The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday to win the 2021 Super Bowl, 31-9.
The victory gave quarterback Tom Brady, in his first season with the Bucs, his seventh Super Bowl ring, an NFL record, in his 10th appearance in the game, also a league record. The 43-year-old Brady ― considered by many the greatest at his position in NFL history, but also viewed by some fans as an irritating, if omnipresent, figure ― spent his previous 20 seasons with the New England Patriots.
The Chiefs, who won last year’s Super Bowl, were hoping to become the first repeat champs since the Brady-led Patriots won the game in 2004 and 2005.
This year’s Super Bowl was a more muted affair amid the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 460,000 Americans. The game was played before a crowd of about 25,000 people ― and 30,000 cutouts ― at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. This was the first time a team vied for the NFL title in its home stadium. But the league took measures to make it as neutral a playing ground as possible, including nixing the signature cannon fire that traditionally celebrates every Bucs touchdown.
The Bucs, coached by Bruce Arians, were powered through much of their championship run by a strong defense that includes lineman Jason Pierre-Paul and Ndamukong Suh. The team also was helped by tight end Rob Gronkowski, a former Patriot who was coaxed out of retirement by Brady, his longtime friend.
The Buccaneers also won the 2003 Super Bowl, the team’s only other appearance in the game.