Tom Brady Leads Bucs to 21-6 Halftime Lead Over Chiefs

By Reuters
February 7, 2021Sports News
Tom Brady Leads Bucs to 21-6 Halftime Lead Over Chiefs
Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Tom Brady at Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla., on Feb. 7, 2021. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers carried a 21-6 lead into halftime against the Kansas City Chiefs in Sunday’s Super Bowl as Tom Brady passed for 140 yards and three touchdowns.

Brady threw two TDs to Rob Gronkowski before a 1-yard strike to Antonio Brown with 6 seconds left.

The last TD capped a 71-yard drive that began with just 55 seconds remaining and included two pass interference penalties against Kansas City, which drew eight flags for 95 yards in first-half mark-offs.

The Bucs took a field goal off the board after the Chiefs were called for being offside and Brady responded with a 17-yard touchdown strike to Gronkowski for a 14-3 lead with 6:05 left in the half. An interception by Tyrann Mathieu also got wiped out on the same drive after Kansas City was flagged for defensive holding.

The 38-yard drive began after Tommy Townsend shanked a 29-yard punt out of bounds after a holding penalty forced a re-kick. The Chiefs had been pinned deep after holding the Bucs to no points with a goal-line stand.

Ronald Jones was stuffed for no gain on fourth-and-goal at the Kansas City 1 with a stop by Damien Wilson at the 10:50 mark.

Patrick Mahomes completed just 9 of 19 passes for 67 first-half yards while dealing with consistent pressure from the Bucs’ defensive front.

Mahomes drove the Chiefs into the red zone but had to throw the ball away on third down, prompting Harrison Butker to boot his second field goal, a 34-yarder with 1:01 left.

Brady engineered his first touchdown in the first quarter of a Super Bowl, throwing an 8-yard pass to Gronkowski to give Tampa Bay a 7-3 lead over Kansas City after one period.

The connection was the 13th playoff TD from Brady to Gronkowski, an NFL postseason record. The score capped a 75-yard drive in which Brady went 4 of 5 and Leonard Fournette added 26 yards on four carries.

The Chiefs drew first blood at the 5:10 mark when Butker booted a 49-yard field goal. Kansas City padded a streak to 62 straight games in which it owned a lead, though Mahomes went just 2-for-8 in the quarter for nine yards.

The Bucs went three-and-out on the game’s first possession after the Chiefs won the coin toss and deferred. The Chiefs only gained one first down on their first series, while a sack of Brady by Frank Clark ended Tampa Bay’s second possession with just one first down.