In a recent interview with Rich Salgado on Big Daddy & Friends, NFL Network reporter Steve Wyche told Sportsnaut who he thinks will win Super Bowl LV between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday.
Wyche seemed to have a lot of conviction about one particular team, and he presented a unique argument that isn’t a massive talking point ahead of the highly anticipated quarterback duel between Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady.
Steve Wyche: Kansas City Chiefs will repeat as Super Bowl champs
In outlining his case for the Chiefs to go back-to-back, Wyche explained how Kansas City defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo deploys a scheme that should give Brady and the Bucs’ high-octane offense fits.
“Their defense — they’re so opportunistic,” Wyche said. “I think they’re gonna do some things that are going to make Tom uncomfortable.”
While Wyche implied that Brady and the passing game should have some degree of success, he doesn’t exactly believe Tampa Bay’s rushing attack has the means to capitalize on the Chiefs’ obvious weakness versus the run.
“[Leonard] Fournette and [Ronald] Jones…I don’t think Kansas City, when they get down where it matters, that the Bucs are gonna be able to pound them,” Wyche said.
Wyche’s take certainly runs against the grain of what many believe is a winning formula for the Buccaneers. If Tampa Bay can win the time of possession battle by pounding the rock with Fournette and Jones, it may prevent Mahomes and the Chiefs from getting into a rhythm.
Jones has been banged up throughout the postseason, but has had a couple weeks to heal up and averaged over five yards per carry during the regular season. Meanwhile, Fournette has found his stride down the stretch and ripped off an incredible 20-yard touchdown run in the NFC Championship Game.
These are two talented ball-carriers who might be able to exploit Kansas City’s vulnerable run defense. The question is, can the Bucs avoid falling into an early hole so that they don’t have to abandon the run too early? They spotted the Chiefs a 17-0 lead in their Week 12 meeting and wound up losing 27-24.
Since then, Tampa Bay has won seven straight to get to Super Bowl LV. Whether Jones and Fournette can break loose will likely go a long way in determining Sunday’s outcome at Raymond James Stadium.