Bettors experienced delays placing prop bets before kickoff.

Benjamin Hoffman headshot

Benjamin Hoffman Reporting from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

The noise of the cannons and fireworks in the stadium was intense, particularly in contrast with how quiet the crowd was at various points in the game thanks to its reduced size.

Feb. 7, 2021, 10:12 p.m. ET

Feb. 7, 2021, 10:12 p.m. ET

A nearly flawless Tom Brady claimed his record seventh Super Bowl title on Sunday, winning a duel with his young rival Patrick Mahomes and burnishing his legacy as the greatest quarterback in N.F.L. history by leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Brady’s Super Bowl title — coming at age 43 and in his first season with the Buccaneers — joins the six he won as a member of the New England Patriots (2002, 2003, 2005, 2015, 2017, 2018). He now has more wins himself than the Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers; those teams, with six, are the most decorated franchises in N.F.L. history.

He finished 21 of 29 for 209 yards and three touchdowns, including two to his former Patriots teammate Rob Gronkowski, who joined him in Tampa this season.

Tampa Bay, the first team to play a Super Bowl on its home field, became the first one to win on there, too. It is the Buccaneers’ second championship; the team won its first in 2002.

Mahomes, 25, a former league most valuable player and a Super Bowl champion last season, finished 26 of 49 for 270 yards, but he was intercepted twice and harried throughout the second half.

Brady, in 10 previous trips to the N.F.L.’s championship game, had never enjoyed an easy win in one until Sunday. All but one of his six previous wins saw both teams within one score of each other at the end.

The closest Brady ever came to a Super Bowl “blowout” was a 13-3 win by the Patriots over the Los Angeles Rams two years ago. And the last 3 points of that game came in the final minute and 16 seconds.

The second-largest margin of victory in a Brady win was a 6-point victory in overtime of Super Bowl 51 when James White scored a touchdown on a toss play.

Kevin Draper headshot

Kevin Draper

“One last indignity,” Jim Nantz proclaims, as Patrick Mahomes, seeking his first touchdown pass of the game, throws a contested dart into the end zone that is intercepted.

Benjamin Hoffman headshot

Benjamin Hoffman Reporting from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

Jovial Bucs fans have started serenading Patrick Mahomes with an off-key rendition of the song “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye.” Thanks to the small crowd, he might be able to hear them.

Kevin Draper headshot

Kevin Draper

Tampa Bay punts the ball away. The Chiefs will try to make this gap less embarrassing.

Tiffany Hsu headshot

Tiffany Hsu Covering the Super Bowl ads

Margaret Johnson, chief creative officer of the Goodby Silverstein agency, on first-time advertisers: “Robinhood and Vroom are assuming that we have enough money to invest and spend,” while Uber Eats and Indeed focused on buying local and finding jobs.

Feb. 7, 2021, 9:56 p.m. ET

Feb. 7, 2021, 9:56 p.m. ET

Oh wait, now the taunting is over, too.

Winfield breaks up a fourth-down pass intended for Hill, then pops up to taunt the receiver with his own celebration.

Flags fly but the play stands, and Tampa Bay takes possession with four minutes left.

Time to load the cannons on the pirate ship: This one’s over.

Feb. 7, 2021, 9:50 p.m. ET

Feb. 7, 2021, 9:50 p.m. ET

The Buccaneers’ defensive line is really after Mahomes now as the clock continues to roll. Jason Pierre-Paul was called for roughing the passer for a heavy hit after Mahomes got a throw off earlier in this drive, but Tampa Bay — knowing he has no choice but to drop back and pass — is just all over him on every play now.

After a brief delay, it’s Ndamukong Suh’s turn when a pass play takes too long to develop. Mahomes, trying to buy time, never sees him coming and gets flattened.

Benjamin Hoffman headshot

Benjamin Hoffman Reporting from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

While it had been reported that the crowd would be 22,000 people, there was just an announcement at the stadium that the official count is 24,835.

