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Super Bowl highlights Bucs celebrate championship, Tom Brady wins MVP

Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady celebrate after their Super Bowl victory. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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For the first time in NFL history, a team played the Super Bowl in its home stadium, and in Tampa on Sunday evening, the home team rolled. Tom Brady and the Buccaneers defeated Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, 31-9, in Super Bowl LV, as Brady claimed the seventh championship of his career.

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Brady, 43, in his first season outside New England in his two-decade career, helped solidify his legacy as perhaps the greatest quarterback of all time. He threw three touchdown passes and was awarded the game’s MVP award — the fifth of his career.

Highlights

10:13 p.m.
Headshot of Emily Yahr
Emily Yahr: Although Michael B. Jordan’s Alexa ad and the Timothee Chalamet/Winona Ryder Cadillac spot lit up social media, music stars dominated the second half slate of commercials: Cardi B made a cameo as “Wayne’s World” stars Mike Myers and Dana Carvey shilled for Uber Eats. Shaggy stole the show with a parody of his 2000 smash “It Wasn’t Me” as Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis fought over Cheetos. Snoop Dogg and Bad Bunny talked on “shell phones” on the beach to promote Corona. Dolly Parton flipped the script on “9 to 5” to promote side hustles for Square Space. But Bruce Springsteen’s “unity” Jeep ad saw quite a bit of criticism; The Post’s Chris Richards summed it up as he wrote, “Springsteen is ultimately preaching reconciliation without reckoning — which after January’s Capitol siege is no longer an acceptable path toward progress.”
Emily Yahr, Style reporter covering pop culture and entertainment
9:42 p.m.
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Adam Kilgore: One way of contextualizing how impressive Tampa Bay has been on defense: Patrick Mahomes has never been beaten like this in the NFL. He has scored at least 13 points in every start of his career and been held below 20 only twice. His team has never lost by more than eight points in a game he started. Add up every loss of his NFL career, and the margin is 44 points. The Bucs have a 22-point lead midway through the fourth quarter.
Adam Kilgore, Reporter covering national sports
9:33 p.m.
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Adam Kilgore: Tyreek Hill can turn a bad game into a big game in a flash, but the Buccaneers have stymied the Kansas City receiver tonight. Through three quarters, Hill had caught three passes for 34 yards, which is especially impressive considering that in the regular season meeting with Tampa Bay, he caught 13 balls for 269 yards and three touchdowns, one of which he punctuated with a backflip into the end zone. Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has played his safeties deep, preventing Hill from beating the Bucs down the field. It also helps that Jamel Dean, who is Tampa’s fastest cornerback, is playing tonight after missing the first meeting with an injury.
Adam Kilgore, Reporter covering national sports
9:30 p.m.
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Ben Strauss: A week before the Super Bowl, CBS broadcaster Tony Romo gushed about the Brady vs. Mahomes matchup. “This is a legacy game,” Romo said, suggesting that the mantle of best quarterback in NFL history was on the line Sunday. Mahomes, the face of the league and a rising star, has aspirations to have a Brady-like career. And, maybe, if things fall right, he could stack multiple Super Bowls on top of last year’s championship. Now what? Here’s the first word from Romo: If the score holds and Tampa wins, Romo believes Brady has cemented his status as the game’s greatest quarterback no matter what Mahomes goes on to do. “Brady, I promise you, shuts the door if he wins this game,” Romo said. “There’s almost no way you could ever argue [against Brady if], at 43 years old, turning back Father Time, [he] beats Patrick Mahomes.”
Ben Strauss, Sports and media reporter
9:18 p.m.
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Sam Fortier: Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has had one of the most impressive performances of the night. He generated pressure on Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes on 57 percent of his drop-backs in the first half, according to ESPN Stats & Info, one of the highest rates Mahomes has faced in his career. The 57-year-old defensive coach hasn’t let up with exotic blitz packages against the Chiefs’ banged-up offensive line, and the coverage he’s gotten from speedy linebacker Devin White on tight end Travis Kelce has been key.
8:54 p.m.
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Emily Yahr: Well, the Weeknd’s halftime show was very pandemic-appropriate — his backup band and dancers were all six feet apart on a set that looked like a cityscape of individual houses. And when he ran onto the field, he was surrounded by a ton of (frankly, haunting) people dressed identically to him in red jackets and black pants, but with white masks covering their faces. This alluded to the fact that for the last year promoting his album, the Weeknd has been wearing his own face bandages as performance art; he recently told Variety, “The significance of the entire head bandages is reflecting on the absurd culture of Hollywood celebrity and people manipulating themselves for superficial reasons to please and be validated.” Many on social media appeared to be mostly confused by the dizzying spectacle, but the performance seemed in character for the Canadian singer.
Emily Yahr, Style reporter covering pop culture and entertainment
8:41 p.m.
Headshot of Nicki Jhabvala
Nicki Jhabvala: According to SportRadar, the Chiefs have not had more than seven defensive penalties in a game over the last four seasons, playoffs included. They had eight defensive penalties (nine total) in the Super Bowl’s first half alone, and their secondary accounted for six of them; cornerback Bashaud Breeland was flagged for defensive holding twice and pass interference once, fellow corner Charvarius Ward had a defensive holding penalty and safety Tyrann Mathieu closed out the first half with pass interference and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.
Nicki Jhabvala, Reporter covering Washington's NFL team
8:28 p.m.
Headshot of Sam Fortier
