disrupting plays in the backfield.
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) February 8, 2021
Last year the Chiefs appeared to be on the losing end of the Super Bowl, and then Mahomes and the company turned things up a notch to get the come-from-behind victory. They will really, really need to do that in this one. But never count out the sport’s most valuable player.