The Tampa Bay Bucs, coming off a heartbreaking loss on Monday Night Football, must now face defending Super Bowl champs, the Kansas City Chiefs, this Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.
The Bucs do not have a chance in this one. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs are 9-1 for a very good reason. Mahomes is the best player in the NFL, and he will certainly play like it in a big-time game that a lot of the country will be watching. Because he's unlike TB12 these days, Mahomes seems to be showing up this year in important games.
The Bucs’ secondary has been suspect all year, and Mahomes is going to be like a kid walking through the candy store. Tyreek Hill? Travis Kelce? Le’Veon Bell? They’ll all be open. Just take your pick, Patrick.
Sure, Tampa Bay will be able to limit the Chiefs’ running game with the Bucs' elite rushing defense, but it won’t matter or faze the Chiefs. The Chiefs are in the bottom half of the league in rushing yards per game, and they likely won’t even break 50 in Tampa, but again, it is unimportant. Mahomes is dynamite, their offensive line is solid (not that it really matters; Mahomes seems to Houdini his way out of tough pass rushes twice a week).
And no, the Bucs don't have the best receivers in the NFL; the Chiefs do (on paper the Bucs have the elite receiving corps, but they are still claiming to be “working through kinks” in Week 11 and no longer qualify).
The Chiefs can put out Sammy Watkins, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and Le'Veon Bell or Clyde Edwards-Helaire all at once. That’s ridiculous. The Bucs defense is absolutely in trouble.
Offensively the Bucs might be able to keep things interesting for a little bit, but boy did Brady look awful last week. He looked rushed, he looked uncomfortable, and most of all, he was incredibly inaccurate. He’s going to have to turn things around, otherwise it’ll be game-over by halftime.
All things point to a Bucs loss. They are simply not there yet. All of the preseason hype and excitement might have been for nothing. What was seen as an offseason of great moves and lucky breaks has turned into a regular season of more average football, with flashes of promise.
My guess? 42-21, Chiefs. Mahomes throws for 400-plus yards and 4 or more TDs. TB12, for his part, throws a pair of interceptions. Chris Jones, star defensive lineman for the Chiefs, records a pair of sacks and the Chiefs come out of Tampa with a 10-1 record.
In the Bucs’ defense, the Chiefs really are the best team in the NFL (the Steelers could be considered a very close second). A lot of teams will lose to the Chiefs (that one loss to the Raiders might end up being their only one). The Bucs are not alone. But they certainly need to beat the Vikings and Falcons to end out the year, otherwise their playoff hopes will be gone.
I miss Jameis.
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