Benjamin Hoffman headshot

Benjamin Hoffman Reporting from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

There is a disruption caused by a shirtless fan running around on the field. It shouldn’t take long to get going, as he was tackled to the turf fairly efficiently by security personnel.

Tiffany Hsu headshot

Tiffany Hsu Covering the Super Bowl ads

Olivier François, chief marketing officer for Jeep’s parent company, on why he courted Bruce Springsteen for 10 years: “There is nothing authentic about a paid Hollywood celebrity who will tell the story we want them to tell. You have people who are notorious, and then you have legends.”

Kevin Draper headshot

Kevin Draper

Tampa Bay punts it away, but not before eating up five minutes of precious game clock. The Chiefs are going to need to score, and score very fast.

Feb. 7, 2021, 9:35 p.m. ET

Feb. 7, 2021, 9:35 p.m. ET

Expect a lot of Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette from now on, but this game — as advertised — turned on the quarterbacks.

Tom Brady is having another remarkable performance on the N.F.L.’s biggest stage, which is not surprising, but Patrick Mahomes has been poor, for lack of a better word, which is unexpected.

Brady has been almost flawless, completing 20 of 26 passes through the first three quarters, with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Mahomes was looking better on his most recent drive, but he is limping (turf toe) and has not led his team into the end zone.

Feb. 7, 2021, 9:32 p.m. ET

Feb. 7, 2021, 9:32 p.m. ET

Patrick Mahomes’s third-down heave fell incomplete. So did an even more impressive attempt on fourth-down.
Credit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

After the Chiefs call a timeout to draw up … something, fourth down doesn’t go much better than third down did.

Mahomes runs for his life to his right this time and, tripped as he throws, heaves a 30-yard pass while parallel to the ground that is deflected at the goal line.

Amazing throw. No reward. Buccaneers ball.

Kevin Draper headshot

Kevin Draper

That last drive was almost vintage Mahomes. On both third and fourth down he scrambled backwards before heaving the ball to the end zone under pressure. He found receivers both times, but they couldn’t haul the throws in.

Feb. 7, 2021, 9:29 p.m. ET

Feb. 7, 2021, 9:29 p.m. ET

Tom Brady entered the fourth quarter in complete control of the game.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

The Chiefs come out throwing in the fourth quarter and creep closer to the end zone. But after driving to the 11-yard line, a third-down play tells the story of their frustrating night: Mahomes winds up circling until he is chased back to the 30, and he ends up heaving a ball toward the end zone where it falls incomplete.

They will go for it on fourth down. They don’t have much of a choice.

Ken Belson headshot

Ken Belson

With under a minute left in the third quarter, Patrick Mahomes finally goes over 100 yards passing.

Kevin Draper headshot

Kevin Draper

Patrick Mahomes, who has been pressured all night long by the Buccaneers defensive line, appears to be limping.

Feb. 7, 2021, 9:21 p.m. ET

Feb. 7, 2021, 9:21 p.m. ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Ryan Succop celebrated after he scored a field goal in the third quarter.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Mr. Irrelevant holds a special place in the annals of N.F.L. esoterica. Every year since 1976, the last player in the draft is crowned with the title, which signifies they were good enough to be chosen but only on the bubble of the football purgatory known as free agency.

There have been 45 Super Bowls since Paul Salata, a former N.F.L. player, gave out the first Mr. Irrelevant award as a tongue-in-cheek celebration of perseverance and luck. But according to Salata’s daughter, Melanie Fitch, only two Mr. Irrelevants have played in the Super Bowl.

The first, Marty Moore, was a linebacker with the New England Patriots in the 1996 season, and lost the Super Bowl to the Green Bay Packers. The second Mr. Irrelevant, Ryan Succop, the kicker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, kicked an extra point on Sunday to become the first Mr. Irrelevant to score in the game. He has since added three more extra points and a 51-yard field goal.

“Finally, a relevant Super Bowl player,” Fitch said, tongue firmly in cheek. “We’ll be watching Succop. Everything else is irrelevant.”

