Kansas City Chiefs star and quarterback Patrick Mahomes believes he is ready to play following toe surgery.

Mahomes underwent surgery after Kansas City's Super LV loss to Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers in February.

The Chiefs will open their 2021 NFL campaign against the Cleveland Browns on September 12 and the 2018 MVP feels he is ready to go.

"If there was a game [today], I'd be able to play in it, I think,'' said Mahomes.

"There's still stuff I'm going to have to work through. I have to continue to rehab, continue to keep strengthening that stuff.

"But it's good to be able to get out there earlier than the schedule had me and be able to get some work in.''

Mahomes led the NFL in passing yards per game with 316.0 in 2020, well clear of Deshaun Watson (301.4) in second.

Watson's Houston Texans were the only team in the league to produce more passing plays of 20 yards or more (70 to 69) and more touchdown throws of at least 20 yards (16 to 15).

The Chiefs ranked 12th in rushing yards per attempt (4.46), but were in the top 10 for rushes of 10 yards or more with 57.

Mahomes has previously said he wants the Chiefs to become the first team in history to finish a season 20-0 following the NFL's expanded regular-season schedule.

"I believe the question I was asked is, what record did I want to break?'' Mahomes said. "To me, records don't mean anything if you're not winning that last game at the end of the season.

"It's about going in every single week with the mindset that we're trying to win, we're going to win. And at the end of the day whatever the record is, if it's 20-0 or wherever it is, you win that last game of the season and you're going to be happy with whatever happened earlier in the season.

"People get all hyped up about saying 20-0 because you have to take it one week at a time, but at the end of the day you want to continue to win every single week. I'm not going into the season hoping I lose any games."

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will kick off the new NFL season against the Dallas Cowboys on September 9, while Sam Darnold is to be quickly reunited with the New York Jets.

Ahead of the full schedule release later on Wednesday, the Week 1 slate was confirmed with Tom Brady's Bucs the highlight.

After winning the Super Bowl against the Kansas City Chiefs last season, seven-time champion Brady is in the Thursday night game against the Cowboys in Tampa.

The Bucs have brought back the entirety of their title-winning team and face a Dallas outfit aiming to improve on an awful 2020 after signing Dak Prescott to a long-term contract.

Elsewhere, quarterback Darnold will make his Carolina Panthers debut against the Jets team he left this offseason.

In three miserable years in New York, Darnold threw for 45 touchdowns and 39 interceptions across 38 games with a 59.8 completion percentage – the third-worst rate in the league over this period.

The former third overall pick was traded to the Panthers last month for a sixth-round pick this year and a second and fourth-rounders in 2022, with the Jets then using the second selection in 2021 to take Zach Wilson.

Among Wilson's fellow first-round QBs, Mac Jones could potentially make his bow against the man he succeeded at Alabama.

Jones, who is competing for the starting spot on the New England Patriots with Cam Newton, will hope to face Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins in a big AFC East matchup.

Trevor Lawrence is likely to go straight into the Jacksonville Jaguars team against the Houston Texans, while Trey Lance will hope to get his chance under center for the San Francisco 49ers at the Detroit Lions and Justin Fields for the Chicago Bears at the Los Angeles Rams in the late Sunday game.

The NFL also confirmed Wilson and Lawrence would be in line for appearances in the London games in October, with the Jets facing the Atlanta Falcons and the Jaguars taking on the Dolphins on consecutive weekends.

Another of the more intriguing Week 1 games sees the Green Bay Packers travel to the New Orleans Saints.

As the Saints begin the post-Drew Brees era, the Packers will hope wantaway MVP Aaron Rodgers is still on the team and able to improve his 3-2 career record as a starter against New Orleans.

The Seattle Seahawks, who have kept hold of Russell Wilson, face the Indianapolis Colts, and Patrick Mahomes' latest title tilt sees the Kansas City Chiefs host the Cleveland Browns.

