Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Chiefs In Super Bowl LV

February 8th, 2021

Bill Currie Ford is a Tampa tradition since 1959. They’re awesome Bucs fans and so charitable in the community. Shop now at New year, new deals! And remember their nationwide lifetime warranty on new and used vehicles. Ira loves his 2020 Ford Escape, cherry red.


The NFL gods have quite a sense of humor.

This most improbable season ended in an improbable manner with a Super Bowl blowout. At 10:11 p.m., the Bucs turned the lights out on the Chiefs after a dominating performance that Tom Brady called “our best game of the year.”

It was the worst beatdown for Kansas City since Week 4 of the 2016 season, a span of 86 games. Patrick Mahomes was a junior at Texas Tech that day when the Steelers crushed the Chiefs 43-14.

This was worse. Much worse.

Todd Bowles draped a straitjacket over Tyreek Hill and Tampa Bay owned the trenches, hounding Mahomes relentlessly. A 14-2 powerhouse that had converted 49 percent on third down during the regular season went 3-for-13 on the money down.


The Chiefs were also 0-for-3 in the red zone and had more penalty yards (120) than rushing yards (107). Yes, the Bucs saved their best for last. More good news: Brady and Bruce Arians said they’re coming back next season in an effort to run it back.

Grandmaster Bowles closed the year by winning chess matches against Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Mahomes. Brady received my vote for game MVP, but Bowles won the mind game against Andy Reid, who has had better nights.

Admit it, you were nervous when the Bucs fell to 7-5 heading into the bye week. It turned out to be only a tease as Tampa Bay closed with an 8-game winning streak, scoring at least 30 points in the final seven.

This one was for the die-hards, the Buc fans who never gave up the fight through 12 seasons without a playoff appearance. Newly elected Hall of Famer John Lynch was on hand and he surely appreciated the swarming defensive effort that thrilled the thousands of Buc supporters in attendance.

From the moment Brady officially came aboard March 20, this franchise has been the focal point of the National Football League. It ended in grand style, with Roger Goodell standing on a podium with the Glazer family near the north end zone.

The cannons didn’t fire Sunday, but the Bucs had way too much ammunition for the defending champs. They were too good on both sides of the ball and too savvy on the sidelines.

It was a sight to behold as the Bucs unmasked the Chiefs, exploiting weaknesses while playing to Tampa Bay strengths. As a result, the Bucs have earned themselves the No. 32 draft pick in the first round.

Ain’t that sweet?

Here’s how the Vince Lombardi Trophy ended up in Tampa.

* Trenches, trenches, trenches. While Mahomes was running for his life, Brady stood calm and cool in a nice pocket. It was the same story at Lambeau Field, where Bowles unleashed the hounds against Rodgers. Shaq Barrett led the charge Sunday with a sack and four of Tampa Bay’s eight QB hits.

* The Bucs just made the Chiefs look like the Jaguars. Think about it. This game wasn’t close, so give the coaches their due for smart game plans. Give the players their due for executing the scheme. Most of all, give this organization its due for declaring the future is now and going all in. The Bucs just completed a Hail Mary and a hell of a year.

* It turns out Rob Gronkowski was playing possum. He hadn’t been particularly productive in the previous four games before burning KC for a pair of TD catches. He also blocked his tail off at the line of scrimmage, reinforcing his reputation as the most complete tight end of his era.

* Speaking of stellar tight ends, give it up for Travis Kelce, one of the few Chiefs who showed up Sunday night. Kelce caught 10 passes for 133 yards despite receiving extra attention. Gronkowski’s going to Canton. Kelce is well on his way.

* Leonard Fournette capped a stirring postseason run with another very solid effort. Fournette accounted for 135 yards from scrimmage, breaking free for a 27-yard scoring dash that broke the game open midway through the third quarter.

* What the heck was Reid thinking in the final minute of the opening half? The Chiefs trailed only 14-6 and Tampa Bay appeared content to run the clock out, but Reid got greedy with two timeouts that changed the dynamics. Two pass interference penalties later, the Bucs were on the 1-yard line and Antonio Brown quickly made it 21-6. Reid is a Hall of Fame coach, but he’s never been known for his clock management. This game was Exhibit A.

* Devin White closed out a dynamic sophomore season in style with a game-high 12 tackles and a late interception that triggered a raucous celebration. It’s easy to see a half-dozen Pro Bowl berths in White’s immediate future. He sets the tempo for this defense and he embraces the leadership role, just as Jason Licht envisioned.

* While the Bucs played a terrific game, the Chiefs were out of sorts. There were too many flags and not enough adjustments. Punter Tommy Townsend didn’t help, either.

* Perhaps the biggest single factor in this 8-game winning streak is the physicality of this football team. Ryan Jensen sets a nasty tone up front while Tristan Wirfs just turned in one of the best rookie seasons in franchise history. The rushing defense has been superb all along and offensive line coach Joe Gilbert deserves credit for instilling a toughness Buc fans haven’t witnessed in these parts.

