Bucs fans, it is officially Super Bowl week and your team is in the big game!

This is not a drill or a joke! Enjoy every second of it.

To kick off the week, let’s take a look at the comparison between each position group on the Bucs and Chiefs’ rosters, seeing where each team might have an edge in Super Bowl LV.

Quarterback

Bucs: Tom Brady
Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes

There won’t be many match-ups where Brady doesn’t have the edge at quarterback, but this is one of them. I don’t think there’s a quarterback in the NFL as good as Mahomes, especially when he’s playing his best football. There really aren’t many weaknesses with Mahomes, and his biggest strengths (ability to throw with velocity from all angles, accuracy on the move, feel for pressure) are among the best we’ve ever seen at the position. Brady has still had an elite season however, and is capable of having a better game than Mahomes on a given Sunday, which is more than you can say for most quarterbacks in the NFL.
Edge: Chiefs

Running Backs

Bucs: Leonard Fournette, Ronald Jones, LeSean McCoy, Ke’Shawn Vaughn
Chiefs: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Darrel Williams, Le’Veon Bell, Darwin Thompson

Bucs RB Leonard Fournette

Bucs RB Leonard Fournette – Photo by: USA Today

Bucs fans might disagree, but I think the most valuable things a running back provides their team is what they do in the passing game, and that’s where the Chiefs have the two biggest standouts in this game. Edwards-Helaire isn’t featured in a starring role for the Chiefs due to the nature of their offense, but he’s been a standout when healthy this season. Williams is averaging 5.0 yards per carry and has a touchdown run in the postseason. Jones is the Bucs’ best runner, but can’t even out-snap Fournette because of his deficiencies in the passing game. To Fournette’s credit, he has played his best football in the playoffs, and might be the hottest of all the running backs in this game heading into Sunday, although that isn’t saying much.
Edge: Chiefs (slightly)

Wide Receivers

Bucs: Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, Scotty Miller, Tyler Johnson, Jaydon Mickens
Chiefs: Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson, Byron Pringle

The Bucs have four of the Top 5 wide receivers in this game, but the Chiefs probably have the best one in Hill. Tampa Bay is more talented across the board however, although Watkins’ ability to erupt in a starring role for the Chiefs when you least expect it is always something you have to consider. It should be noted that while the Bucs are loaded with stars at wide receiver, the group has been inconsistent in the playoffs and must take their game to another level in the Super Bowl if Tampa Bay is going to pull off the upset.
Edge: Bucs

Tight Ends

Bucs: Rob Gronkowski, Cam Brate, Tanner Hudson, Antony Auclair
Chiefs: Travis Kelce, Nick Keizer, Ricky Seals-Jones

The Bucs have much better depth at tight end, but Kelce is in the midst of a season for the ages at the position. There is simply no way Tampa Bay or any other team in the NFL in 2020 can get the edge against Kansas City with this position group, but the Bucs have more than enough at the position to hold their own in a one-game showdown.
Edge: Chiefs

Offensive Line

Bucs: LT Donovan Smith, LG Ali Marpet, C Ryan Jensen, RG Aaron Stinnie, RT Tristan Wirfs
Chiefs: LT Mike Remmers, LG Nick Allegretti, C Austin Reiter, RG Stefen Wisniewski, RT Andrew Wylie

Bucs LG Ali Marpet and LT Donovan Smith

Bucs LG Ali Marpet and LT Donovan Smith – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

With the exception of right guard, the Bucs are significantly better at every spot on the offensive line, which could be a huge edge on Sunday. The Bucs have created pressure and sacks at a rate near the top of the league, and Todd Bowles should have some special packages ready for the Super Bowl, preparing to attack a Chiefs offensive line that saw left tackle Eric Fisher go down with a torn Achilles in the AFC Divisional Playoffs.

Mahomes is outstanding under pressure however, so the bigger story may be if the Bucs’ elite offensive line can play to that level against an aggressive Chiefs defense that blitzed Tampa Bay on almost 50 percent of snaps in the two teams’ Week 12 meeting. Right guard Aaron Stinnie may have his hands full, as Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones is one of the few defensive players in the league that can take over a game, even giving Marpet fits back in Week 12.
Edge: Bucs

Defensive Line

Bucs: OLB Jason Pierre-Paul, OLB Shaq Barrett, OLB Anthony Nelson, DT Vita Vea, DT Ndamukong Suh, DT Steve McLendon, DT Rakeem Nunez-Roches, DT Will Gholston

Chiefs: DE Frank Clark, DE Alex Okafor, DE Tanoh Kpassagnon, DT Chris Jones, DT Derrick Nnadi, DT Mike Pennel, DT Tershawn Wharton

Similar to the wide receiver group comparison between the two teams, the Chiefs have the best defensive lineman in this game in Jones, but the Bucs are far deeper and have a much better starting four. Kansas City has the run-stuffers in Nnadi and Pennel to contend with the Bucs in the A-gaps, but they lack the pass rush pop outside of Jones. Clark was supposed to be that guy, but it was another listless season for the Chiefs’ big trade target from two years ago.