Mahomes went down with a toe injury and then a concussion in an epic Chiefs win over the Browns in the 2020 postseason, with 35-year-old backup Chad Henne making his playoff debut and having a pick and a sack but completing six of eight passes to complete the job.

In the first Monday Night Football of the season, Lamar Jackson's Baltimore Ravens will go to the Las Vegas Raiders.


Week 1 schedule in full:

Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sep 9, 8:20pm ET
Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills – Sep 12, 1:00pm ET
New York Jets at Carolina Panthers – Sep 12, 1:00pm ET
Seattle Seahawks at Indianapolis Colts – Sep 12, 1:00pm ET
Los Angeles Chargers at Washington Football Team – Sep 12, 1:00pm ET
San Francisco 49ers at Detroit Lions – Sep 12, 1:00pm ET
Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans – Sep 12, 1:00pm ET
Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons – Sep 12, 1:00pm ET
Minnesota Vikings at Cincinnati Bengals – Sep 12, 1:00pm ET
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans – Sep 12, 1:00pm ET
Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs – Sep 12, 4:25pm ET
Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints – Sep 12, 4:25pm ET
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots – Sep 12, 4:25pm ET
Denver Broncos at New York Giants – Sep 12, 4:25pm ET
Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams – Sep 12, 8:20pm ET
Baltimore Ravens at Las Vegas Raiders – Sep 13, 8:15pm ET

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf described the opportunity to race against world-class athletes as a blessing after his Olympic hopes seemingly came to an end on Sunday.

The 23-year-old competed in the 100 metres event at the USA Track and Field (USATF) Golden Games and Distance Open in California, part of the qualification process for this year's rescheduled Games in Tokyo.

Metcalf posted an impressive time of 10.36 seconds in his heat, but that was only good enough to finish ninth as he missed out on a place in the final of the event.

A time under 10.05s would have been enough to automatically qualify for the US Olympic track and field trials in Oregon next month.

"I'm just happy to be here, excited to have the opportunity to come out here and run against world-class athletes like this," Metcalf said in his post-race interview on Peacock.

"Just to test my speed up against world-class athletes like this. Like I said, to have the opportunity to come out here and run against these guys was just a blessing."

Metcalf had been a hurdler and a long jumper at high school before focusing on football in college at Ole Miss. He was selected by the Seahawks with the 64th pick in the 2019 draft.

After posting 58 receptions for 900 yards in his rookie season, he finished the 2020 campaign with 83 catches for 1,303 yards and 10 touchdowns, good enough to earn him a trip to the Pro Bowl.

"They do this for a living. It's very different from football speed, as I just realised," Metcalf, who was strong out of the blocks, added.

Seattle team-mate Russell Wilson was among those from the NFL to be impressed by Metcalf's performance, the quarterback tweeting: "Amazing Bro!"

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes also praised the receiver, who admitted the focus will now switch from competing on the track back to his NFL career.

"10.36 is crazy tho [sic] at that size!! Mad respect!" Mahomes posted on Twitter.

Rafael Nadal and Naomi Osaka have earned the top 2021 prizes at the Laureus World Sports Awards, while Patrick Mahomes, Lewis Hamilton and Mohamed Salah were all also recognised.

Tennis dominated the individual honours as Nadal collected a fourth award, named Laureus World Sportsman of the Year for the second time.

The Spaniard, who has also previously taken the 2006 Breakthrough Award and the 2014 Comeback Award, was selected after winning the French Open to tie Roger Federer's record of 20 grand slam titles.

Nadal, who said he "can't be happier", added: "Winning the French Open and equalling the 20th grand slam of Roger Federer has been an unforgettable moment.

"It means a lot to equal my great rival, but at the same time, my great friend. It's something very special after all the history we have had together on and off court."

Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Osaka, the 2019 Breakthrough winner, claimed a second US Open triumph while supporting the 'Black Lives Matter' movement.