Succop, 34, was drafted last in 2009 and played five seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, then seven more years with the Tennessee Titans. The Buccaneers signed him as a free agent in September and he had one of his best statistical years, making 90.3 percent of his field goals.

Despite his success in the league, Succop has embraced his role as Mr. Irrelevant. Two years ago, when the draft was in Nashville and he was with the Titans, Succop helped announce Caleb Wilson, a tight end chosen last. Now, he has raised the bar for his fellow Mr. Irrelevants.

Benjamin Hoffman headshot

Benjamin Hoffman Reporting from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

Kansas City had the No. 10 scoring defense in the N.F.L. this season, but they were constantly playing with fire by allowing a lot of yardage. Tampa Bay is repeatedly capitalizing where other teams couldn’t.

Feb. 7, 2021, 9:15 p.m. ET

Feb. 7, 2021, 9:15 p.m. ET

Brady just misses a touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone — his first miss after nine straight completions — and then chases down an errant snap for a big loss. But Succop bails out Tampa Bay by coming on and sneaking a 52-yard field-goal attempt over the crossbar.

The Buccaneers get points but not a knockout punch. Still, the former isn’t bad.

2:46 | 3rd Quarter

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay leads 31-9 after a 52-yard field goal.

The Buccaneers continue to find ways to score, getting three points even on a drive that stalled.

Feb. 7, 2021, 9:10 p.m. ET

Feb. 7, 2021, 9:10 p.m. ET

The Kansas City Chiefs, trailing 28-9 in the middle of the third quarter, look like they have a big hill to climb.

But let’s not forget that Tom Brady and New England Patriots were trailing the Atlanta Falcons, 28-3, in the third quarter of the Super Bowl four years ago.

And 19 points is the second biggest deficit Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has faced in the playoffs. His largest — 24 points — was in the playoffs last year, and he led the Chiefs back to a victory over the Houston Texans.

Feb. 7, 2021, 9:10 p.m. ET

Feb. 7, 2021, 9:10 p.m. ET

Tampa Bay is winning this game at the line of scrimmage, and it is happening on both sides of the ball. It was no secret that with a big lead in the second half, the Buccaneers would lean heavily on Fournette to burn time off the clock and wear down the Chiefs. Kansas City had to know it was coming, and still Fournette was able to rip off a 27-yard run for a touchdown.

Feb. 7, 2021, 9:07 p.m. ET

Feb. 7, 2021, 9:07 p.m. ET

Antoine Winfield Jr. after intercepting a pass meant for Tyreek Hill in the third quarter.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Hoo boy. Mahomes is sacked on the Chiefs’ second play after the touchdown and then throws deep for Hill — only to have the ball tipped right into the waiting arms of Buccaneers defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. at the Chiefs 45. (Mahomes is now 0 for 7 on third down.)

Brady can go for the kill from here.

Benjamin Hoffman headshot

Benjamin Hoffman Reporting from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

Tampa Bay is now two points short of being the first N.F.L. team to score 30 or more points in four playoff games in a single season.

Feb. 7, 2021, 9:01 p.m. ET

Feb. 7, 2021, 9:01 p.m. ET

Credit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Well that was fast. The Bucs answer the field goal by going 74 yards in six plays — one of them a devastatingly easy Brady-to-Gronkowski completion right down the middle — and Leonard Fournette finishes it off with a 27-yard touchdown jaunt around right end.

Touchdown.

Just. Like. That.

7:45 | 3rd Quarter

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers pile on with a rushing TD, lead 28-9.

The 27-yard touchdown run by Leonard Fournette officially has the Chiefs on their heels.

Feb. 7, 2021, 8:57 p.m. ET

Feb. 7, 2021, 8:57 p.m. ET

The Weeknd began his halftime show in the stands, before taking the field with rows of dancers whose faces were hidden by bandages.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

When the Weeknd put out his first mixtape “House of Balloons” in 2011, his identity was largely shrouded in mystery. On Sunday, he took one of the biggest stages in pop, the halftime show at the Super Bowl.

