Will Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs bring the Lombardi Trophy home for the second straight year? Can Tom Brady lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the franchise's second title, snagging a seventh ring for himself in the process? Which players will shine this Sunday on the game's biggest stage at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa? Our analysts provide their Super Bowl LV predictions.
Gregg Rosenthal: Chiefs 31, Buccaneers 30
Why the Chiefs will win: Last QB with the ball wins, just like the last time these two passers faced off in the playoffs. This time, it's Patrick Mahomes in control with the clock winding down.
Bold prediction: Jason Pierre-Paul is part of a first-half turnover that forces Mahomes to play catch-up.
Cynthia Frelund: Chiefs 29, Buccaneers 28
Why the Chiefs will win: While the Chiefs' O-line injuries spawn a closer game than the Week 12 matchup, Patrick Mahomes and the game plan exploit mismatches with K.C.'s speed and Tampa Bay's secondary. Plus, a big play at a key time from the Chiefs' defense decides the game.
Super Bowl LV MVP: Tyrann Mathieu
Bold prediction: My MVP pick is pretty bold, no? But I can envision it. We've seen Tom Brady be inconsistent with the deep pass, and while it's far more likely for a QB to be the MVP, if you want to play it contrarian, this is my pick.
Steve Smith Sr.: Buccaneers 35, Chiefs 31
Why the Bucs will win: Playing at home is a huge factor in this game, as the limited but Bucs-heavy crowd makes it difficult for the Chiefs all game long.
Bold prediction: The Chiefs blow a fourth-quarter lead, with Brady orchestrating a thrilling game-winning drive.
Terrell Davis: Chiefs 38, Buccaneers 36
Why the Chiefs will win: The difference will be the Chiefs' superstars showing up in one or two critical moments. Sometimes that's all it takes.
Super Bowl LV MVP: Travis Kelce
Bold prediction: Both the Chiefs and Bucs will score touchdowns on each of their first two possessions.
Jeffri Chadiha: Buccaneers 31, Chiefs 30
Why the Bucs will win: The Chiefs will score a lot of points behind Patrick Mahomes, but Tom Brady knows how important managing this game will be for Tampa Bay. The Bucs' pass rush will also capitalize on Kansas City's injury-plagued offensive line.
Judy Battista: Chiefs 31, Buccaneers 27
Why the Chiefs will win: With a battered offensive line, Patrick Mahomes will get the ball out quickly with lots of short passes to Travis Kelce, frustrating the pass rush of Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul.
Joe Thomas: Chiefs 30, Buccaneers 27
Why the Chiefs will win: Kansas City's ability to get pressure on Tom Brady with Chris Jones coupled with its ability to score with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce is just too much for the Bucs to overcome.
Super Bowl LV MVP: Travis Kelce
Bold prediction: Kelce will have eight catches for 120 yards and two TDs to lead the Chiefs to their second consecutive Super Bowl win!
Marc Sessler: Buccaneers 39, Chiefs 37
Why the Bucs will win: Tyreek Hill will zigzag to and fro, while Travis Kelce crosses 100-plus yards by halftime. It's Tom Brady, though, who answers repeatedly and finds Chris Godwin for the winning score with 0:07 left on the clock -- perfectly matching TB12's Lombardi count.
Marc Ross: Chiefs 31, Buccaneers 24
Why the Chiefs will win: Patrick Mahomes has yet to play a truly bad game. It just always seems inevitable that he will play at a level no other QB can match to find a way to win. Add in the unguardable duo of Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, with the underrated Chiefs defense, and this pick is fairly easy.
Ali Bhanpuri: Buccaneers 27, Chiefs 24
Why the Bucs will win: As I wrote in this space a year ago, there are three active pro athletes I refuse to pick against: Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes and LeBron James. So this matchup puts me in a tough spot. But Brady's Bucs get the edge because Tampa's front four should have its way with the Chiefs' banged-up O-line. Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul keep Mahomes contained in the pocket (as much as that's possible), allowing Vita Vea and Ndamukong Suh to set up shop in the young phenom's grill all game long.
Super Bowl LV MVP: Shaquil Barrett
Bold prediction: Possessions are at a premium in this one, which is why a timely Barrett sack-fumble earns the seventh-year pro some extra hardware at the end of the night.
Dan Hanzus: Buccaneers 34, Chiefs 31
Why the Bucs will win: Every Tom Brady achievement in 2021 just builds on his legend, and this will be the win that surpasses them all. Appearing in his 10th Super Bowl, at age 43, Brady outplays the great Mahomes and leads the Bucs to their second Super Bowl title.