"I think it is important to use my voice, because, for me, I feel like I often hold back a lot and worry about what people think of me, but you know if you have a platform it is very important you use it," the Japanese superstar said.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Mahomes won the Super Bowl last year and played in the big game again earlier in 2021, making him the latest Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award winner.

He and Formula One great Hamilton both joined Osaka in demonstrations against racial inequality.

Two-time Laureus winner Hamilton got his hands on the Athlete Advocate of the Year Award and said: "This past year has been incredibly difficult for so many, but it has also been heartening to see the power of our collective voices spark new conversations and change.

"The impact of each and every one of you who have stood up, is so inspiring, so I want to thank you. Please keep fighting, keep shining your light."

Liverpool's Salah supported a number of causes and led the Reds to Premier League glory, receiving the Laureus Sporting Inspiration Award, but Bayern Munich of the Bundesliga were the World Team of the Year for the second time.

Nadal and Osaka were not the only tennis stars to have their name called, as Billie Jean King took the Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award.

The NFL Draft looms large on the horizon as rosters continue to take shape ahead of the 2021 season.

Some big offseason moves have already threatened to alter the landscape of the league, even boosting the championship hopes of teams who missed out on the playoffs in 2020.

Most notably, the San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins will each feel they won a trade that saw the number three overall pick sent to the NFC West team in exchange for assets including multiple future first-rounders.

The Niners will get a look at one of the top quarterbacks in an exciting class as they aim to challenge again following an injury ravaged campaign, while the Dolphins can now surround starter Tua Tagovailoa with talent in year two and beyond.

But what of the teams who were already Super Bowl contenders?

When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers reached the NFC Championship Game and the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills advanced in the AFC, pre-game predictions could scarcely separate the four.

It was the Bucs who ultimately prevailed, progressing past Green Bay before beating the Chiefs at Super Bowl LV, but their rivals will expect to be in the mix again.

Although chaos higher up in the draft could see plans quickly go out the window, we assess where the Bucs, Packers, Chiefs and Bills might be looking next week - with the help of Stats Perform data.
 

Green Bay Packers

All four of these teams will have interesting options in the first round as the early rush for quarterbacks leaves great depth at several other positions across the board. But the Packers, picking 29th, would be wise to think about how they might help Aaron Rodgers.

The veteran QB was understandably surprised last year when, rather than recruiting help, Green Bay drafted another passer in the first round. Jordan Love did not take a single snap all season long.

Packers wide receiver Davante Adams led the league in receiving touchdowns (18) and ranked fourth for targets (149), joint-second for catches (115) and joint-fifth for receiving yards (1,374), despite playing only 14 games. However, Rodgers clearly lacked a second WR option, with tight end Robert Tonyan's 11 TDs coming on just 59 targets.

There should be no shortage of prospects available to Green Bay, with Elijah Moore - ranked first in the FBS with 149.1 yards per game for Ole Miss - a good fit in the slot.

Yet the team have not selected a receiver in the first round since before Rodgers was drafted, while Adams, in 2014, was the last WR taken higher than the fourth round.

Defensive reinforcements may be more likely over the first two days of the draft. A linebacker like Zaven Collins - four interceptions last season for Tulsa - or a cornerback such as Caleb Farley - falling following back surgery - could be called in the first round, with a later punt on a potential WR project following.
 

Buffalo Bills

Buffalo's needs are two-fold as they aim to give QB Josh Allen the platform to contend with Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady again.

The Bills ranked fourth in the NFL in 2020 for yards per attempt but 20th for rushing average (4.19). Allen contributed 421 of their 1,723 total rushing yards and half of their 16 rushing TDs.

Neither Devin Singletary (156 carries for 687 yards and two TDs) nor Zack Moss (112 carries for 481 yards and four TDs) look capable of being a game-changer on the ground, while the best running backs in the class may well still be on the board at number 30.

Alabama's Najee Harris, who led the FBS with 26 rushing scores, is an obvious standout.

