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A viewer’s guide to Super Bowl 2021: Everything you need to know about Chiefs vs. Buccaneers

Super Bowl Sunday is upon us. The AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs and NFC champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers will meet in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, marking the first time a team will play a Super Bowl on its home field.

From the TV channel to players to watch to who’s performing the halftime show, here’s everything you need to know about the big game:

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What time is the Super Bowl, and what channel is it on?

The game is set to kick off at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday and will be broadcast nationally on CBS (Chs. 13, 9 in Baltimore). Jim Nantz and former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo will handle play-by-play duties and commentary, while Tracy Wolfson, Evan Washburn and Jay Feely will be the sideline reporters.

Who is singing the national anthem?

The national anthem will be a duet performed by Grammy-nominated artists Jazmine Sullivan and Eric Church. It will be preceded by a performance of “America the Beautiful” by Grammy-winning artist H.E.R. Both performances will take place just before kickoff at 6:30 p.m.

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Will fans be allowed to attend during a pandemic?

The NFL is expected to host around 25,000 fans, more than a third of Raymond James Stadium’s capacity of 65,890. About 7,500 of those in attendance will be vaccinated health care workers on all-expenses paid trips. Another 14,500 seats will be sold to fans who won’t be required to be inoculated or tested before entering the stadium, and 2,700 fans will sit in luxury boxes. There will also be 30,000 fan cutouts in the stands.

Every fan attending the game will receive a kit that includes personal protective equipment, including a KN95 mask and hand sanitizer, and will be required to wear face coverings throughout the game.

Who is performing the halftime show?

The Weeknd, a three-time Grammy Award winner known for such hits as “Blinding Lights,” “The Hills,” “Can’t Feel My Face” and “I Feel It Coming,” will take the stage at halftime, which will begin at approximately 8:30 p.m.

Who is favored to win?

The Chiefs are a three-point favorite, according to most sportsbooks. The over/under is 56 points. The moneyline is Kansas City -170 and Tampa Bay +145.

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Is there a way to make watching the game more fun?

Sure! You could set up a classic game of Super Bowl squares, which involves picking random spaces on a 10x10 grid that correspond to the score of the game to win prizes (or, you know, cash). Or you could make your own prop bets and keep track of things like who wins the coin toss, how many touchdowns will be scored or even whether The Weeknd will be wearing sunglasses at halftime.

Who are the two head coaches?

After years of falling short with the Philadelphia Eagles and Chiefs, Andy Reid is seeking his second Super Bowl title in Kansas City. The 62-year-old found a perfect match for his offensive scheme in MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes and remains one of the most innovative play-callers in the game. In last year’s Super Bowl victory, Reid called a trick play that was inspired by a presnap shift used by Michigan in the 1948 Rose Bowl.

Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians, 68, is making his first Super Bowl appearance as a head coach after winning two titles as an assistant with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The NFL Coach of the Year with the Arizona Cardinals (2014) and Indianapolis Colts (2012) has helped revitalize legendary quarterback Tom Brady’s career with his “no risk it, no biscuit” passing attack, which led to the 43-year-old throwing the most deep touchdown passes in the league this season.

Who are the players to know on each team?

Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady: The G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All-Time) will be making his 10th Super Bowl appearance and is seeking his seventh title. The 43-year-old is in his first season in Tampa Bay after spending 20 years in New England with Patriots coach Bill Belichick and is still at the top of his game, throwing 40 touchdowns to just 12 interceptions in the regular season. He defeated the New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees and the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers, also considered among the best quarterbacks of all-time, to get here.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes: While Brady has cemented his status as the best ever, the 25-year-old Mahomes is building a strong case to be even better when it’s all said and done. The 2018 NFL Most Valuable Player lost to Brady and the Patriots in the AFC championship game two years ago but led Kansas City to a Super Bowl title last season and has the Chiefs on the cusp of becoming the first back-to-back champions since … Brady and the Patriots in 2003 and 2004.

Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski: Perhaps the best tight end of all-time, Gronkowksi was coaxed out of retirement by the Bucs this offseason once his old Patriots teammate Brady joined the team. He is no longer the dynamic receiving threat he once was, but he’s still a tremendous blocker and is one of Brady’s most trusted targets in the red zone and on crucial third downs.

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce: A strong candidate for Offensive Player of the Year, Kelce is a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. He recorded 1,416 receiving yards this season, the most by a tight end in NFL history, and his 11 touchdown catches tied for fifth most in the league.

Buccaneers wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin: Despite missing the playoffs for 13 straight seasons, the Bucs were an appealing destination for Brady because of their offensive weapons, including these Pro Bowl receivers. Evans is a ball-winner who thrives making contested catches down the field, while Godwin expertly works the short to intermediate areas from the slot.

Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill: Considered one of the fastest — if not the fastest — players in the league, Hill is a threat to score whenever he touches the ball. While not a traditional big-body receiver at just 5-feet-10, he can separate down the field and make defenders miss, recording 15 touchdown catches this season.

Buccaneers edge rushers Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaq Barrett: With the Chiefs missing both of their starting tackles because of injury, Tampa Bay’s outside rushers could have a big day. JPP and Barrett — once a “little chubby kid” from Baltimore — both dominated against the Packers, and while Mahomes is as good as any quarterback at scrambling to extend plays and avoid sacks, this edge rushing duo has the potential to wreck the game.

Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu: A valuable chess piece for the defense, Mathieu lines up at safety, slot corner and linebacker and will even rush the passer as a blitzer. The former LSU star was named an All-Pro for the second straight season after joining the Chiefs in 2019.

Buccaneers linebackers Devin White and Lavonte David: If the Bucs have any hope of slowing down Mahomes and the Chiefs’ star-studded offense, these two will have to be on the top of their game. White has running back speed and is only starting to reach his potential, while David has been one of the league’s best at the position for nearly a decade.

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Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones: The two-time Pro Bowl selection had a strong case to be named MVP of last season’s Super Bowl when he knocked down three passes and consistently got into the backfield to pressure San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. It’s why he was given a four-year, $80 million deal this past offseason.

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