Super Bowl 55 Preview 3 – TEAMS Tampa Bay vs Kansas City

Posted: February 7, 2021 in All Things Power Spread
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Much of the focus of Super Bowl 55 is on the Talent of both of these teams. More than anything – the Quarterbacks. The Old Veteran Hall of Famer vs the New Kid on the Block. Tom Brady vs Patrick Mahomes.

Well, I can tell you there is a lot more going on than just these two players or just the Talent on the Field. A lot goes into creating a successful organization and a great year. Ironically, those 2 players understand this more than most.

Great Coaching, Schemes, Talent, Quarterbacks – it is all part of the equation. More than anything, these two Teams have a great Morale from within. Throughout the whole of the Team. Players take a Stand. But Players need a Plan.

Coaching Brilliance

Andy Reid has been a great leader of men for a long time. He built a winning Culture for a decade in Philadelphia, then another Decade in Kansas City. He has had to tweak his philosophy for years on Offense, then on Defense, but finally has the Coaches, Talent and Schemes that work for him and his Team.

Bruce Arians is a more recent addition to the Head Coaching Fraternity. He, like Reid, is an Offensive Coach. His first NFL Head Coaching job was early last decade with Arizona. He developed a winning Culture there, but never was able to keep it going at Playoff Time. That all changed this year.

OFFENSIVE MINDS

Both Reid and Arians know Offense. Both have roots two different styles of West Coast Offense. Reid has his BYU roots by way of Bill Walsh’s West Coast Attack. Arians was a Wishbone player, but a Gillman West Coast Pass guy as a coach.

Reid had a lot to do with the move in the NFL to Power Spread type concepts meshed with the long standing Pro Concepts of Gillman and Walsh. Arians was all about the Pro Spread – so a mesh of Pass Spread with his Pro Attack.

At this point, with all the speed and talent, and a dual threat QB in Mahomes, Reid is more PS than Pro. PS Pro. Of course, he’s always innovating – PS 2020 – on his way to one day revealing a Full PS Offense in the NFL. I detail some of the amazing concepts Reid used in the AFC Championship Game in the video above. Meshing PS, Pro, even the old Modern T type designs into his own style of Power Spread or Spread Power Offense.

As for Arians, he has meshed Tom Brady’s old schemes from NE with his to come up with something new. Similar to McVay of the Rams – PS Pro Gillman+. I detail that in videos throughout my Super Bowl Preview 2 and in writing in Super Bowl Preview 1.

DEFENSIVE MINDS

There was a big discrepancy in the Championship Games when it came to the Defense. It cost both Buffalo and Green Bay a chance to got to the Super Bowl.

Championship Games

Tampa’s Todd Bowles and KC’s Steve Spagnuolo are excellent Defensive Coaches who’s schemes have had an underrated effect in both of these Teams being in the Super Bowl. In fact, without Bowles Defense, I’m pretty sure Tampa wouldn’t be here.

Their counterparts in the Championship Games played way too conservatively. In the case of Green Bay, DC Mike Pettine has decent schemes, but gets too conservative in his Play-Calling and Gameplans and is now looking for another job.

Buffalo usually plays an aggressive PS style and did in their previous two games. I think their inexperience as coaches in such a big spotlight got the better of them. More than that – their Respect of the KC Offense turned into Fear, which is never going to work. No Risk. No Reward.

Mahomes and company just destroyed the conservative Bills Cover 1 Zone, then later the 1 Man. No mix – no chances – no chance.

Bowles vs Spags

Do not expect that kind of conservative Defense from either of these two DCs. Spagnuolo is blitzing as much as I’ve ever seen. Disguising his coverages. Passive Aggressive in showing one look, doing another.

Bowles is more subtle. I put up a lot of video on Bowles in my last post. He gets into QBs and Offensive Coaches heads. No matter how talented or experienced. No matter how great the OScheme.

Who will win this battle? Great question. I like Tampa’s younger talent a little better. I think their Back 7 has a lot of potential to be very good. Their 2 Safeties are back as well.

Bowles can get conservative with the lead or if his starters are injured. As he did last week. But he usually doesn’t stay that way for long and will make sudden adjustments. This is something Mahomes, having played Tampa already this year, will have in the back of his mind.

Regular Season Meeting
JT O’Sullivan – The QB School – Great Channel-Check It Out!

In their first meeting, neither DC was at their best nor had their Talent aligned to the Scheme as they do now. The above video shows the new Tampa OScheme just tearing apart the KC Defense.

I expect a lot more aggression from Spags this time around. My question is – Will Spagnuolo get over aggressive and be burned by the new Big Play Offense in Tampa?

For me it comes down to Bowles staying Aggressive the whole game, regardless of big plays by KC and Spags not over doing his Blitz and Coverage Mix vs a very experienced QB who will make him pay for losing his Balance of Aggression. Against Cleveland and the Bills, Spagnuolo was spot on. But I’ve sometimes seen him get carried away and get burned, then back off and get too conservative.

Either way, I expect this game will involve more Defense than people expect. Even with yards and points, both Defenses should play big. Make their own big plays. Possibly turning the game in favor of one team or the other.

Leadership

Both Reid and Arians are great leaders. Both let their Coaches coach and their Players play. Andy used to get too conservative at Playoff Time, but he doesn’t anymore. Same is true for Arians.

Both of them would probably tell me a lot of that has to do with the current leaders they have on the Field. They Trust them. The Team trusts them.