Meanwhile, the Bucs get a healthy Vea back in action with Barrett and Pierre-Paul hitting their stride in time for a couple of favorable match-ups. It all may not matter one bit if Mahomes hits unbeatable mode, but on paper this is another area of the game that favors the Bucs. Vea didn’t play in the first game in Week 12, so he could present a surprise element against Kansas City’s offensive line.
Edge: Bucs

Linebackers

Bucs: Devin White, Lavonte David, Kevin Minter
Chiefs: Anthony Hitchens, Damien Wilson, Ben Nieman

Bucs LBs Lavonte David and Devin White

Bucs LBs Lavonte David and Devin White – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Easily the most lopsided positional comparison of the nine groups. The Bucs have one of the best linebackers in the NFL in David and an ascending star playing the best football of his life in White. The Chiefs’ best linebacker may have been Willie Gay, who they lost to a knee injury in practice last week. Kansas City’s linebacking corps is suspect in pass coverage and not very effective when blitzing.
Edge: Bucs

Cornerbacks

Bucs: Carlton Davis, Jamel Dean, Sean Murphy-Bunting, Ross Cockrell
Chiefs: Bashaud Breeland, Charvarius Ward, L’Jarius Snead, Rashad Fenton

The Bucs have the better cornerback room, but it isn’t by as much as people think. The Chiefs might have a bunch of no-name, but Snead has been terrific for them as a rookie playing a big slot role recently, and Breeland has revived his career in Kansas City as their best starting outside cornerback. It’s amazing what defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has done in developing such an unsung group the past few years, and their ability to execute an ever-changing scheme is a big reason why Kansas City has checked the box defensively without having to spend big on the unit.

On the other hand, the Bucs have spent significant draft capital to get this cornerback room right, and it really appears to be paying off over the past few games. Week 12 notwithstanding, Davis has become a lock-down, press man corner, while Murphy-Bunting has turned his play around after an ugly regular season, recording interceptions in three straight playoff games and showing far more awareness in coverage. Those two and Dean will have their hands full with a variety of match-ups against Hill and Kelce on Sunday. Dean could be an X-factor as he didn’t play in Week 12 due to injury.
Edge: Bucs

Safeties

Bucs: Antoine Winfield Jr., Jordan Whitehead, Mike Edwards
Chiefs: Tyrann Mathieu, Juan Thornhill, Daniel Sorenson

For most of the season, the Bucs’ safety group has played at a higher level than the Chiefs unit, but as of late this one is almost too close to call. After a season full of struggles as he returned from injury, Thornhill has been a different player in two playoffs games. That’s been true for all the Chiefs’ safeties, as the typical weak link in Sorenson has made some plays, and Mathieu has been a difference-maker yet again after a so-so season by his standards.

Tampa Bay’s safeties are also playing their best football in the playoffs, as Winfield looks to return from an ankle injury that sideline him against Green Bay. Jordan Whitehead’s status for Sunday’s game does put the Bucs’ edge here in doubt, as he’s been one of their most consistent players this year. Can he play through a shoulder injury? If not, the Bucs have had Mike Edwards playing at a high level in limited reps all season long, so he’s ready to become a pivotal contributor in the Super Bowl. The comparison between these two groups is too close to call.
Edge: Push

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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Spitfire
Spitfire (@spitfire)
9 months ago

Ok so I thought Marpet was out in Week 12 but still, it was his first week back after 3 weeks off with what turned out to be a pretty decent concussion. Although he had one average game in the playoffs I would imagine he will be better on Sunday than he was in Week 12 and by all account Stinnie is as dependable as anyone at RG. It’s hard to truly judge anyone because being in the Super Bowl makes some guys nervous and other guys rise to the top. The Chiefs have the benefit of being there before… Read more »

drdneast
drdneast (@drdneast)
9 months ago

The Bucs do appear to have the edge in the trenches but in order for them to take advantage of it they are going to have to be mentally sharp and disciplined. On the defensive side of the ball our rushers are going to have to stay disciplined, set the edge, not over rush on the outside and collapse the pocket and keep Mahomes contained in it, especially when the back end is playing man to man.. There is nothing Mahomes likes to do better than to escape the pocket and start playing backyard football with receivers freelancing routes while… Read more »

RW
RW (@rwp111)
9 months ago

What it comes down to is that the Chiefs have the 4 best players in the game (Mahomes, Hill, Kelce and Jones ) but the Bucs have the better overall talent. If the Bucs can keep KC’s big four reasonably in check they should win the game.

SaskBucs
SaskBucs (@saskbucs)
9 months ago

This is why I am confident again going into this game. This Bucs team is so well rounded and it should dominate the Chiefs in the trenches. Only team we didn’t stack up with there were the Saints, which is why they worried a lot of us most. The thing that scares me every week is the game plan and play calling, the other teams personnel shouldn’t matter much but of course Mahomes, Hill and Kelce always matter and Reid is a Payton type coach that will likely have calls to get the better of the Bucs. They have the… Read more »

Lawdy
Lawdy (@lawdy)
9 months ago

Excellent article, but I’m also interested on your take on special teams

inspecto
inspecto (@inspecto)
Reply to  Lawdy
9 months ago

our special teams haven’t been very special

plopes808
plopes808 (@plopes808)
Reply to  inspecto
9 months ago

Mickens seems to have been playing better the last few weeks so let’s hope he continues to do so

Spitfire
Spitfire (@spitfire)
9 months ago

I heard someone on the radio today ask if the 49ers Defense was better than ours and saying how the Chiefs overcame it last year. The difference is our Offense is above and beyond better than the 49ers Offense was last year. So with at least a comparable Defense, if not better, and a much better Offense and with KC not playing as well this year, I don’t see any reason we can take this thing confidently.