How to Fake Your Way Through Any Super Bowl Scenario

It's almost time for the 2021 Super Bowl. Get ready for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' face-off against the Kansas City Chiefs by reviewing our playbook. See how to watch the game, when it starts and more.

By Elyse Dupre Feb 03, 2021 2:00 PMTags
Super Bowl LVAlex Alonzo/E! Illustration/Getty Images

It's almost time for Super Bowl LV

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face off against the Kansas City Chiefs at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. on Sunday, Feb. 7.

Now, everyone watches the Big Game for different reasons. Some tune in for the football; some partake for the delicious snacks and some watch for the Halftime Show and commercials. Whatever your motive is this year, it's important to be prepared for this weekend and to have a good game plan. Just like the players, you'll want to be able to handle any Super Bowl scenario thrown your way. But don't worry! E! News is here to help you tackle them all.

So, check out the guide below to get game-day ready. Whether you're a total pro who just wants to brush up on the basics or a bit of a rookie who needs a few talking points for this weekend, there's something for everyone in this playbook.

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When is the game?

It all goes down Sunday, Feb. 7 at 6:30 p.m. ET.

How can I watch the game?

Fans can catch all of the action on CBS and ESPN Deportes. Viewers can also stream the game via the NFL app, the CBS Sports app, the Yahoo Sports app, CBS.com or ESPNDeportes.ESPN.com.

Who is playing?

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are playing against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Buccaneers are part of the NFL's National Football Conference while the Chiefs are part of the American Football Conference. Think of these conferences as Marvel and DC. Each has a series of franchises that belong to the same universe. Only here, the best of those two universes face off.

Watch: The Weeknd to Perform at 2021 Super Bowl Halftime Show

How do you win?

Like in many sports, the goal is to score points. Teams do this by moving the ball down the 100-yard field into the opponent's end zone for a touchdown. To move the ball, the offense conducts a series of plays (or downs). It has four chances (or four downs) to move the ball at least 10 yards. This can be achieved through rushes (running with the ball) or passes.

If the offense manages to move the ball at least 10 yards, it gets to keep the ball and attempt to move it at least another 10 yards. This continues until the offense makes it all the way into the end zone for a touchdown. Once the offense scores a touchdown, it gets six points. The offense then has the opportunity to kick the ball through the uprights of a goalpost for an additional point. It can also attempt a two-point conversion for two points.

However, it's the job of the opposing team's defense to prevent the offense from advancing down the field. If the defense stops the offense from moving the 10 yards needed to achieve a down, the offense loses possession of the ball. The offense then has to punt the ball to the other team. Or, if the offense is close enough to the end zone, it can attempt to kick a field goal for three points. The team with the most points after four quarters wins the game.

Here's a handy little video:

What's at stake?

It's not just about the sweet ring and the giant Vince Lombardi trophy. There are also bragging rights. The Kansas City Chiefs, who were last year's champs, are looking for back-to-back Super Bowl wins—a feat only seven NFL franchises have achieved so far. If they succeed, they'll be the first team since the New England Patriots' 2004 and 2005 wins to do so.

Speaking of the Patriots, Tom Brady, who left the organization in 2020 to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is looking for his first Super Bowl victory with his new team. This will be the Buccaneers' first trip to the Super Bowl in almost two decades. The last time they made it to the Big Game was in 2003, when they beat the Oakland Raiders (now the Las Vegas Raiders).

Who are the main players?

Each team has 11 players on the field and 48 players on its game day roster. So, keeping track of all the athletes can be even more difficult than trying to remember every character on Game of Thrones. 

Let's start with Kansas City's quarterback Patrick Mahomes. According to NFL Research, last year's victory made him one of the few quarterbacks, along with Brady and Ben Roethlisberger, to win a Super Bowl before the age of 25. In fact, Mahomes, now 25, will be the youngest starting quarterback to win multiple Super Bowls if he pulls out another victory.

Of course, this comes as no surprise to his fans. After all, he's been on a hot streak ever since he joined the Kansas City Chiefs in 2017. Not only has he secured both NFL and Super Bowl MVP titles during this time, but according to NFL Research, he's also joined Brady, Russell Wilson and Kurt Warner as the only quarterbacks to reach the Super Bowl twice in their first four NFL seasons. 

Another name to know? Travis Kelce. According to NFL Research, he broke the single-season receiving yards record by a tight end in December, a record previously held by George Kittle. And earlier this year, the research department noted he set the record for most receptions in a conference championship game in the Super Bowl era, a record previously set by Michael Irvin. Also, keep an eye out for Tyrann Mathieu—the safety has already secured six interceptions this season.

As for the Buccaneers, their quarterback is Brady. Over the course of his career, he's won Super Bowl MVP four times; NFL MVP three times and played in 10 Super Bowls (including this upcoming game). He's shattered numerous records. And if he wins Super Bowl LV, he'll break at least one more. According to NFL Research, he'd become the first NFL/MLB/NBA/NHL athlete to win titles for two different teams after turning 40.

Viewers may also want to name-drop Mike Evans. According to NFL Research, the wide receiver is the first player to surpass more than 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first seven NFL seasons. There's also Rob Gronkowski, a tight end who played for the Patriots along with Brady before coming over to the Buccaneers and has the potential to break the record with the quarterback for most postseason touchdown connections.

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Who's performing during the Halftime Show?

The Weeknd will rock out during the Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show. Jazmine Sullivan and Eric Church will also sing the national anthem, and H.E.R. will sing "America the Beautiful." In addition, Amanda Gorman will recite an original poem.

(This story was originally published Jan. 28, 2020 at 6:00 a.m. PT).

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