On Sunday night, former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady captured his seventh Super Bowl title in a surprisingly lopsided victory over the undermanned Chiefs, who were down two of their starting offensive tackles and suffered the consequences.
What isn’t surprising, however, is the fact that some haters are using that narrative to devalue Brady’s latest triumph — winning a championship with a Buccaneers team he joined during a truncated offseason…in which he didn’t even have a preseason to develop chemistry with his new teammates.
Despite all of that, some fans maintain the notion that defensive coordinator Todd Bowles was deserving of the MVP award over Brady. While the Bucs’ defense certainly pitched a perfect game and Bowles deserves massive credit for that, there are several underlying factors that prove the right man took home the hardware.
Of course people are claiming that Tom Brady wasn’t the MVP of the Super Bowl.
For starters, the refs bailed Tampa Bay’s defense out on numerous occasions (especially in the first half), making it incredibly difficult for the Chiefs to establish anything resembling a rhythm on offense. Even Brady’s most adamant apologists would admit that his team received the lion’s share of the calls throughout the game.
The second and third points are intertwined. First up is the fact that the Chiefs were missing both of their starting tackles. As a result, the Bucs generated 29 pressures (52% of Patrick Mahomes’ dropbacks), which set the record for most in Super Bowl history. Because of the injured offensive linemen, Tampa Bay was able to create consistent pressure with solely their defensive line, which allowed Bowles to drop extra defenders into coverage.
Bowles is clearly one of the most innovative defensive minds in the league, but that was a fairly straightforward case to crack — rush four players and drop everybody else into coverage to make it virtually impossible for Mahomes to complete anything downfield. Did you notice how often he was scrambling for minimal yardage? Part of the Bucs’ plan was to give him everything underneath to ensure he didn’t beat them with the deep ball.
And finally, you have Brady’s performance. The 43-year-old finished 21-of-29 (72.4%) for 201 yards and three touchdowns with zero turnovers. If the game was closer in the second half, Brady would’ve had to throw more and the MVP debate wouldn’t even be a conversation.
Again, this takes nothing away from what Bowles and the Bucs’ defense accomplished on Sunday night, but the handful of factors working in their favor proves that there was only one player deserving of the award.