Game On!…with Rob Kriete – JANUARY 27

Home sweet home. Most earthlings have spent a considerable amount of time at their humble abodes in the last year for obvious reasons. Many are itching to travel and get back out, and there is the real promise of this with vaccines for all on the horizon.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers spent the last few weeks traveling and now are more than happy to spend some time at home…for a Super Bowl matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs. As most fans know by now, the Bucs will be the first team to play in their home stadium for Super Bowl LV. Tampa Bay had a modest 5-3 record this season at Raymond James Stadium, with one of three losses to the Chiefs. The Buccaneers have played their best football of the season after the first half of that loss to the Chiefs. The Tampa Bay secondary got burned with man-to-man coverage on Tyreek Hill early and often in that game but stormed back in their week 12 matchup. The Bucs held the potent Chiefs to a mere seven points in the second half of that contest, and the Tampa Bay defense has been firing on all cylinders (and cannons!) ever since.

Tampa will enjoy the creature comforts of home in these two weeks leading up to the big game. The immeasurable intangibles of a comfortable routine, practice, and of course, home turf should help many of these younger Buccaneers remain focused on the challenge at hand as opposed to being subjected to the usual circus that encompasses a “normal” Super Bowl. Coupling this with virtual-only press conferences, the Bucs players are ostensibly enjoying a bye-week before the big game with the usual distractions.
Traditionally there is scuttlebutt on how each of the Super Bowl teams deals with the external pressures of playing in the big game. The Bucs seemingly avoid all of these issues by playing at home on February 7th and gives them a veritable advantage over the Chiefs. How they leverage this benefit remains to be seen.

Home is where most Buccaneers fans will be enjoying this historic Super Bowl. I hope you enjoy the creature comforts of home, like the Bucs, when they get their “Game On” for Super Bowl 55!

Be safe, everyone.