The Buccaneers’ masterful Super Bowl 55 win was full of MVP-worthy performances.
Tampa Bay beat the Chiefs, 31-9, to claim Tom Brady’s seventh Super Bowl ring. The victory included a dominating Buccaneers defense that forced Patrick Mahomes into mistakes and rushed throws. There was a “Playoff Lenny” performance by Leonard Fournette. Rob Gronkowski chipped in with two touchdown catches, too. But none of those stellar outings was quite enough to take home the Super Bowl MVP award in 2021.
Who won Super Bowl MVP in 2021?
Tom Brady was named the Super Bowl 55 MVP, his fifth such honor out of his seven Super Bowl titles. It capped off his first year in Tampa Bay, his age-43 season, in a way only Brady could. He connected twice with Gronk for touchdowns before throwing another to Antonio Brown, all in the first half.
From there, Brady could mostly turn around and hand the ball off to Fournette and Ronald Jones. That meant Brady’s volume passing stats didn’t sky through the roof — he finished 21-of-29 passing for 201 yards.
But every time the Buccaneers needed Brady to deliver, he did. His first touchdown to Gronkowski capped a 75-yard drive after the Chiefs got on the board first with a field goal, and Brady’s second scoring throw to his former Patriots teammate proved to be the backbreaker.
The Chiefs had Brady stopped once on the key second-quarter drive with a deflected interception reeled in by Tyrann Mathieu. But a defensive holding penalty negated that. Three plays later, Brady jogged off the field again, Tampa Bay being forced to kick a field goal. An offside flag on the kick gave Brady a third chance, and on the very next play, he threaded a 17-yard touchdown down the middle of the field to Gronkowski.
Then on the final Tampa Bay drive of the first half, Kansas City chose to use timeouts to try and get the ball back. Instead, the stoppages aided Brady in having enough time to score once more. He capped the drive off with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Brown.
The win Sunday night validated everything about Brady’s decision to leave New England and join the Buccaneers. The move brought Gronkowski out of a one-year retirement to join Brady. It led to the signing of Brown, who Brady had befriended in a brief stint together in New England in 2019. The Buccaneers also went all-in on the unwanted veterans bandwagon by signing Fournette, too, who played at his best during the postseason.
Brady wasn’t playing a season at 43 just for the sake of playing. He was competing in it, as he always has in the NFL, to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. And when all the maneuvering in Tampa Bay came to pass, it ended with Brady, yet again, standing atop the mountain.
Super Bowl MVP winners
|1968||II||Bart Starr (2)||Packers||QB|
|1978||XII||Harvey Martin/Randy White||Cowboys||DE/DT|
|1980||XIV||Terry Bradshaw (2)||Steelers||QB|
|1985||XIX||Joe Montana (2)||49ers||QB|
|1990||XXIV||Joe Montana (3)||49ers||QB|
|2004||XXXVIII||Tom Brady (2)||Patriots||QB|
|2012||XLVI||Eli Manning (2)||Giants||QB|
|2015||XLIX||Tom Brady (3)||Patriots||QB|
|2017||LI||Tom Brady (4)||Patriots||QB|
|2021||LV||Tom Brady (5)||Buccaneers|
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