Yet Buffalo's issues against the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game came as they failed to disrupt Mahomes, who was sacked only once and threw three TDs and no interceptions.

The Bills were in the middle of the pack for sacks (38, tied 15th) and hurries (163, 17th) and could use someone on the edge, particularly with Jerry Hughes - the man who sacked Mahomes - turning 33 in August.
 

Kansas City Chiefs

If the playoffs made the shortcomings for Buffalo clear, Kansas City's flaws were even more blatant. The best QB in football was helpless in the Super Bowl.

Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher, the Chiefs' starting tackles, missed the big game through injury and Mahomes was sacked three times, throwing two picks and no TDs. The pair have each since been released, too, increasing the team's need at the position.

Arrivals Joe Thuney, who allowed 0.5 sacks last season, and Kyle Long, back out of retirement, are not best suited to playing outside. Kansas City would ideally find both a right and left tackle in this draft.

They should have no shortage of options, with a number of prospects mooted as potential picks. Teven Jenkins, out of Oklahoma State, can play either side and would be a popular signing.
 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs are in a truly unenviable position in that they have no positions of major need.

Some defensive end depth would be nice, but this unit pressured Mahomes into submission. The team ranked second for both hurries (182) and knockdowns (115). Linebacker Shaquil Barrett alone had 13 Super Bowl pressures.

Or how about a receiver to deliver the late-season impact provided by Antonio Brown? He had only four starts yet scored a touchdown in the Super Bowl triumph. Of course, he could also still return.

The rest of the title-winning roster from last year is back, meaning Tampa Bay remain in 'win now' mode and can simply look to pick up the best player left on the board at pick 32.

That might mean a RB like Harris, while the Bucs would have little to lose in taking a flier on Farley, despite his fitness concerns, if he falls to them.

Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes said he is "ahead of schedule" in his recovery from toe surgery.

Mahomes underwent surgery following Kansas City's Super LV loss to Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers in February.

The NFL's MVP in 2018 before earning Most Valuable Player honours in Super Bowl LIV, Mahomes provided an update on his rehabilitation.

"I think I'm progressing well,'' said the 25-year-old quarterback.

"I think I'm ahead of schedule myself. Obviously, we're trying to be cautious. We're not pushing me out there too soon. But I'm doing what I can. I've gotten out of the boot finally.

"It took forever. Now I'm trying to get back on the field and get that stuff working.

"I'm sure they'll keep me on that same pathway and that hopefully I can do some stuff by the end of the offseason.''

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid added: "He's got great flexibility in that toe. He worked his tail off, not a real fun thing for him to do with that.

"It seems like a small thing, but that toe is rather large and stiff before the surgery and after the surgery, so he's really worked hard to get that right.''

Mahomes led the NFL in passing yards per game with 316.0 in 2020, well clear of Deshaun Watson (301.4) in second.

Watson's Houston Texans were the only team in the league to produce more passing plays of 20 yards or more (70 to 69) and more touchdown throws of at least 20 yards (16 to 15).

The Chiefs ranked 12th in rushing yards per attempt (4.46), but were in the top 10 for rushes of 10 yards or more with 57.

The Kansas City Chiefs are signing Joe Thuney on a five-year, $80million deal, giving Patrick Mahomes some help on the offensive line.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Monday, the first day of negotiating with free agents, the Chiefs were signing the sixth-year guard.

Thuney spent his first five seasons in the NFL with the New England Patriots, winning two Super Bowls.

The 28-year-old played all 90 regular season and playoff games during his time in New England and became the first player to start three Super Bowls in his first three years in the league.

Thuney has allowed just 1.5 sacks over the past three campaigns, continuing to protect Cam Newton - Tom Brady's replacement - last year when playing on the franchise tag.

That protection will be welcomed in Kansas City, where the Chiefs are attempting to build another challenge after seeing their title defence ended by Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the big game.

Mahomes has established himself as the NFL's best quarterback but was exposed by the Bucs.