Adam Rank: Chiefs 35, Buccaneers 31
Why the Chiefs will win: I've seen this before. The old G.O.A.T. with one last shot to hold off the new kid. But you can't stop the inevitable. This will be a true passing-of-the-torch moment, like when HBK put over Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania XIV. Only, I don't think we'll need Mike Tyson on the sideline, or the Undertaker in the Bucs' locker room convincing Tom Brady to go out on the field.
Bold prediction: Darrel Williams has a pair of touchdowns, one rushing, one receiving. But sorry, running backs don't win MVP awards.
Steve Mariucci: Chiefs 30, Buccaneers 24
Why the Chiefs will win: There is no single reason the Chiefs win this game, as Andy Reid's squad puts together a team effort against the Bucs. While Tampa has several players with Super Bowl experience, almost the entire Kansas City roster is back from last year's championship team, and it shows.
Bold prediction: There will be zero interceptions.
Dan Parr: Buccaneers 31, Chiefs 24
Why the Bucs will win: The Bucs' mighty pass rush tees off against a patchwork Chiefs offensive line, ensuring enhanced G.O.A.T. status for Brady.
Bold prediction: Brady finds his old friend Gronk only once all evening -- for the game-winning score in the fourth quarter. Soon afterward, Bill Belichick turns off the TV and takes Nike for a long walk in the snow.
DeAngelo Hall: Chiefs 34, Buccaneers 24
Why the Chiefs will win: Andy Reid's offense has too many weapons for the Bucs to defend. Plus, Steve Spagnuolo's aggressive defense never allows Tom Brady to get comfortable. Baby G.O.A.T. takes down OG G.O.A.T.
Bold prediction: In a game that starts out as a defensive battle, the Chiefs run the ball successfully for 200 yards while the Super Bowl MVP finishes with 350 passing yards.
Scott Pioli: Chiefs 38, Buccaneers 24
Why the Chiefs will win: Kansas City's offense is close to unstoppable, and although the Bucs' improved defense has played well, no defense is a match for Mahomes and Co.
Rhett Lewis: Buccaneers 33, Chiefs 31
Why the Bucs will win: I picked Tampa Bay to win the Super Bowl in the preseason, making Tom Brady the second QB in history to win a Super Bowl with two teams. It happens when the Bucs are able to pressure Mahomes enough with Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaquil Barrett and without sending extra rushers to prevent the Chiefs' offense from going wild. This allows Brady just enough opportunity to get the win.
Bold prediction: The Bucs get Brady his seventh Super Bowl ring, in part, by sacking Mahomes seven times.
Maurice Jones-Drew: Chiefs 42, Buccaneers 31
Why the Chiefs will win: I picked Kansas City over Tampa Bay in the preseason, so I'm sticking with my initial gut instinct. The Chiefs have too much firepower on offense and Mahomes is playing at a scary-good level that not even the best defenses can stop.
Tom Blair: Chiefs 35, Buccaneers 31
Bold prediction: Brady and the Bucs get within inches of the goal line in the final seconds, but Chris Jones clinches the win for K.C. by stonewalling Brady's QB sneak attempt.
Gennaro Filice: Chiefs 40, Buccaneers 27
Gil Brandt: Buccaneers 20, Chiefs 19
Why the Bucs will win: The strongest factor working in the Bucs' favor is their front seven, which shapes up to be a little stronger than the Chiefs' group. Never count out Patrick Mahomes, but Kansas City is just going to have a hard time blocking Shaquil Barrett, Jason Pierre-Paul and Co. without injured left tackle Eric Fisher.
Super Bowl LIV MVP: Tom Brady
Bold prediction: The last play will decide the game: With Tampa trying to maneuver into field-goal position, Brady will scramble, fumble the ball, then make a miraculous recovery to advance the ball within kicking range, setting up the winning boot.
Marcas Grant: Chiefs 38, Buccaneers 21
Why the Chiefs will win: Tampa's defense has been very good throughout the playoffs, but the Bucs also about to match up against the most complete offense they've seen since Week 12 when they lost to ... the Chiefs.
Charley Casserly: Buccaneers 30, Chiefs 27
Why the Bucs will win: In a game full of lead changes, the Bucs' defense comes up with a big stop late to give the franchise its second Lombardi Trophy.
Bold prediction: Having been sacked just once this postseason, Patrick Mahomes is sacked four times by the Bucs' defensive front.
Brooke Cersosimo: Chiefs 30, Buccaneers 26
Why the Chiefs will win: It's hard to go against the G.O.A.T. in a Super Bowl -- his raging comeback in Super Bowl LI comes to mind -- but Mahomes is the one true X-factor. He can take over games with one whip of the ball or his little old man jog, and he will to win his second straight title.
Bold prediction: The Chiefs bring back "Jet Chip Wasp."