Sam Fortier: The Chiefs took their first two timeouts with just under a minute remaining in the first half to try to get the ball back with as much as time left as possible. They needed an extra drive because they trailed, 14-6, and could potentially double up after receiving the opening kickoff of the second half. But then the Bucs converted a third-and-short to tight end Rob Gronkowski and burned the Chiefs by marching for a touchdown to widen the gap to 21-6. It was another tough moment for Chiefs Coach Andy Reid, who’s struggled with clock management his whole career.
8:25 p.m.
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Nicki Jhabvala: The Chiefs led the league with a 40 percent conversion rate on third-and-longs (6+ yards) this season. In the first half, however, Kansas City has only converted once in five third-and-long chances. The lone conversion was an 11-yard scramble by Patrick Mahomes on a third-and-7 in the first quarter.
Nicki Jhabvala, Reporter covering Washington's NFL team
8:23 p.m.
Headshot of Ben Strauss
Ben Strauss: Covid-19 has changed CBS’s broadcast. Tony Romo and Jim Nantz, the game’s announcers, did not see each other in person this week until they arrived at Raymond James Stadium Sunday afternoon. Instead of meetings and dinners with the production and technical crews all week, everything was virtual and Nantz said he planned to eat a lot of room service. For safety reasons, CBS sent 15 percent fewer people to Tampa than when the network broadcast the Super Bowl two years ago. With fewer fans in the stands, CBS does have some new camera angles, since the network can put cameras in places where there normally would be fans.
Ben Strauss, Sports and media reporter
8:03 p.m.
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Emily Yahr: The first half has featured quite a few celebrity cameos in commercials, as is tradition: Dan Levy chatting with candy (M&Ms); Daveed Diggs hanging out with Big Bird (DoorDash); die-hard Chiefs fan Paul Rudd presumably achieving a life dream by botching a pass to Patrick Mahomes (State Farm); Amy Schumer as a mayonnaise angel (Hellmann’s); Tracy Morgan assuring everyone “I’m pretty sure these hornets aren’t the murdering kind” (Rocket Mortgage). The weirdest might be a tie between John Travolta doing a “Grease” dance for TikTok with his daughter (Scotts Miracle-Gro) and a creepily flattened Matthew McConaughey roaming around town (3D Doritos).
Emily Yahr, Style reporter covering pop culture and entertainment
7:59 p.m.
Headshot of Adam Kilgore
Adam Kilgore: The Chiefs are the team that’s been here before, but they have played like wide-eyed Super Bowl neophytes. They’ve committed penalties that extended drives and ruined big plays. For crying out loud, they lined up offside on a field goal on the play before Tampa Bay’s second touchdown. Rookie punter Tommy Townsend dropped a snap and shanked two punts. Typically automatic tight end Travis Kelce made a crucial third-down drop of a perfect Patrick Mahomes pass. It’s just a staggeringly sloppy start for the defending champions. On the penalties: The Chiefs’ cornerbacks like to grab, and if the refs are watching that, Kansas City could be in for a long night.
Adam Kilgore, Reporter covering national sports
7:50 p.m.
Headshot of Sam Fortier
Sam Fortier: Even though Tampa Bay failed to score on fourth-and-1 at the goal line, many analytical models — ESPN, EdjSports and Ben Baldwin’s bot — strongly favored going for it over kicking, because the Bucs’ win probability would’ve increased more by converting than it would’ve suffered by failing. There are also a few logical arguments in favor of going for it. The Chiefs have one of the highest-scoring offenses in the league, and it’s difficult to beat them by kicking field goals. The Chiefs’ defense has also been terrible in the red zone — twice as bad as the 31st-ranked team, per the advanced metric defensive value over average.
7:22 p.m.
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Nicki Jhabvala: Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes had a career-high 229 first-quarter passing yards in Kansas City’s Week 12 win over the Buccaneers in November. In the Super Bowl, though, he had only nine first-quarter passing yards on two completions to go with 24 rushing yards. Playoffs included, Mahomes has had fewer first-quarter passing yards only once in his career: in the AFC championship game against the Patriots on Jan. 20, 2019, when he had zero first-quarter passing yards.
Nicki Jhabvala, Reporter covering Washington's NFL team
7:12 p.m.
Headshot of Sam Fortier
Sam Fortier: This matchup of two of the NFL’s top offenses prompted many to expect a high-scoring game. Las Vegas books set the over/under at around 56 points, a high total in any NFL game and one of the highest in Super Bowl history. But the Chiefs’ conservative offensive approach to start the game — screens, quick passes, a run on second and 10 —suggests its offense might not be operating at full capacity. Kansas City is missing its two top tackles.
6:56 p.m.
Headshot of Adam Kilgore
Adam Kilgore: The main strategic question coming into the game was how the Chiefs would block the Bucs’ excellent pass rush without their starting offensive tackles, both of whom suffered injuries. On the opening drive, they gave a preview. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes used his legs twice, and on one pass play the Chiefs utilized H-back Nick Keizer to chip. That’s an echo of last year’s Super Bowl, when the Chiefs couldn’t really block Nick Bosa and DeForest Buckner of the 49ers but made adjustments that made that mismatch moot. Still, Tampa Bay’s Shaquil Barrett already ruined one Kansas City play.
Adam Kilgore, Reporter covering national sports
6:44 p.m.
Headshot of Emily Yahr
Emily Yahr: Wondering if it was unusual that two artists sang the national anthem together? Indeed, it was: R&B star Jazmine Sullivan and country star Eric Church joined forces as the second-ever Super Bowl national anthem duet; the last was Aretha Franklin and Aaron Neville in 2006. Sullivan is the critically acclaimed, Grammy-nominated singer who has also collaborated with her H.E.R. — the other pregame singer, who earned raves on social media for her rendition of “America the Beautiful.” And as we saw at the inauguration with Garth Brooks, producers like to cater to the country music market at nationally televised events these days.
Emily Yahr, Style reporter covering pop culture and entertainment
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