Buccaneers win Super Bowl 55, defeating Kansas City 9-31

The Big Game

Fans arrive before the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Tom Brady won a record seventh Super Bowl title over a struggling Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Mahomes threw incomplete after long scrambles on third and fourth down deep in Tampa Bay territory. The stalled drive left the Chiefs trailing 31-9 early in the fourth quarter.

Brady threw for three touchdowns, including a pair to old longtime New England teammate Rob Gronkowski in their first season together with the Buccaneers. Mahomes is 15 of 32 for 131 yards with an interception.

9:20 p.m.

President Joe Biden says he spent part of Super Bowl Sunday calling watch parties hosting U.S. troops to thank them for their service.

In a tweet Sunday evening, Biden said he called watch parties in Kabul, Afghanistan, and on board the USS Nimitz, an aircraft carrier deployed to the Middle East.

Biden says, “We are forever in debt to those who sacrifice so much to keep us safe.”

The president also spoke to the millions of people watching the game on television. Biden and his wife, Jill, appeared in a taped message that aired before the game, calling on the public to observe a moment of silence in remembrance of the more than 400,000 deaths to COVID-19 in the U.S.

9:05 p.m.

The Buccaneers are pulling away from the Chiefs in the Super Bowl.

Leonard Fournette ran untouched 27 yards for a touchdown to give Tampa Bay a 28-9 lead after Kansas City had opened the second half with a drive to its third field goal.

Patrick Mahomes’ Chiefs are still without a touchdown, and the star quarterback is 0 of 6 passing on third down.

Tom Brady has led the Buccaneers to touchdowns on four of their past five drives after punting on the first two possessions.

Fournette joins Terrell Davis (1997 season) and Larry Fitzgerald (2008) as the only players to score in four playoff games in a single postseason. Fournette has his sixth straight playoff game with at least one TD and 50 yards rushing.

8:58 p.m.

The Kansas City Chiefs got another field goal to start the second half but are still seeking their first touchdown of the Super Bowl.

Harrison Butker kicked a 52-yard field goal to cut Tampa Bay’s lead to 21-9. The long kick came after Patrick Mahomes couldn’t connect with Travis Kelce on third and 8.

Mahomes is 0 for 6 passing on third down in the game with Kansas City’s only conversion coming on his run. He led the NFL in the regular season with 47% of his third-down passes going for first downs.

Butker also connected from 49 and 34 yards in the first half and has made all six attempts this season from at least 50 yards.

8:35 p.m.

Tom Brady and Tyrann Mathieu have been going at it all game in Super Bowl 55.

The Buccaneers quarterback and Chiefs defensive back began jawing early in the first half after Mathieu’s interception was negated by a Kansas City penalty.

Mathieu was whistled for a pass interference in the closing seconds of the first half. The penalty set up Antonio Brown’s 1-yard touchdown catch that gave Tampa Bay a 21-6 halftime lead over the defending champions.

After that score Mathieu and Brady jawed at each other and Mathieu was whistled for unsportsmanlike conduct. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo walked over to an irate Mathieu on the bench and spoke to the safety briefly.

8:20 p.m.

The Chiefs are beating themselves as much as the Buccaneers are beating them as Tampa Bay leads 21-6 at halftime in the Super Bowl.

Bashaud Breeland’s defensive holding penalty was the first big mistake. It helped the Buccaneers march downfield on a 75-yard drive that Tom Brady finished with a touchdown pass to old Patriots teammate Rob Gronkowski.

Two series later, the Chiefs had an interception by Tyrann Mathieu wiped out by Chavarius Ward’s holding penalty. When they held the Buccaneers to a field goal, Antonio Hamilton and Mecole Hardman were lined up offsides, giving Tampa Bay a fresh set of down. Brady again finished the drive with a TD pass to Gronkowski.

Finally, Breeland put an exclamation mark on his dreadful half when got called for pass interference on Mike Evans, who had beaten him deep in the final minute.

When Mathieu got called for interfering with Evans in the end zone, Brady hit Antonio Brown on the next play with 6 seconds left to give Tampa Bay a 21-6 lead at halftime.

7:55 p.m.

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have connected on another TD pass.

Brady’s second touchdown pass to Gronkowski in the first half gave the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a 14-3 lead over the Kansas City Chiefs in the second quarter of the Super Bowl.