The Kansas City superstar was sacked three times and failed to throw a touchdown as he went 26-for-49 for two interceptions and a 52.3 passer rating.

Shaq Barrett, another of Monday's big free agent signings, returning to Tampa, had 13 pressures against Mahomes.

Dak Prescott was congratulated on his long-awaited new Dallas Cowboys contract by a host of stars, with a Super Bowl challenge next on the agenda.

The Cowboys tied their quarterback to a four-year deal reportedly worth $160million on Monday, a day before Tuesday's deadline to place the franchise tag on impending free agents. Dallas tagged Prescott last offseason.

Reports say the agreement, which brings to an end one of the longest-running QB sagas in the league, will see Prescott receive $126m guaranteed in a deal that contains a no-trade clause.

Tad Prescott, Dak's brother, was among the first to react and he wrote on Twitter: "Let's go, Dak. Time to win the Cowboys a Super Bowl."

Former Cowboy Dez Bryant suggested the positive resolution was absolutely vital to the team's title hopes.

He compared the stand-off to running back DeMarco Murray's Dallas departure in 2015, shortly after a controversial playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers.

"The Dak situation started to remind me [of when] we let DeMarco walk in '15," Bryant posted.

"Me, personally, I knew our chances of having a chance to win the Super Bowl [were] gone.

"It wasn't the catch [against Green Bay], it was DeMarco leaving the team which made me feel hopeless. Smart decision, Cowboys."

DeMarcus Ware, Bryant's former team-mate, added: "Congrats, Dak. Go finish what you started."

The Cowboys were 6-10 in 2020 and have not played an NFC Championship Game since winning the Super Bowl at the end of the 1995 season.

Prescott has work to do to make the team competitive again, having missed much of last year following a devastating compound fracture of his right ankle in the Week 5 win over the New York Giants.

He has the backing of several big names, however.

Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey wrote: "It's always earned. Nobody just giving out free money lol. Congrats, Dak."

Free agent wide receiver Golden Tate said: "Congrats to Dak and the best agent in the biz Todd France!"

And NBA All-Star Donovan Mitchell added: "Get paid, my guy! Dak, congrats!"

Ex-NFL defender Darius Butler even suggested Prescott had got a better deal than Patrick Mahomes, the Kansas City Chiefs QB who signed the most lucrative contract in sports.

He wrote: "I'm not a contract specialist but I feel like Dak got a much better deal than Mahomes. 

"$75M in year one. $66M guaranteed at signing. No trade, no tag. Back at the table at age 31 at the latest."

Robert Lewandowski heads a stellar list of nominees for the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award after a golden 12 months for Bayern Munich.

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton and tennis great Rafael Nadal are also in contention. Joshua Cheptegei and Armand Duplantis complete the male nominees.

Poland striker Lewandowski enjoyed a memorable 2020 for the German giants, with his impeccable performances helping Bayern to a Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League treble. 

Across the top-five European leagues, no player could match Lewandowski's 45 goals scored in all competitions from January 1 to December 31 with Cristiano Ronaldo his nearest rival on 41.

In that 12-month period, only Barcelona great Lionel Messi (115) and Juventus superstar Ronaldo (85) registered more shots on target than Lewandowski's 83, while a shot-conversion rate of 34.09 was the fifth highest among players to score at least 20.

Reflecting his all-round contribution, Lewandowski recorded 12 assists in the calendar year, with team-mate Thomas Muller leading the way on an impressive 21. 

Unsurprisingly, Lewandowski won a fifth Torjagerkanone (awarded to the Bundesliga's top scorer) overall and a third in a row thanks to 34 Bundesliga goals in 2019-20, higher than an expected goals rate of 26.9. His 15 goals in the Champions League were also a competition high.

 

In a stacked deck, James is included after a year that saw him win a fourth career NBA title and first with the Lakers, while he also claimed a fourth Finals MVP award.

