TAMPA BAY, FL — When Tom Brady decided to join the Tampa Buccaneers after 19 seasons with the New England Patriots, he envisioned lifting a seventh Vince Lombardi Trophy. He just didn’t know it would be at his new home stadium.
Brady’s vision became reality when he delivered a 31-9 victory over Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium, bringing Tampa Bay its second championship and their first since 2003.
The 43-year-old quarterback captured his seventh Super Bowl ring in his 10th appearance in the championship game, taking Tampa Bay to the big game in his very first season.
“Being down here and experiencing it this with this group of guys, every year is amazing, and this team is world champions forever,” Brady said after the game. “You can’t take that away from us, so thank you guys, thank you all.”
Trailing 3-0, Brady put the Buccaneers up in the first quarter and his team never trailed again. The legendary quarterback found tight end Rob Gronkowski, who came out of retirement to join Brady, twice for scores of eight and 17 yards respectively to put the Bucs up 14-3.
Brady and Gronkowski teamed up for 14 touchdown receptions in New England during the postseason, the most by a quarterback/receiver duo of all time.
Tampa Bay’s pass rush defense did not allow superstar quarterback Mahomes to find the end zone all night long, giving the 25-year-old his first double digit loss of his young career. Mahomes finished the game by completing 26 of his 49 passes for 270 yards along with two interceptions. He also rushed for 33 yards on five carries.
“Obviously I didn’t play the way I wanted to play,” Mahomes said. “What else can you say? All you can do is leave everything you have on the field, and I feel like the guys did that. They were the better team today. They beat us pretty good, the worst that I think I have been beaten in a long time.”
Brady cemented his status as the greatest quarterback to ever play the game. The first half saw him complete 16 of his 20 pass attempts, becoming the first player in Super Bowl history to complete 80 percent of his passes and throw for three touchdowns in a half.
Overall, the 43-year-old finished the game with 201 passing yards while completing 21 of 29 attempts to go along with his three touchdowns. Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians became the oldest coach to ever win a Super Bowl at age 68.
“This really belongs to our coaching staff and our players,” Arians said. “This is your trophy. I didn’t do a damn thing. You guys won this game, alright? You came together as a band of brothers and you made it happen. So proud of all of you.”
In a Super Bowl unlike another with 25,000 fans filling the stadium and 30,000 cardboard cutouts due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Buccaneers became the first team to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium and its fitting it Brady was the one to do it.
At 43 years old, Brady still has a lot left in the tank. He has said he wants to play until he’s 45 but said this week he may go beyond that. He signed a 2-year, $50 million contract with Tampa Bay in the offseason and put any talk of retirement to rest for himself or Gronkowski.
“We’re coming back,” he told CBS after the win. “You already know that!”
So, while his window may be closing — it’s not shut. The G.O.A.T. is sticking around for a few more seasons and who knows what magic he may put out of his helmet next.