The two combined on their 13th career playoff touchdown in the first quarter that broke the record for most playoff TD passes for a duo that had been held by Joe Montana and Jerry Rice.

The latest TD came after a potential interception was wiped out by a holding call on Charvarius Ward. The drive was extended again when Antonio Hamilton lined up offside on a field goal. Brady threw the TD pass on the next play.

7:45 p.m.

Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are off to a slow start in the Super Bowl.

Mahomes is 3 for 12 for 23 yards through the first four drives against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It’s the fewest yards he’s ever had after four drives in a game. His previous low was 23 against the Chargers on Nov. 18, 2019.

The Chiefs have punted three times and scored one field goal and trail the Bucs 7-3.

Mahomes hasn’t gotten a lot of help from his receivers with Travis Kelce dropping a third-down pass to end Kansas City’s fourth drive.

Punter Tommy Townsend is off to a rough start as well. He has punts of 27, 29 and 51 yards. His 51-yarder bounced into the end zone for a touchback. Townsend had just one punt in the Chiefs’ first two playoff games.

7:35 p.m.

The Kansas City Chiefs’ goal-line stand has kept the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from adding to their 7-3 lead in Super Bowl 55.

Running back Ronald Jones II was stuffed on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line.

That’s just the third time a team went for it on fourth down from the 1 in the last 21 Super Bowls. The Eagles converted on Philly Special three years ago and the Saints were stuffed by the Colts on a Pierre Thomas run 11 years ago.

Tom Brady took a lead heading into the second quarter for the first time in his 10 career Super Bowls thanks to an 8-yard touchdown toss to Rob Gronkowski with 37 seconds left in the first quarter.

7:18 p.m.

Tom Brady has his first touchdown pass in the first quarter in his 10 career Super Bowls.

Brady hooked up with former Patriots teammate Rob Gronkowski for an 8-yard touchdown to put Tampa Bay up 7-3 over the Kansas City Chiefs with 37 seconds left in the first quarter.

It was the 13th time Brady and Gronk have hooked up for a postseason touchdown. That breaks the record they shared with Jerry Rice and Joe Montana.

Brady’s nine Super Bowl teams in New England produced just three points total in the first quarter. That came on a field goal in the Patriots’ 41-33 loss to the Eagles in Super Bowl 52.

The Buccaneers punted on their first two possessions before Brady engineered an eight-play, 75-yard drive.

7:05 p.m.

The Kansas City Chiefs have scored first in the Super Bowl.

Harrison Butker kicked a 49-yard field goal on Kansas City’s second drive to give the Chiefs a 3-0 lead over Tampa Bay.

Patrick Mahomes missed a deep pass to Tyreek Hill on third down to lead to the kick. Mahomes is just 1 for 6 for 3 yards early in the game. He has rushed for 24 yards and two first downs for the most yards rushing for a QB in the first quarter of the Super Bowl since Steve Young had 36 for the 49ers 26 years ago.

The Buccaneers punted on their first two possessions. Quarterback Tom Brady has led only one scoring drive in 19 attempts in the first quarter of his 10 career Super Bowls.

6:45 p.m.

Poet Amanda Gorman has honored teachers, military veterans and frontline healthcare workers in her poem recited at Super Bowl 55.

Gorman, who graduated from Harvard University last year, captivated Americans with the recent recitation of her poem on national unity at President Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Afterward, the NFL invited the 22-year-old poet laureate to participate in the pregame pageantry at the NFL championship.

The poem preceded the pregame coin flip won by the Kansas City Chiefs, who kicked off to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

6:38 p.m.

The Super Bowl has kicked off with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers getting the first possession.

The Chiefs won the coin toss and deferred to the second half.

Brady is hoping to accomplish one of the few things he hasn’t done in nine previous Super Bowl trips by scoring a TD in the first quarter.

In 17 drives that started and ended in the opening quarter in those games, he led New England to only one field goal, although he did score an opening drive TD in the opening minute of the second quarter in Super Bowl 42 against the Giants.

The quarterback matchup between Brady and Patrick Mahomes is the sixth ever in the Super Bowl between former AP MVPs, the second between former Super Bowl MVPs and the first between players who had previously won both awards.

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