Across six games in the Lakers' 4-2 triumph over the Miami Heat, James averaged 29.8 points, 11.8 rebounds and 8.5 assists, while he shot 59.1 per cent from the field and drained 41.7 per cent of three-point attempts.

Mercedes driver Hamilton won a seventh F1 drivers' title in 2020 to match the overall record of the legendary Michael Schumacher.

During another sensational season, the Briton reached 95 career race wins, which surpasses the previous benchmark of 91 set by Schumacher.

In a calendar year disrupted heavily by the coronavirus pandemic, Nadal still had personal reason to celebrate after winning a record-extending 13th French Open title.

His triumph at Roland Garros means he now stands alongside Roger Federer on 20 grand slams – the most achieved in the men's game.

Uganda's Cheptegei broke both 5,000 and 10,000 metres world records in 2020, while Duplantis of Sweden broke the indoor and outdoor pole vault record.

Tennis' global superstar Naomi Osaka is nominated for the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award.

The Japanese was champion at the US Open in 2020, which took her career slam tally to three. She recently made that four by winning the first major of 2021 at the Australian Open.

Lyon captain Wendie Renard is in contention after helping her team to a fifth straight Women's Champions League title, while WNBA Finals MVP award winner Breanna Stewart is included after guiding the Seattle Storm to championship glory.

Cyclist Anna van der Breggen – who won both the road race and time trial at the World Championships – is up for the prize, as is skier Federica Brignone, the first Italian woman to win the overall World Cup.

Kenya's Brigid Kosgei completes the women's nominees after winning the rescheduled London Marathon by more than three minutes.

Bayern, the Lakers and Mercedes are all up for the World Team of the Year Award, as are Liverpool, who won a first English top-flight title in 30 years.

The Kansas City Chiefs make the list after winning a first Super Bowl since 1970, while Argentina's men's rugby team are nominated after earning a first ever win over three-time world champions New Zealand.

Patrick Mahomes' role in the Chiefs Super Bowl win earned him a nomination for the World Breakthrough of the Year Award, with Iga Swiatek up for the prize after winning the women's singles at the French Open aged 19, the youngest slam winner since 1990.

MotoGP world champion Joan Mir, Tour de France victor Tadej Pogacar, US Open male champion Dominic Thiem and prodigious Barcelona talent Ansu Fati complete that category.

Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes said the Super Bowl LV defeat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will motivate him for the rest of his career.

Mahomes and the Chiefs were no match for Tom Brady's Buccaneers, who claimed a comprehensive 31-9 victory in Tampa on Sunday.

The Chiefs were looking to become the first NFL team since the New England Patriots in 2003 and 2004 to win back-to-back Super Bowls, but the Buccaneers had other ideas following Brady's MVP performance.

Mahomes was stifled by the Buccaneers, overpowered as the quarterback finished 26-of-49 passing for 270 yards, no touchdowns, two interceptions and three sacks.

"It was a bad feeling in that locker room after the game,'' Mahomes, who was the reigning MVP heading into the showdown, told reporters. "You don't want to have that feeling again.

"It's not the end of something. It's going to be another chapter where we're going to have to continue to drive to make ourselves better so we're back in that game.''

Mahomes - the 2018 NFL MVP - added: "I'm going to look at the film and try to find ways to get better. Obviously with our offense and the success that we've had, when teams see the defensive plan that [the Bucs] had and how well it worked, they're obviously going to try to do the same things.

"So we'll try to find ways to combat that. It's the evolution of our offense where we're going to have to do better things and be more efficient.

"That really goes with me and not always looking for the big play but just finding ways to move the ball down the field.''

"I thought I did a good job toward the end of the season of being more efficient,'' he said. "Obviously I didn't do that in the Super Bowl, but I'm going to try to find ways to better myself that way. Just being more efficient, taking what's there, especially when these teams are playing such deep coverages against us.

"It's something I've got to battle with because I've got such an aggressive nature and want to have the big play. But as I watch the film and really study myself, I'll have to get better at that so I can be a better quarterback at the end of the day.''

