Story by Evan Oscherwitz
Super Bowl LV in Tampa is less than a week away, and football fans across the globe are clamoring to see Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers face off against Patrick Mahomes’ Kansas City Chiefs for a chance at the sport’s greatest prize.
While the starting quarterbacks attract the bulk of the attention leading up to the game, lesser-known players have decided the outcome of many past Super Bowls.
Sirius XM NFL Radio host and Pro Football Focus TV analyst Solomon Wilcots appeared on The Brad Cesmat Show to highlight three unheralded players who could make a big difference on the game’s biggest stage.
Mike Remmers (Chiefs)
The Chiefs have dealt with injuries to their offensive line all season long, and that trend continued when starting left tackle Eric Fisher suffered a torn Achilles’ tendon in the AFC Championship game.
Starting in Fisher’s place is nine-year veteran Mike Remmers, who previously filled in at right tackle after Mitchell Schwartz went down with a season-ending back injury in week seven.
Remmers will serve as Patrick Mahomes’ main line of defense against a Buccaneers defensive front that sacked Aaron Rodgers five times in the NFC Championship game, and his performance in the Super Bowl could be the difference in securing a Chiefs victory.
While Remmers has played for nine different teams over the course of his career and entered the season as a backup, he does have previous Super Bowl experience.
Remmers started at right tackle for the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 and allowed two key sack-fumbles in that game, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Despite his past struggles, Wilcots said he expects Remmers to hold his own against Tampa Bay.
Mike Remmers is hilarious. I love it pic.twitter.com/UuPcD4a3nU
— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) November 23, 2020
“[The Chiefs] are going to want to throw the football,” Wilcots said. “This defensive front for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is formidable, they can get after the quarterback. This is one area that you’ve got to pay attention to, but I wouldn’t say that I’m overly concerned about the Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive line.”
Carlton Davis III (Buccaneers)
Much like Remmers, Buccaneers corner Carlton Davis III is a player looking to redeem himself in Super Bowl LV. When the Buccaneers and Chiefs met in week 12 of the regular season, Tyreek Hill had a field day against Davis, logging 263 receiving yards and three touchdowns in a 27-24 Kansas City win.
Davis has fared much better in the playoffs, though he did allow a 50-yard touchdown to Packers receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling in the NFC championship game.
The third-year man out of Auburn will be heavily counted on to neutralize Hill in the Super Bowl, and the Buccaneers will have a much better chance of winning if he is able to do so.
Davis is most vulnerable in one-on-one matchups, so it is likely that Tampa Bay will provide him with safety help over the top on most passing plays to counter Hill’s blazing speed.
Shaq Barrett forces an errant throw and Carlton Davis comes down with the INT! #GoBucs
— NFL (@NFL) November 3, 2020
“If [the Buccaneers] go back with that type of coverage, man-to-man, Carlton David on Tyreek Hill, you’ll hear his name a lot,” Wilcots said. “They’re going to have to come up with a whole new defense, a whole new design for them to have any shot at stopping Tyreek Hill.”
Scotty Miller (Buccaneers)
It is no secret that Tampa Bay will need to score early and often in order to keep up with Kansas City’s high-octane passing attack. While the Buccaneers boast a star-studded group of receivers that includes Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, diminutive slot receiver Scotty Miller may hold the keys to victory for Tampa Bay.
Miller, a second-year player from Bowling Green, has developed great chemistry with Tom Brady and gives the Buccaneers a secret weapon of sorts.
Miller’s 39-yard touchdown reception just before halftime of the NFC Championship was arguably the most important play of that game, and Tampa Bay will look to get him involved again against a Kansas City defense that has had its issues covering slot receivers.
Tom Brady’s slot receivers have had success in past Super Bowls, and it is entirely possible that Miller could be in for a signature performance in this year’s edition.
? Tom Brady ▶ Scotty Miller ▶ Touchdown ?
What a game for the Bucs so far!pic.twitter.com/oyPZWqjPWK#NFLTwitter #ChiefsKingdom #GoPackGo #BillsMafia #GoBucs #TBvsGB #BUFvsKC #GoBills #Packers #Chiefs #NFL #AFC #NFC #SuperBowlLIV #SuperBowl2021 #SuperBowl
— GamblerSaloon (@GamblerSaloon) January 24, 2021
“The guy is a vertical threat,” Wilcots said. “He is a formidable weapon that Tom Brady feels very comfortable getting the ball to, and I’m not so sure the Chiefs have a defender that can run with Scotty Miller.”
While this year’s Super Bowl is being billed as a matchup between two of the league’s biggest names, both teams are evenly matched and boast a litany of effective depth players who have the potential to change a game.
It is often these types of players that end up making their mark in football’s biggest showcase, and one of the players on this list could be the next one to make the leap from relative obscurity to football immortality.