The real MVP of Super Bowl LV: Todd Bowles


I feel bad, getting so far down in the story without paying tribute to, arguably, the man of the evening. But when a 43-year-old quarterback wins his seventh Super Bowl and his fifth Super Bowl MVP, well, Todd Bowles will just have to accept my apology.

Bowles’ defensive game plan was smart, surprising and magnificent. It was the game plan of Bowles’ life, in the last game of his eighth season as coordinator or head coach. After getting taken to the woodshed by the speed and tenacity and the KC offense in Week 12 and by the never-ending will and skill of Mahomes, Bowles adjusted in four ways:

• Went totally away from the blitz and blitz concepts, sending an extra rusher on only about five snaps. “If you blitz, he’ll find a receiver short or intermediate, and often times that guy can run past you,” Bowles said. He did create some looks on third downs, or long passing downs, that appeared to be Tampa bringing pressure, but when the ball was snapped, the Bucs dropped the pressure-lure guy back in coverage.

• Trusted the line, particularly with KC’s very shaky backup tackles, to hem in Mahomes. The Buc defensive front had three sacks and Shaq Barrett missed two more because an acrobatic Mahomes twice got rid of the ball two millimeters from hitting the earth in Barrett’s grasp.

• Didn’t care if Mahomes ran all day, knowing he probably didn’t want to. Though Mahomes made some plays on the run (33 yards), none of his scampers were damaging.

• Made sure his DBs continually changed up looks on Tyreek Hill. “He had designs on him everywhere he was,” Bowles said.

There’s a fifth thing.

“My guys were pissed off,” Bowles told me an hour after the game.

“The biggest thing they do is read and they got TV all the time. Nobody picked us and gave us a chance to win. They were really pissed off about that. Combine that with the things we missed the first game against them, they really wanted to prove something tonight on the biggest stage against the best team. They played Drew Brees with [Michael] Thomas and [Alvin] Kamara. They played Aaron Rodgers with [Aaron] Jones and [Davante] Adams. Now they faced Mahomes with Kelce and Tyreek. You know, we earned it. We beat three of the best, the top five in the league.”

Said linebacker Devin White: “It was crazy to us that we were still underdogs. We defeated Drew Brees, we defeated Aaron Rodgers and then, like, he was the MVP and we still was underdogs. We were just out there like finish them, finish them, finish them. We didn’t want them to score.”

A few interesting points on defense: Could this be the last game for Ndamukong Suh, 34? If so, he went out strong, with 1.5 sacks and controlling the middle of the offensive line like he’d done so often in his 11-year career . . . Will the young and soon-to-be-rich Shaq Barrett (the NFL sack champ last year and playoff pass-rush star this year) leave in free agency or be franchised or sign long-term with the Bucs? . . . The inside-linebacker duo of White and Lavonte David finished the season playing on the highest level they could play . . . It’s amazing that all six of their young DBs were drafted in the last three years. “[GM] Jason Licht deserves so much credit for this team, and he’d better get some,” Arians said. “What a team he’s built.” Licht has come a very long way from Roberto Aguayo, and the Bucs, by being patient with Licht, now have an excellent GM and staff in-house to build.

Bowles is what keeps the D together. What a performance by his group (even with the KC line in tatters) in holding Reid/Mahomes without a touchdown. Who does that? Tampa’s fortunate that the stupid hiring practices of the NFL, with 20 consecutive head coaches having been hired without waiting for the outcome of the Super Bowl, mean Bowles’ superb job Sunday night will get him zero looks for a head-coaching gig for at least the next 11 months.

So the Bucs win the Super Bowl with the oldest quarterback ever to win one, and the oldest coach ever (68) to win one. “I ain’t that old, dude!” Arians said as we wound up our talk. “That pisses me off! I feel great. I sure as hell am back next year.”

As for Brady, well, he’s sure as hell back next year too. And who knows how many years after that? Did you notice Peyton Manning, five years after playing his last football game, was on the field in the first half Sunday night, being introduced in the Class of 2021 for the Pro Football Hall of Fame? Manning and Brady were once the two best passers the league had to offer, and the best rivals in the game. Forty-one seconds before Manning waved to the crowd, Brady threw a TD pass. Nine minutes after Manning waved to the crowd, Brady threw another one.

Risky business putting an expiration date on Tom Brady.

Read more from Peter King’s Football Morning in America column here.

NFL quarterback rankings 2023: Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of upcoming NFL season


While the NFL is a league that is ever-changing, some things are set to stay the same in 2023 — like the revealing of Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown.

