Two For Tampa: Bucs & Chiefs advance to Super Bowl LV

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TAMPA – One team is quite familiar to this stage while another is not, despite the incredible familiarity which their signal caller has to this particular event.

One team is playing in their home stadium for the NFL’s championship game, which is something that’s never happened in the previous 54 games.

There’s a little old and new when it comes to Super Bowl LV here in 2021, and all figure to produce some interesting storylines over the next two weeks.

For a second-straight year, the Chiefs are back in the big game after winning the AFC Championship in a 38-24 triumph over Buffalo at Arrowhead Stadium. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers are back in the Super Bowl for the first time since the 2002 season after a 31-26 win over the Packers in Green Bay.

They’ll now meet at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay on February 7th at 5:30 PM central time.

That means the Bucs will become the first team to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium. The closest it came to happening was in the 1979 and 1984 seasons, when the Los Angeles Rams, who called the LA Coliseum home, faced the Steelers in Super Bowl XIV in nearby Pasadena at the Rose Bowl.

Five years later, the San Francisco 49ers beat the Miami Dolphins at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, which was about a half-hour away from their home at Candlestick Park.

While the Super Bowl is new to the franchise its not to their quarterback, who is making his way to the big game for a tenth time. Tom Brady, who appeared in nine Super Bowls with the Patriots, helped guide the Buccaneers to this one on Sunday at Lambeau Field against the top-seeded Packers.

He threw three touchdown passes on the afternoon, with his one to Naperville native Cameron Brate early in the third quarter putting Tampa Bay up by 18 points. Aaron Rodgers rallied the Packers, who got within as may as five in the fourth quarter, but they could never catch the Tampa Bay.

After electing to go for a field goal on fourth down instead of trying to convert a 4th-and-goal from the Buccaneers’ eight-yard line with just over two minutes to go, Brady took advantage of a third down pass interference call against Green Bay to seal the game.

The Chiefs will get the shot to become the first repeat Super Bowl champion since the 2003 and 2004 New England Patriots after they survived an early scare from the upstart Bills at home.

Buffalo took a 9-0 lead but Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City offense responded with 21-unanswered points to take the lead for good. The quarterback threw a pair of touchdown passes to Travis Kelce in the second half to add to his three on the day in a 14-point victory.

This win continues an incredible run for the Chiefs, who advanced to the AFC Championship in the 2018 season as well, only to lose to Brady’s Patriots in overtime. Mahomes and his team will get another shot to knock off the legendary quarterback in two weeks in Tampa Bay.

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