"The worst I've been beaten in a long time". That is how Patrick Mahomes described the Kansas City Chiefs' 31-9 defeat to Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV.

The Chiefs were looking to become the first NFL team since the New England Patriots in 2003 and 2004 to win back-to-back Super Bowls.

But Mahomes and the Chiefs were overpowered by a brutal Buccaneers team – spearheaded by superstar quarterback Brady and a relentless defensive and offensive line in Tampa on Sunday.

Mahomes and the Chiefs were stifled by the Buccaneers, who claimed their first Lombardi Trophy since the 2002 season as Brady clinched a record-extending seventh championship ring.

After finishing 26-of-49 passing for 270 yards, no touchdowns, two interceptions and three sacks, Mahomes told reporters: "The worst I've been beaten in a long time, but I'm proud of the guys and how they fought until the end of the game."

"We weren't on the same page as an offense in general," Mahomes said. "I wasn't getting the ball out on time, receivers were running routs not exactly where I thought they'd be.

"The offensive line, they were good at times but sometimes let guys through. When you play a good defense like that, you have to be on the same page as an offense and we weren't. That's why we played so bad."

Mahomes had little support as he was roughened up by the Buccaneers, though the 2018 NFL MVP was far from his best despite a battling performance.

Asked about an ongoing toe problem and whether he requires surgery, Mahomes replied: "I can't say my toe was a problem when I played two weeks ago and played well on it.

"You're playing football, you have to battle through injuries.

"We'll look at it tomorrow [Monday] and make a final decision as to whether to have surgery or not."

There have been eight teams all-time to reach the Super Bowl after averaging at least 410 total yards per game – the Denver Broncos (2013), Miami Dolphins (1984), New England Patriots (2011 and 2007), Los Angeles Rams (2018 and 2001), the Atlanta Falcons (2016) and Chiefs this year. All eight sides went on to lose the showpiece, per Stats Perform.

Despite the comprehensive nature of the defeat, Mahomes was upbeat afterwards.

"My dad lost in the World Series in his [MLB] career and he continues to battle and be who he is," Mahomes added. "Obviously it hurts now, it hurts a lot. But we are going to continue to get better. We have a young group of guys that have had a lot of success and learnt from that, but a few failures and we have to learn from that.

"We can't let this define us. We have to get better, going into next year, being even better in preparing ourselves to hopefully be back in this game next season."

He continued: "We have a young group of guys, when we joined together we knew it wasn’t always going to be successful and you weren't going to be able to win 1,000 championships in a row.

"We knew we would go through times like this and adversity. Leadership ability to be better next year. Obviously we didn't end the same the way we wanted to but we can learn from that and learn from successes through the season, end of the day come in at blank slate and get to the Super Bowl again."

Andy Reid did not see the Kansas City Chiefs' Super Bowl LV performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers coming.

Tom Brady led the Buccaneers to a comfortable 31-9 victory over the Chiefs at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday.

Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes completed 26 of 49 passes for 270 yards and two interceptions, while being sacked three times.

Reid said the performance came as a surprise, with the Chiefs also giving away 11 penalties.

"I didn't see it coming at all. I thought we were going to come in and we were going to play these guys right just like we had been playing teams. It didn't happen that way," the Chiefs head coach told a news conference.

"They did a nice job, I give them credit on it. I didn't anticipate this happening."

While Mahomes also rushed for 33 yards, the quarterback was consistently troubled by the Buccaneers' defense.

Reid said there were no questions over the mental toughness of last season's Super Bowl MVP, but he also took responsibility for not giving the 25-year-old more chances.

"Until the last snap he was trying to win the football game. That should never be questioned," he said.

"I could have done a better job in helping him out with the run game. I could've given him more opportunities where we could've run the football."

Reid's son, Britt, was involved in a multi-vehicle crash on Thursday and the Chiefs head coach said it impacted him personally.

