For the first time in NFL history, the Super Bowl will be played in a true homefield stadium.
Sunday’s Super Bowl LV will be played in front of 22,000 fans in Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, where the Bucs will look to stop Kansas City from earning a second straight title.
If the Chiefs can win Sunday, they will be the first team in the league to go back-to-back since the New England Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVIII and Super Bowl XXXIX against the Carolina Panthers and Philadelphia Eagles, respectively.
Kansas City is a three-point favorite to win, and the over/under on the game is listed at 56.5.
As is always the case whenever the game is not held in a dome, many are speculating about how the weather will impact the outcome.
The weather down in Tampa should be just fine for the assembled media, which won’t be nearly as heavy as in years past due to the pandemic.
On Tuesday, the high down in Tampa will be 54 degrees with partly cloudy skies. On Wednesday, the temps start to creep up to a high of 61 degrees under the afternoon sun and a low of 38 at night.
On Thursday, temps will be close to 70 under mostly sunny skies.
Friday, the expected high will be 75 degrees with sunny skies. Saturday, it’ll be near 80, but then the bottom drops, just in time for Sunday’s kickoff.
Sunday, the high is slated to be 69 degrees, and there is a 51 percent chance of rain showers. The winds could also be a factor, as they will be out of the Southwest at 15 miles per hour.
If you think back to “bad” weather Super Bowls, three games probably come to mind.
The first poor weather Super Bowl started the Pittsburgh Steelers dynasty back in 1975, when the team defeated the Minnesota Vikings.
The day was dreary. It was very overcast with drizzle prior to the game, perfect for two smash mouth defensive teams that loved to run the football.
An interesting side note: Construction delays at the Superdome forced the league to move the game to Tulane Stadium, which had also hosted the previous two Super Bowls. Super Bowl IX remains the last professional American football game played at the venue.
The 1979 game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Steelers was played in a light rain. Records show that 0.28 worth of rain fell during the 35-31 shootout, which the Steelers won to take home their third title.
However, the game that everyone recalls being played in the rain took place in 2006, when Peyton Manning and the Colts took on the Chicago Bears at Dolphins Stadium in Miami.
The rain hindered both teams, but Manning and the Colts were just a little more determined. They handled the elements in stride, while the Bears and QB Rex Grossman could not.
The Colts won 29-17, and for the first time in his career, Manning hoisted the Lombardi Trophy.
As the week progresses, we shall see whether the forecast changes and whether it will be a factor in the game.
If it is, it might be to the Bucs’ advantage since inclement weather forced the Chiefs to race up and down the field against Tampa Bay in late November. The Chiefs ultimately prevailed 27-24, a win that wasn’t as close as the final score suggests.