The Weeknd, the 30-year-old Toronto singer and songwriter Abel Tesfaye, began his set in the stands, emerging in front of rows of lights to perform “Starboy” and “The Hills” with a choir, then he relocated into a hallway of lights and mirrors for “Can’t Feel My Face” as dancers with bandaged faces swarmed him. With fireworks lighting up the sky, he returned to the open air for “I Feel It Coming,” a large moon rising over the cityscape projected behind him.

While a musician in a glittery mask strummed a guitar, the Weeknd turned toward the more optimistic “Save Your Tears” and “Earned It,” accompanied by strings and ending on a long, triumphant note. An army of performers outfitted like the Weeknd dance-marched down the field and the singer energetically sprinted beside them to herald his grand finale: his recent hit “Blinding Lights,” an ecstatic, driving disco-pop song.

The Weeknd has released four albums since 2013, including his breakthrough, “Beauty Behind the Madness” in 2015. While promoting his latest LP, “After Hours,” he has dressed in a black shirt and red jacket and sported an increasingly banged-up and bandaged face while spinning a narrative in appearances at the MTV Video Music Awards and the American Music Awards, as well as late-night shows and in music videos. (He has said the character he’s portraying “is having a really bad night,” and in music videos the plot involves possibly being overtaken by an evil spirit and committing murder.)

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times
Credit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

The Weeknd’s halftime show faced a unique set of challenges because of the pandemic. About 1,050 people worked on the show, a much smaller group than most years, and preparations included frequent virus testing and social distancing in production trailers. This is the second Super Bowl halftime show produced in part by Jay-Z and Roc Nation: Last year, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira performed sets heavy on dancing and Latin pride for fans jammed elbow to elbow on the field — a scenario that was impossible in 2021.

Tiffany Hsu headshot

Tiffany Hsu Covering the Super Bowl ads

After a year that has bent us all out of shape, commercials are full of contorted celebrities. Doritos flattened Matthew McConaughey, Tide turned Jason Alexander into a face on a dirty hoodie, and Samuel L. Jackson became a virtual video game character for Verizon.

Feb. 7, 2021, 8:54 p.m. ET

Feb. 7, 2021, 8:54 p.m. ET

Just as fast as the offense raced upfield, the Chiefs’ drive stalls out. Butker, though, is there again: He kicks a 52-yard field goal, his third of the game. Is 3 points enough to get the Chiefs’ swagger back? It may depend on whether their defense can get a stop or two here.

11:26 | 3rd Quarter

Kansas City Chiefs

A 52-yard field goal narrows the Chiefs’ gap to 21-9.

Kansas City started the drive with a 26-yard run, but stalled out yet again.

Feb. 7, 2021, 8:49 p.m. ET

Feb. 7, 2021, 8:49 p.m. ET

Kansas City receives the second-half kickoff and goes to work from its 19.

Are they ready? Their first three plays are a 26-yard run by Clyde Edwards-Helaire, an 8-yard Mahomes-to-Kelce connection and a 10-yard run by Edwards-Helaire.

Just like that, they’re in Tampa Bay territory.

Feb. 7, 2021, 6:59 p.m. ET

Feb. 7, 2021, 6:59 p.m. ET

Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan’s national anthem performance exceeded the time bookmakers set for the over/under. The Super Bowl anthem performance is one of the most popular prop bets.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

The first ever national anthem duet at the Super Bowl lasted approximately 2 minutes 22 seconds, well over the amount of time casinos had set for the over/under for it.

The length of the song’s performance is one of the most popular prop bets for any Super Bowl, as is the winner of the coin toss (the Chiefs won). Fans described delays placing their bets ahead of kickoff, with two of the biggest online sports betting sites, DraftKings and FanDuel, experiencing tech problems.

The anthem performance was the subject of some scandal this weekend. On Friday, a reporter stationed across the street from the stadium — near the Yankees’ spring training site — recorded a rehearsal of the tune, sung by Jazmine Sullivan and Eric Church. After word of the recording got out, betting sites that had been taking action on the length of the performance stopped. That version was taped at 2:16, so the live version was even more plodding and slow. But it sounded nice.

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