"I'd be lying if I didn't tell you my heart bleeds for the people involved in it. We had put the game plan in the week before. It wasn't a distraction as far as the game plan goes. That was already in and how we were going to work with it and go forward," he said.

"From a human standpoint, it's a tough one. From a football standpoint, I don't think that was the problem."

Tom Brady made more history, the most successful player in NFL history claiming a seventh Super Bowl crown after sensationally leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers past the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 in Super Bowl LV.

In a blockbuster showdown pitting 43-year-old great Brady against reigning Super Bowl MVP Mahomes – the face of NFL's new generation – it was the veteran quarterback who came out on top in a masterclass on Sunday.

Brady – already the record-holder with six previous Super Bowl victories – threw three touchdown passes, including two to trusted team-mate Rob Gronkowski, after completing 21 of 29 throws for 201 yards and no interceptions as the Buccaneers claimed their first Lombardi Trophy since the 2002 campaign.

With the memorable victory in his first season with the Buccaneers, Brady joined MLB first baseman Johnny Mize (1950s New York Yankees) and NHL goaltender Johnny Bower (1960s Toronto Maple Leafs) as the only players to win four championships aged 37 or older. 

Brady also followed in the footsteps of Hall of Famer Peyton Manning as the only players in NFL history to win Super Bowls with two different teams.

It was a night to forget for Mahomes and the Chiefs after the Kansas City signal-caller finished 26-of-49 passing for 270 yards, no touchdowns, two interceptions and three sacks, Tampa Bay's defense stifling Andy Reid's men.

There were plenty of storylines in Tampa – Brady featuring in his fifth Super Bowl since turning 37, tying the most appearances in a championship game/series by any player in any major North American sport, alongside NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and MLB great Roger Clemens, while he is only one of three athletes in North American sport to make three championship appearances aged 40 or older.

Led by Mahomes, the Chiefs were looking to become the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls since Brady and the New England Patriots in the 2003 and 2004 seasons.

Sarah Thomas also made history as the NFL's first female Super Bowl official at Raymond James Stadium, where the Buccaneers became the first home team to stage a showpiece and Brady overcame an early sack in the first quarter.

Mahomes came close to throwing a touchdown pass to Tyreek Hill, instead a field goal getting the Chiefs on the board before Brady and the Buccaneers took control.

Brady led an impressive eight-play, 75-yard drive that resulted in a TD pass to a familiar face – Gronkowski – with 37 seconds remaining in the opening quarter as the pair surpassed Joe Montana and Jerry Rice (12) for the most touchdowns by any quarterback-receiver combo in postseason history with their 13th.

It also marked the first time in 10 Super Bowl appearances that Brady's team scored a touchdown in the opening period.

Brady and the Buccaneers – leading 7-3 after one quarter – were purring against a defensively poor Chiefs – the veteran QB thought he had another touchdown pass, but a desperate Anthony Hitchens made a TD-saving play on Joe Haeg in the endzone early in the second period.

Kansas City's defense came up big to thwart the red-hot Buccaneers, stopping Tampa Bay just short of the endzone on fourth down, but Mahomes lacked support offensively as Travis Kelce also dropped a catch.

As the penalties piled up for the Chiefs, the Buccaneers capitalised – Brady delivering a laser pass to Gronkowski in the endzone before Antonio Brown benefited from another throw to extend Tampa Bay's lead to 21-6 on the stroke of half-time.

Shell-shocked, the Chiefs needed a response in the second half but they did not get it to begin the third quarter after they were exposed defensively again – Leonard Fournette's defensive-splitting 27-yard run making it 28-9 in favour of the hosts.

After four successful extra-point conversions, Ryan Succop nailed a 52-yard field goal to move the Buccaneers further clear late in the third quarter as Mahomes' Chiefs tried unsuccessfully to rally to victory.

Tom Brady claimed a seventh Super Bowl crown after leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to their first Lombardi Trophy since the 2002 season with a dominant victory over defending champions the Kansas City Chiefs.

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