* It all comes back to Brady, naturally. He wanted Gronkowski. He wanted Fournette. He wanted Brown. They all contributed on the league’s biggest stage as Brady captured his fifth Super Bowl MVP award. He inspired the veterans and he inspired the kids. Heck, he inspired the grounds crew. We’ll never see his likes again.

Get those barricades up. The parade route is around the corner.

Ira!ย  … Ira’s good friend Sean Sullivan, the Bill Currie Ford general manager, is ready to help you personally. Just call, email or stop in, one mile north of Raymond James Stadium.

40 Responses to “Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Chiefs In Super Bowl LV”

  1. geno711 Says:

    Tampa Bay’s Pandemic Powers.

  2. Jim Says:

    Now which Joe had the temerity to argue with The Sage about the Gronk Effect?

  3. Well well well Says:

    Cmon Ira canโ€™t have your cake and eat it too. You would have been happier if KC won but your saving your butt and your job by acting like a Buc fan.

  4. ModHairKen Says:

    And Lynch got in the HOF.

  5. Pa Privateer Says:

    I am so happy about the Super Bowl win, but I am very grumpy that Gronk, Brown and Fournette scored the nationally televised touchdowns…..Godwin and Evans and ROJO and Miller and Brate got the bucs to the playoffs

  6. Clean House Says:

    Amazing dream season- still pinching myself and take back all I said about Licht and BA

    Clearly time to retire my miserable Joe Bucs Fan handle. I love being so wrong.

  7. Bird Says:

    11)So stoked for all the players, especially lavonte and mike evans the longest tenured bucs

    12). How lucky is gronk. He sits out a year and his boy asks him to go to tampa which lets face it was the laughing stock of nfl. Gronk only plays in superbowls. I mean the guy has a great life

    13). With this super bowl , which bucs are now going to canton? (Not counting gronk nor brady which are obvious)? Mike evans and suh may have just punched their ticket

    14). Ndog And lamarcus are absolute morons. ๐Ÿ˜‚

  8. Garv Says:

    Absolutely THRILLING! My favorite moment, and there were many, was the Winfield peace sign penalty. THAT said it ALL! Enjoy it long time and loyal fans, this one is for US baby!

  9. Cobraboy Says:

    Gronkowski is a TE, Kelce is a receiver.

    Gronk can do it all, block and catch. Kelce is one-dimensional.


  10. Rico 210 Says:

    I was telling everyone who would listen, we will be the first to win at home. Laughed at me they did. Now who’s ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚
    Let’s fuโ€ขking go!!!
    Go Bucs

  11. Kentucky Buc Says:

    All of these reasons and excuses for Bucs win and Chiefs loss Im seeing from the media on the tube this morning are all missing a major point. Brady takes less money so his teams can put talent and depth around him. Chiefs burnt a lot of cap on Mahomes, Hill, Kelsey, Chris Jones and Frank Clark. No money left for depth when injuries occur.

  12. Ed Says:

    Every single pre-SuperBowl show I watched on NFL network and the CBS crew except Bill Cowher were all infactuated with the Hill/Kelce/Maholmes trio. What they failed to see was a Bucs team that was hot heading into the playoffs and hotter once they started. 3 wins in a row, 2 vs teams with MVP QB and HOF’er Drew Brees.

    Its amazing that they didn’t bring Ira to the table to explain that its a team game, you win at the line of scrimmage, and player to player, the Bucs’ overall squad is better than the Chiefs.

    Shame on CBS and NFL Network for looking at the Chief like they “were dancing with the stars”. The Bucs looked like Lombardi’s Packers walloping the Chiefs and Raiders in SBI and SBII. Just like those Packers, the Bucs were focused on doing their jobs and playing team ball.

    Complete domination! If this Buc team stays intact and they add some speed at WR, another pass rusher and another offensive lineman they can go back next year.

  13. Lokog Says:

    We did I it victory Monday๐Ÿ˜Ž

  14. Kentucky Buc Says:

    @Cobraboy. You hit the nail on the head.

  15. AMI_Chris Says:

    Brady played really well but I would have liked to see David or White win the MVP. I still can’t believe we are SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS!!!

  16. Seรฑor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    It was a team effort from top to bottom; from the Glazers to the full coaching staff to Brady to Wirfs, ME, AB, Fournette, White, David and on! Thanks to ALL of you!!! Everyone stepped up. Even staying out of the path of COVID.

    Because I have been a Bucs fan for many years, my AMAZING wife bought tickets (40 yard line, section 211, row G) for us to go and surprised me. The game last night was an unbelievable experience, a lifetime experience that we could not make any better if we wrote the script. What a great, incredible performance by our Bucs!! Thank you Bucs! Thank you Joe for your fun, year-round great reporting!

  17. Steven007 Says:

    Clean house, kudos to you for manning up and saying you were wrong. Almost to satisfying is that amazing victory is the fact that all the JBF trolls we all know too well are eating a plate full of dookie covered crow this morning. Realist? You are an obsessive sheep loving clown. Trollmax? That guy’s the grumpiest idiot to ever grace this blog. Anthem? You still act like a Bucs fan even after calling Brady noodle arm for the first quarter of the season when it was clearly evident you’re out of your mind. Ditto LaMarcus. Bird, if you see this I’m sure you can add to the list…

  18. Steven007 Says:

    Seรฑor! Congrats on what had to be an incredible experience as you said. Quite the wife there. Happy to hear you got to enjoy it up close. We were all there in spirit.