Lance Zierlein: Chiefs 30, Buccaneers 24
Why the Chiefs will win: Although the Chiefs' offensive line is hurting and could struggle to hold up, Andy Reid and Eric Bieniemy have built an offense that can create explosive plays on all three levels, so the quick game will be effective. Plus, Tampa's defensive backs simply don't match up well with Kansas City's dynamic playmakers.
Bold prediction: The Chiefs will unleash a trick play that involves Mahomes catching a touchdown pass -- or at least a position player throwing a touchdown pass.
Jeremy Bergman: Chiefs 34, Buccaneers 20
Why the Chiefs will win: Shamelessly Ctrl-V-ing my midseason prediction here. Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid are more than capable of overcoming Kansas City's lack of starting tackles and Tampa Bay's pass rush. The Chiefs boast too many weapons for the Bucs secondary to cover and should repeat their first-quarter performance from the regular season in Sunday's second half.
Brian Baldinger: Buccaneers 31, Chiefs 27
Why the Bucs will win: The Bucs' ability to create turnovers throughout the postseason (seven takeaways turned into six TDs) continues.
Super Bowl LV MVP: Devin White
Bold prediction: Brady collects his seventh ring and announces after the game that he's returning next season to collect his eighth.
Nick Shook: Chiefs 31, Buccaneers 26
Why the Chiefs will win: Kansas City's offense has shown it can force its pace onto any team it faces, even those best equipped to attempt to play keep-away (which the Buccaneers likely won't try). The experience of Tom Brady will keep the Bucs in it, but in the end, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs' explosiveness will simply be too much to overcome.
Bold prediction: L'Jarius Sneed caps his stellar rookie season with a game-swinging takeaway in the second half, giving the Chiefs the boost they need to take the lead and ride into the sweet sunset of another Super Bowl victory.
Willie McGinest: Buccaneers 34, Chiefs 27
Why the Bucs will win: The Buccaneers have played better each week, are peaking at the right time and have already avenged regular-season losses in the postseason. With the personnel to matchup with the Chiefs, the Bucs finish the job Tom Brady set out to achieve when he left New England.
Bold prediction: Todd Bowles' defense shows up in a big way with six-plus sacks and three turnovers.
Shaun O'Hara: Chiefs 37, Buccaneers 34
|Brian Baldinger||Buccaneers||31-27||Devin White|
|Judy Battista||Chiefs||31-27||Patrick Mahomes|
|Jeremy Bergman||Chiefs||34-20||Patrick Mahomes|
|Ali Bhanpuri||Buccaneers||27-24||Shaq Barrett|
|Tom Blair||Chiefs||35-31||Patrick Mahomes|
|Gil Brandt||Buccaneers||20-19||Tom Brady|
|Nate Burleson||Chiefs||42-35||Patrick Mahomes|
|Charley Casserly||Buccaneers||30-27||Tom Brady|
|Brooke Cersosimo||Chiefs||30-26||Patrick Mahomes|
|Jeffri Chadiha||Buccaneers||31-30||Tom Brady|
|Terrell Davis||Chiefs||38-36||Travis Kelce|
|Gennaro Filice||Chiefs||40-27||Patrick Mahomes|
|Cynthia Frelund||Chiefs||29-28||Tyrann Mathieu|
|Marcas Grant||Chiefs||38-21||Patrick Mahomes|
|DeAngelo Hall||Chiefs||34-24||Patrick Mahomes|
|Dan Hanzus||Buccaneers||34-31||Tom Brady|
|Maurice Jones-Drew||Chiefs||42-31||Patrick Mahomes|
|Rhett Lewis||Buccaneers||33-31||Tom Brady|
|Steve Mariucci||Chiefs||30-24||Patrick Mahomes|
|Willie McGinest||Buccaneers||34-27||Tom Brady|
|Shaun O'Hara||Chiefs||37-34||Patrick Mahomes|
|Dan Parr||Buccaneers||31-24||Tom Brady|
|Kevin Patra||Chiefs||32-28||Patrick Mahomes|
|Scott Pioli||Chiefs||38-24||Patrick Mahomes|
|Adam Rank||Chiefs||35-31||Patrick Mahomes|
|Gregg Rosenthal||Chiefs||31-30||Patrick Mahomes|
|Marc Ross||Chiefs||31-24||Patrick Mahomes|
|Marc Sessler||Buccaneers||39-37||Tom Brady|
|Nick Shook||Chiefs||31-26||Patrick Mahomes|
|Steve Smith Sr.||Buccaneers||35-31||Tom Brady|
|Joe Thomas||Chiefs||30-27||Travis Kelce|
|Lance Zierlein||Chiefs||30-24||Patrick Mahomes|