The Tampa Bay Buccaneers dominated the field and the box score almost everywhere you looked during Sunday’s Super Bowl win.
That included the penalty column.
The Bucs tallied four penalties for 39 yards during their 31-9 victory. The Kansas City Chiefs, meanwhile, racked up 120 penalty yards on 11 flags.
It was a sloppy Kansas City effort that played a significant role in the stunning outcome that saw the Chiefs fail to find the end zone. Replays repeatedly showed Chiefs players holding Bucs opponents at the line of scrimmage and in the secondary.
Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones took notice.
“This is the Super Bowl,” Jones told reporters. “Usually you let the guys play, especially in the biggest game of the year.”
Costly penalties for Kansas City
Penalties played a role on a handful of key plays. A pair of pass interference calls against the Chiefs set up a critical Buccaneers touchdown just before halftime. Earlier, a holding penalty away from the ball by cornerback Charvarius Ward wiped out an interception of Tom Brady by safety Tyrann Mathieu.
Tyrann Mathieu picked off Brady after the ball was deflected TWICE ✌🏼 Just for it to be called back due to a hold on Charvarius Ward.
2Q // 7:47 remaining#SuperBowl #SBLV #JMC306 pic.twitter.com/ZSvcwhu1mN
— David Montoya (@David_Montoya11) February 8, 2021
Instead of a turnover on that drive, the Bucs went on to take a 14-3 lead on Brady’s second touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski. It was a pivotal moment in the game.
“Penalties can change the game,” Jones continued. “That interception could've changed the game.”
That interception certainly could have changed the game. But it was called back courtesy of a call on a defensive breakdown away from the play. It was one of several plays Chiefs defenders didn’t make as they sacked Brady just once and failed to force a Tampa Bay turnover.
Jones tallied five total tackles and didn’t touch Brady. He might not have liked the way officials called the game. But the Chiefs defense didn’t play well enough to compete in a blowout loss.
Super Bowl LV from Yahoo Sports: