The Kansas City Chiefs fell to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 31-9, in Super Bowl LV on Sunday afternoon, bringing their magical season to an end.
The Buccaneers raced out to a 15-point lead heading into halftime and didn’t look back, securing the second world championship in franchise history.
Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 26-of-49 passes for 270 yards, finding tight end Travis Kelce a team-high 10 times for 133 yards, but the Buccaneers managed to generate consistent pressure and keep Kansas City’s offense off balance throughout the game.
The Chiefs had the initial lead, as kicker Harrison Butker hit a 49-yard field goal on Kansas City’s second drive of the game. Tampa Bay answered almost immediately, however, as Buccaneers’ quarterback Tom Brady found tight end Rob Gronkowski for an 8-yard score.
Tampa Bay appeared poised to extend their advantage a possession later, but the Chiefs’ defense held Buccaneers’ tailback Ronald Jones out of the end zone on 4th-and-inches to turn the ball back over to Kansas City.
The Chiefs couldn’t get much going on offense though, and on the Buccaneers’ next possession, Brady found Gronkowski once again – this time for an 18-yard score – to push their advantage to double-digits.
Kansas City narrowed the deficit in the closing minutes of the half as Butker connected on a 34-yard field goal – bringing the margin within eight points – but Brady had the Buccaneers back in the end zone prior to the break when he found wide receiver Antonio Brown for an 8-yard score.
Penalties hurt the Chiefs mightily in the first half, as they tallied eight fouls for 95 yards.
The Chiefs cut into the Buccaneers’ lead following the break with another field goal, but Tampa Bay returned to the end zone a possession later when tailback Leonard Fournette broke free for a 27-yard touchdown.
Kansas City tried to muster a comeback as the fourth quarter got underway – driving inside the Buccaneers’ red zone – but the Chiefs couldn’t find the end zone and that was that.
It was a disappointing ending to a truly magical campaign, but based on what we’ve learned about this team over the last several years, this squad will use Sunday’s result as fuel to achieve their goals moving forward.