What a complete ass-kicking this was. With the exception of kick return coverage, Tampa dominated in every phase of the game. They stopped the run and did a masterful performance preventing any big plays from taking place. Huge stroke of luck of course thanks to the injuries on KC's offensive line, but still nobody really thought this KC offense could be held out of the endzone, and they did just that. On offense Tampa got almost everything they wanted, through the air or on the ground. I think they took their foot off the gas a little bit in the second half because they were smartly trying to control the clock, but they ruthlessly took care of business.
Mahomes had a very impressive physical performance, and did a spectacular job getting some throws away...but he didn't play great. He didn't have a lot of time to throw, but I think he got rattled in the second half when Tampa was up by two scores; where Mahomes tried to constantly buy time to make the big play downfield, which never materialized. He had a good thing going in the first half by running and taking some yards and first downs with his legs, which Tampa was willing to concede. In the second half it felt like he was trying too hard to make the big play; doubling back and running 10 or 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage and searching for the deep boom to Hill that was never there. We all know during the regular season he got away with some really risky throws, tonight on the biggest stage he wasn't getting that same benefit.
The brilliance of late-career Brady is that he has warded off natural physical decline by remaining the most mentally prepared, cerebral player the game and perhaps team sports has ever seen. Mahomes, for all his physical talent, is just not there yet and there isn't anything wrong with that. Tom has been in the league for 150 years. I honestly believe that 43 year old Brady would have fared better than Mahomes tonight if Tom was on KC. He wouldn't have bought 10 seconds of time to throw with his legs; but he would have adjusted to the constant pressure, recognized blitzes, and found quick passes instead of focusing on the big play.
I will hand it to Arians, I did not expect Tampa to be the better prepared team for this game. Right from the get-go, Tampa looked like the poised, confident team while KC felt like an inexperienced, frightened team that was terrified of the big stage, and not the dominant defending champs. KC was pretty much licked after the end of the first half, with the quick TD drive by Brady and Mathieu picking up the personal foul. KC was undisciplined and felt mentally defeated, while Tampa remained sharp and focused while also remaining loose and confident. A huge part of that is Brady, and the scene of Brady ordering substitutes back to the sideline at the end of the first half because he knew he had the matchup with Brown that he could get an easy TD with is a classic. But Arians, and the entire Tampa coaching staff, especially Bowles, should take a ton of pride in how the team, top-to-bottom, conducted themselves in a championship setting.
Kansas City will be fine, Mahomes will continue to be great. Winning a Super Bowl is really, really hard. They still have plenty of talent to come back and contend for the foreseeable future, but even the best players need to lose and be humbled to continue on their path to greatness.