Don't forget about the defenses in Super Bowl LV

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Tim O'Donnell
·2 min read
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All eyes will be on the quarterbacks during Super Bowl LV. Patrick Mahomes, the prolific 25-year-old superstar, will line up under center for the Kansas City Chiefs, seeking his second straight championship. And, of course, Tom Brady, 43-years-young, will be at the helm for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, making his 10th Super Bowl appearance (albeit his first in which he's not wearing a New England Patriots uniform). Yet, as exciting as the quarterback matchup is, both Kansas City and Tampa Bay have a lot more to offer than their famous signal callers.

For instance, both teams boast explosive playmakers on offense — Tyreke Hill and Travis Kelce in Kansas City, and Mike Evans and Chris Godwin in Tampa Bay, just to name a few. But it's the defenses that are often overlooked. It's true that neither team is considered truly elite on that side of the ball, but there's plenty of talent, and both units have played well in the playoffs, and they'll likely need to carry that momentum over to pick up a win.

The Bucs' pass rush, led by the likes of Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaquil Barrett, picked up five sacks against the Green Bay Packers and MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the NFC Championship, upping the pressure late in the game just when Green Bay's offense looked like it was getting in a groove. In Tampa Bay's three postseason wins, the defense forced seven total turnovers, often providing Brady and the offense with strong field position.

The Chiefs, meanwhile, were solid statistically for most of the season, but they really struggled in the red zone. In the AFC Championship game against the Buffalo Bills, however, they hunkered down in those situations, forcing the Bills to kick field goals at key moments.

The Super Bowl will kick off at 6:30 p.m. ET on CBS.

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