  19. Seรฑor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    Thank you Steven. The only words that come close is it was a true lifetime experience!

  20. GhostofSchiano Says:

    I think Todd Bowles deserves co MVP. What an incredible game plan.

  21. idiaznet Says:

    I will say it now. I called this in the beginning of the year when we lost to the Saints and everyone was screaming. It felt like 2002 all year long. Loose to the Saints twice, loose to the Chiefs like loosing to the Eagles in regular season again. Snubbed at Pro Bowl and then told all week that our defense can’t stop the other team, like they said with Gannon and the Raiders. Then we stomp them in the SB for the Championship. Champions baby!!!!!

  22. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    Kudos for so many people in this win! ๐Ÿคฉ

    It was a team win for the ages for the franchise with an encore performance of the Tampa Two!

    Long may the champions reign!!

  23. Bucsfanman Says:

    Soak it up, bask in it fellow Buc fans. THIS one was so freakin’ sweet! We didn’t just “beat” the Chiefs, we sent them to cry in the car.
    There’s too many game balls to give out but it would be criminal not to mention the defense. In a word…”STIFLING”!
    We dominated the trenches and ran the ball effectively.
    THIS fan was smiling ear to ear\

  24. Doctor Stroud Says:

    Ira mentioned Andy Reid’s time outs right before the half, and I agree with other posters that those were totally disrespectful to Brady and the Bucs.

  25. Ghost of NDoggie Says:

    with this win tonight tom brady solidifies his status as the third best quarterback of all time behind colon kapernick and Jameis Winston.

    check yo sheets

  26. Cobraboy Says:

    Worst. Halftime. Show. Ever.

    And, lordy, I am tired of woke commercials.

  27. Stanglassman Says:

    Not bad for a team with only one probowl player.

  28. Craig Says:

    11) Bucs came out with a completely different offensive game plan than any other game this season.

    KC looked like it was waiting for those long passes; the kind that didn’t show last night.

  29. FortMyersDave Says:

    Great article Ira. Congrats on getting #47 a gold jacket! Next year it will be #20. Complete dominating performance. I was watching NFL Network this morning and Brandt is wearing a throw back creamsicle jacket, apparently he lost a bet for picking the Chiefs. Dude was whining about all the flags against the Chiefs, dude must have bet heavily on KC. Kay Adams looked a bit hungover wrapped up in a fleece jacket and nursing an Irish coffee. Burleson gave the Bucs some props. Man its tough for these national media types to just admit the Bucs were the better team without making lame excuses!

  30. 813bucboi Says:

    The WOKE commercials were great….

    Shouldโ€™ve had more of them!


  31. Cobraboy Says:

    @813: I have no doubt those commercials are even more enjoyable after an estrogen injection and a soy shake.

  32. lambeau Says:

    Excellent column, Ira–Beautifully written.
    (Too bad Cobraboy has to spoil the euphoria with his vile racism.)

  33. Cobraboy Says:

    lambeau Says

    (Too bad Cobraboy has to spoil the euphoria with his vile racism.)

    In fine 1984 NewSpeak, “Not sufficiently woke” = “vile racism”

    It’s a Brave New World, Loyal Comrades. Embrace the Glorious Progressive Revolution! Re-Education Camp for dissenters!

    (queue The Internationale national anthem)

  34. Bucsfanman Says:

    Hey, do you guys know the beauty of freedom? Choice!
    Choose to change the channel.
    Choose to ignore Cobra.
    Choose to talk Bucs kicking KCs a$$!!!

  35. Cobraboy Says:

    @Bucsfanman: How about “Choose to ignore woke?”

  36. โ€œThat guyโ€ Says:

    Bird, you forgot will gohlston as one of the longest tenured bucs. Heโ€™s been a anchor in the run game for years and survived every coaching staff since Raheem Morris. Happy for all those guys. World champs baby!

  37. gotbbucs Says:

    Play it back next year

  38. LongSeason Says:

    Gronkenstein is awesome!!!
    Go Bucs!!!
    Bucs Win!!!
    Bucs Super Bowl Champions!!!

  39. louis Says:

    brady is the goat…mahomes is the sacrificial lamb…..but what an athletic performance by mahomes with a bout of turf toe…kid has heart

  40. Cometowin2 Says:


    Iโ€™m sure this game for you was like the Bucs & Packers Championship game for me. My first date with my wife over 32 years ago was a Battle of the Bays back when both teams sucked. My team won that day. Both our teams getting to the NFC Championship and one of our teams going on to winning the SB is always the goal. Kind of payback for the Packers winning the 2010 season SB when the Bucs were screwed out of going to the playoffs by the officials.

    What a year!!! Go Bucs!!!