Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs carved up the Buc’s defense like a hot knife through butter as they came to Tampa and left with a 41-31 victory over the Buccaneers.
In many ways, the game was not as close as the score indicated.
Rachaad White fumbled the opening kickoff giving Kansas City excellent field position at the Tampa 21-yard line.
Before fans had even arrived in their seats, Mahomes hit Travis Kelce for a 16-yard touchdown pass to give the Chiefs a 7-0 lead. A lead they would never give up for the rest of the night.
The Bucs have trailed in every game they have played so far this season, letting the opponent score first and digging themselves a huge hole to dig out of.
With first place on the line this next weekend against the Atlanta Falcons, there are three areas of concern for the Buccaneers.
Chiefs Defense Slows Down Bucs Running Game
The Running game seems to be regressing at an alarming rate. After gaining 127 yards against Dallas in the season opener, Leonard Fournette has run for 65 yards against New Orleans, 35 yards against Green Bay, and minus three yards against Kansas City.
The Bucs ran the ball for three yards as a team, the second lowest in franchise history.
Tom Brady is 45 years old and can’t put the ball up 52 times every game as he did against the Chiefs. If Fournette is not the guy, then give Raachaad White a chance. Ke’Shawn Vaughan has not played one snap this season.
Part of the problem is the play calling of Byron Leftwich has become too predictable. Running on first down all the time puts the offense in a huge hole.
We saw what happened last night when the offense decided to pass on first down. That drive ended five plays later with a touchdown pass to Mike Evans.
Chiefs Offense Has Their Way With Bucs Defense
The defense was embarrassed last night. The usually stout run defense gave up 189 yards to a Kansas City team that doesn’t have a marquee running back.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Isaiah Pacheco ran for 92 and 63 yards, respectively.
Andy Reid put on a clinic on how to attack the Buc’s defense, and the Tampa defense had no answers for what was coming their way.
Bucs Defense Can’t Get Off The Field On Third Down Against The Chiefs Offense
The Bucs have to do a better job of getting off the field on third down. The Chiefs were 12/17 on third down conversions and converted whenever and however they wanted to keep the chains moving.
The lack of fundamentals is glaring throughout the NFL, but what we witnessed last night was appalling from the Buc’s defense.
Mahomes made some plays after getting out of what should have been sacked. The Chiefs running game and YAC were all helped out by a lack of tackling by the Bucs secondary.
Whether it was Travis Kelce catching a pass, or Edwards-Helaire and Pacheco running the ball, the defense had trouble bringing the ball carrier to the ground.
Todd Bowles talked about the poor play in his post-game press conference.
Video: Bucs coach Todd Bowles said his team’s defense was poor in all aspects and that falls on him as head coach. pic.twitter.com/doxf8eDrAi — Greg Auman (@gregauman) October 3, 2022
With the Atlanta Falcons up next, who have the fourth-best rushing offense in the league up next, the Bucs need to figure out how to get their swagger back on defense.
There were two bright spots last night.
Tom Brady showed that he can still be one of the best in the game as he completed 39/52 passes for 385 yards and three touchdowns.
Brady playing with his full compliment of receivers for the first time since week one, connected with mike Evans for eight catches and two touchdown passes. Chris Godwin, back from a hamstring injury, had seven catches.
"We all got to get back to work and do a better job." 🗣: @TomBrady pic.twitter.com/7PIwwtj7Cz — Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) October 3, 2022
It will be a long week at One Buc place, as this team knows it did not come close to playing defense at the level they can.
With Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and Carolina on the schedule, there is no reason this team should not be 5-2 heading into the Baltimore game in late October.