There’s no bigger Leader for each Team than their Respective QBs – Brady and Mahomes.

Pat Mahomes

A true Power Spread QB in a true Power Spread Offense. The Energy that Power Spread develops is exemplified in Mahomes leadership. Go out and Play. Give 100% and let it all hang out without any regrets.

It is interesting that he likes to use the phrase “BE YOU”. This is what Joe Montana talks about at the end of this Video when they interview him about his SB Winning Drive back in 1989. Looking up and seeing John Candy in the stands. He was just “being himself.”

I believe Mahomes, Kelce, Hill – these guys are all leaders and Reid trusts them. They won this game last year and they will be ready to go again.

Tom Brady
NFL Films

What can you say about this guy. As the amazing Film above shows, Brady has been overlooked and underrated for a long time. I am a culprit myself. While many were calling him one of the greatest ever, I was a big proponent of the idea that Brady was lucky to get with the right Coach and right Team.

I now must eat my words.

I also thought he wasn’t that great at Michigan. As a Buckeye fan I remember being much more concerned about Drew Henson than Brady. Well, after watching the above Film, I must say I did not know how good Brady was – already – at that time in College.

Ask Lloyd Carr. Brady was already clutch and a much better QB than most realized.

Belichick Influence

Certainly Brady was fortunate to get with Bill Belichick. Plus Charlie Weiss and Josh McDaniels. Belichick and McDaniels met early on with Urban Meyer to learn the Spread and brought it to the NFL in a Pro form. This was a great scheme for Brady, who’s skills were more suited to be a distributor than a big armed pocket passer.

Still, if you watch that Film, you will understand the Fire within this man. More than that – the Belief. The Trust. The Faith. The Magic.

TEAM

Brady understands Team. Maybe better than anyone. Anyone who plays with him will tell you this. Todd Bowles will tell you this. He will tell you this. Or at least share it with you.

I have written about this last year after the Clemson victory over OSU. I brought it up early this year after a crazy 2020. Where Faith is needed more than ever before. I brought it up again this week when talking about the Magic of Arians/Brady/Bowles.

MAGIC

This is not fantasy or silliness. There is Energy (Chaos or c2 or God or whatever you like) that is beyond Scheme, Talent, Technique. PS=st2. PS is in the m portion of E=mc2 with c being a far greater number than m.

The Chiefs, Reid and Mahomes have the Morale as well. But the Bucs right now are feeling the Magic. This will play a part in the Unimaginable – the Unpredictable. And yet – I will now attempt to make a Prediction.

Prognostication – I’m Switching to Tampa Bay Magic!

There is Momentum. There is Scheme. There is Talent. Both Teams have an abundance of all 3. KC may be the better team overall, but it’s about who’s better right now.

I had Kansas City as my Super Bowl Champ since the start. I couldn’t make the switch in the Championship Games, but I am now.

It is partly my own inner feeling – my own Magic – in seeing what may soon unfold. What I may or may not have seen later this evening when one Team holds that Super Bowl Trophy.

It is also the Factor I have had to respect all Playoff Season.

Covid Injury Factor

I’ve brought it up all Playoff Season. It has had a major effect throughout the year. In this case, neither team comes into this game with Covid Issues. More importantly, Tampa is healthy, while KC is missing both their OTs.

Yes the Chiefs have been dealing with Injuries the whole 2nd Half of their Season, but I’m worried this may finally catch up to them. A weakened Oline against the Pressure of Todd Bowles is scary. Even for an amazing Offense like the Chiefs.

Tampa has both of their Safeties back. On Offense, we may see Antonio Brown and the other WRs had an extra week to heal. The Bucs have yet to play their best game Offensively. We may see that tonight.

Home Edge

Yes, the Bucs are at Home. I do think at some point this could be a factor.

The one thing that I worry is that the Bucs were on a roll playing on the road every week. Will the week off and reduced pressure being at home actually cause a Letdown? If it does, this could be a long game for the Buccaneers.

My guess is that the crowd can only help. Even a Letdown. I think the week off is a help for the Bucs and their beat up players. I see the off-week creating a healthier team, not breaking momentum. The Crowd should help.

Prep

My other concern with the Chiefs. They have not seen a Defense like Tampa’s with all the Aggressive Nuances Bowles brings to the table. Tampa has had to deal with an Aggressive Defensive Mix already with the Saints. Which should help versus Spagnuolo’s Blitz and Coverage Mix.

Also, Tampa has dealt with Top QBs and Offenses the last 2 Games. KC hasn’t. The Bills were supposed to be a top Offense, but really didn’t bring the right Gameplan early. The Players were also very inexperienced in this kind of spotlight. As were their Coaches.

This is a factor I haven’t heard mentioned, but Tampa is definitely more battle hardened with 3 tough playoff games vs the Chiefs, who really had two blowouts had it not been for a 2nd Half Letdown and Inj QB vs Cleveland.

PICK

So, finally, I will be Flexible. For the 2020s. I will change my pick at the last minute. Though it somewhat pains me to do so.

KC is the ultimate Power Spread NFL Team. Reid has done more to bring Power Spread to the NFL than any one coach. I love what they do on Offense and Defense.

I also love the Culture Reid created. I love how he has just kept winning for 20 years and ignored the critics. I love how he gives his Coaches and Players the credit and not himself.

I love the Chiefs. They are the better team in my opinion. But tonight I’m going with Brady and the Bucs. They are healthier, at home and have had better prep. And they have that Magic.

~PS

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