The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are back in the Super Bowl after an 18-year-long hiatus. The wait has been long, but the occasion couldn’t be sweeter.
The Buccaneers will be the first team in NFL history to play a Super Bowl in their own backyard. And when they do so, they’ll be playing host to the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs have been as dominant as ever heading into their 2nd consecutive Super Bowl appearance. And it’s the Chiefs trio of Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, and Patrick Mahomes that can be credited for much of their success.
Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians knows the challenges that lie ahead for his side. The last time the 2 sides met in Week 12, the game ended in a 27-24 win for the Chiefs. And Arians knows that his team will have up their game, especially in defense, to make sure it’s not a repeat.
“We’ll help a little bit more than we did in that ballgame,” Arians said on Monday while talking to the media. “You learn from mistakes and you learn from really good things, and there were some really good things in that game. We’ve got a lot of stuff to build on,” said Arians.
“This one, again, familiarity helps. I’m not really excited to play Tyreek Hill, Kelce and Mahomes. That’s a formidable challenge, but our guys will be up for it,” the head coach added.
Arians placed particular focus on slowing down Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce. “It’s really hard… He reminds me a lot of Tony Gonzalez back when he was unbelievable just trying to stop him.
“He’s got wide receiver skills and he runs like a wide receiver. He runs routes like a wideout, he beats corners. It’s a hard, hard challenge,” said Arians.
Arians, however, reiterated that they can’t focus all their attention towards Kelce given that Chiefs have one of the Top-3 quarterbacks in Patrick Mahomes.
“Again, we’ve got to get after the quarterback and we can’t let Patrick Mahomes run around and make those plays that he and Kelce do so well.”
The Bucs defense will have challenges a plenty. But if they are to win their 2nd ever Super Bowl, they’ll have to beat the best in the business to do so.