Remarkable is the word of the day in Tampa Bay. There were a lot of remarkable things that happened in today’s game. Unfortunately, a remarkable comeback was not one of them as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fell 27-24 to the Kansas City Chiefs. The fact that it was even a game was pretty unreal. In reality, the outcome was hardly in doubt for most of this game. The Chiefs were the far better team and just couldn’t capitalize on opportunities to put the game out of reach. Tampa Bay has now dropped 2 straight and 3 out of 4.
Mahomes puts on a clinic
Patrick Mahomes was everything he has been advertised to be in this game. He threw the deep ball with incredible accuracy, was able to extend plays with a legs, and besides a sack fumble, didn’t turn the ball over. Mahomes threw for 359 yards in the first half! Yes you read that right, the first half. Him and his best target Tyreek Hill trolled Carlton Davis all night long. Hill caught two TDs and 203 receiving yards in the first quarter. That is the most in a single quarter since Detroit’s Lee smith in 2006 (205). It was truly remarkable, just unfortunate it came against the Bucs. Despite running over the defense in the first half, the Chiefs left a lot on the table. They made three trips to the redzone with no touchdowns. One can only wonder how bad the score would’ve been had they been able to convert.
The Bucs offense just the opposite
Once again, Tampa Bay got off to a slow start offensively, and that’s being nice. They did not cross the 5o yard-line until 3/4 of the way through the first half. They had three straight punts and numerous three and outs. The run game was nonexistent with just 14 yards in the first half against one of the worst rush defense in the league. The offense line was terrible and Tom Brady had someone in his face for most of the night. Ronald Jones had 9 carries in the entire game. One score in the half could’ve changed the entire game. However, for the majority of the first half, the offense was as inept as it had been all year.
Defense gave the Bucs a chance
Despite getting destroyed early on by Mahomes and Hill, the Bucs’ defense actually did an ok job. Like the offense they were slow to start. However they came around sooner than the offense did. In fact, Jason Pierre-Paul was a huge part in getting Tampa’s fortunes turned around. Paul was able to get around the outside and strip the ball out of Mahomes hands to be picked up by William Ghoulston. On the ensuing drive Tampa went on an 86-yard drive finished off with a Ronald Jones TD reception to make it 17-7. The Chiefs went driving late in half but were held to a FG.
In the second half, the defense forced two straight three-and-outs and multiple punts. Kansas City bailed them out a few times with penalties, but they only allowed 7 points in the second half. They were also able to get more consistent pressure on Mahomes. Overall, they held the Chiefs under their 33 points a game average, giving the Buccaneers a solid chance to win. Unfortunately the offense was too late to the party.
For as bad as the offense looked in the first half, they were much better in the second half, especially the fourth quarter. For the first time in weeks, there was multiple deep passes completed. Jones had multiple first down runs and ended the game with 7.3 yards-per-carry. Mike Evans would catch 2 touchdown passes and finish with 3 receptions for 50 yards. Chris Godwin and Rob Gronkowski led the way receiving with 97 and 106 yards respectively. Despite this though, two more Brady interceptions turned out to seal Tampa’s fate and the comeback would fall just short. Brady threw for 228 yards and 2 TDs in the second half for a total of 345 and 3. Although Brady was average at best for most of the game, he doesn’t deserve all the blame.
Tampa Bay limps into their bye week on a losing streak and towards the bottom of the wild card standings. Luckily for them, Los Angeles and Arizona both lost on last second field goals. Seattle plays tomorrow against Philadelphia. They also do not hold the tie-breaker should the Rams fall out of the division lead. However, the toughest part of the schedule is now behind them. All remaining opponents have losing records. Hopefully Bruce Arians, Brady and the Bucs can use the bye-week to make some major improvements in their game. This is a very talented football team that just has some kinks to work out.
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