Last year’s list saw Josh Allen take his place atop the quarterback throne, with Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Los Angeles’ Justin Herbert not far behind at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. It was, however, Mahomes who would ultimately reign over all NFL quarterbacks at the end of the season, as the 27-year-old collected both the NFL MVP honors and his second Lombardi Trophy.

This NFL offseason, however, has brought some intriguing adjustments that are likely to shake up Simms’ rankings.

While some signal-callers such as Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson found their prolonged home with massive contract signings, others will be venturing to a new franchise in search of a fresh start. Aaron Rodgers‘ trade to the New York Jets is unquestionably the most staggering shift, but other quarterbacks on the move such as Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo cannot be forgotten.

RELATED: Mike Florio gives an inside look into the Lamar Jackson deal

And with three of the first four picks in the 2023 NFL Draft being spent on a quarterback, emerging talent will likely turn the tides for some franchises this upcoming season.

See below for Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of the upcoming season. Be sure to subscribe to Chris Simms Unbuttoned for more on the 2023 NFL season as well as an unfiltered look at the NFL featuring player access, unabashed opinion, X&O film breakdown and stories from a life in and around football.

RELATED: Peter King’s latest offseason NFL power rankings

Chris Simms’ 2023 Top 40 QB Countdown:

40. Desmond Ridder (ATL)

39. Sam Howell (WAS)

38. Bryce Young (CAR)

37. CJ Stroud (HOU)

36. Anthony Richardson (IND)

35. Mike White (MIA)

34. Gardner Minshew (IND)

33. Taylor Heinicke (ATL)

32. Jarrett Stidham (DEN)

31. Jordan Love (GB)

30. Davis Mills (HOU)

29. Tyler Huntley (BAL)

28. Andy Dalton (CAR)

27. Sam Darnold (SF)

26. Brock Purdy (SF)

25. Kenny Pickett (PIT)

24. Baker Mayfield (TB)

23. Justin Fields (CHI)

22. Jimmy Garoppolo (LV)

21. Tua Tagovailoa (MIA)

20. Mac Jones (NE)

2023 NFL Schedule Release: Start time, how to watch, live stream, channel


With another exciting NFL Draft in the books, teams can now turn their gaze toward the road to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas. The path to Super Bowl glory, however, is about to become abundantly more clear with the 2023 NFL season schedule release.

This year’s NFL season schedule release is nearly here, with the entirety of the 2023 NFL schedule being unveiled on Thursday, May 11 at 8 p.m. ET on both Peacock and NFL Network. See below for everything you need to know for one of the offseason’s most anticipated events.

RELATED: Click here for full analysis on Rounds 1-7 of the 2023 NFL Draft

When will the 2023 NFL season schedule be released?

While all 272 matchups have been known since the conclusion of the 2022 regular season, the order and dates for these games have remained a mystery. The secret is nearly out, however, with every NFL game on the brink of revelation.

The full 2023 NFL schedule will be released on Thursday, May 11 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

How can I watch the 2023 NFL season schedule release?

The 2023 NFL season schedule release will take place Thursday, May 11 on Peacock, NFL Network, and the NFL app at 8 p.m. ET.

While the entirety of the schedule will be unveiled at that time, select games have already been and will continue to be released prior to the official event. Ahead of the 2023 NFL season schedule release, the following games will be announced:

Who will play in the 2023 NFL Kickoff game?

The first game of the 2023-24 NFL season will see the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs take the field in Arrowhead Stadium.

The opponent that will meet Patrick Mahomes and company in Kansas City, however, remains to be revealed.

Which NFL teams have international games in 2023?

While the majority of the matchups set to take place next season have yet to be announced, the league has already revealed which teams will head overseas for international showdowns.

Below is the full list of international NFL games for the 2023-24 season, with three in London, U.K., and two in Frankfurt, Germany.

Falcons vs. Jaguars: Week 4, Oct. 1 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Wembley Stadium in London, U.K.

Jaguars vs. Bills: Week 5, Oct. 8 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Ravens vs. Titans: Week 6, Oct. 15 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Dolphins vs. Chiefs: Week 9, Nov. 5 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

Colts vs. Patriots: Week 10, Nov. 12 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

RELATED: NFL’s 2023 international games full of “star power”

When is the Super Bowl and where will it be taking place?

Stars will be shining bright in Las Vegas, Nevada, for Super Bowl LVIII, set to take place on Feb. 11, 2024, at the home of the Raiders in Allegiant Stadium.

This will be the first Super Bowl to ever take place in Las Vegas, which hosted the 2023 Pro Bowl and 2022 NFL Draft.

Be sure to follow ProFootballTalk for the latest news, updates, and storylines about the upcoming NFL season!