TAMPA, Fla. – The Bucs weren’t in this one from the first play. Rookie Rachaad White fumbled on the opening kickoff. Chiefs Patrick Mahomes hit Travis Kelce 2 plays later for the first score and it was a sign of things to come.
“I believed I had the ball,” White said. “It was just tough. Things like that are a part of football. I’ve got a great group of leaders on the sideline that just tell me like, keep going. My mindset is the next play.”
Mahomes and the Chiefs offense had their way with the Bucs defense. In the 2nd quarter, Mahomes found Clyde Edwards-Helaire with a two-yard touchdown heave after avoiding the Bucs rush and spinning completely around. The Chiefs went up 21-3 but Kansas City’s trickery didn’t end there.
Late in the first half, Mahomes confused the Bucs defense. From the 1-yard line and in the shotgun, Mahomes pointed like he was going to throw it to a receiver while tight end Noah Gray took a direct snap and got into the end zone for a 1-yard score.
“We didn’t play well and they (Chiefs) did a good job and kicked our butts all over the field.” Bucs head coach Todd Bowles said. “Our red zone defense was poor. Our run defense was poor. Our pass defense was poor. Our 3rd down efficiency was poor. We played a poor game and that falls on me. I’ll take that.”
The Bucs were not able to run the ball early and combined with being down were forced to throw it. Even with Tom Brady having his full arsenal of weapons it wasn’t enough as the Bucs fell to 2-2 in a 41-31 loss.
“We didn’t play great on offense,” Bucs QB Tom Brady said.”We didn’t do great in the first half. Too many missed opportunities on 3rd down. Turnovers, it was a tough game. They’re a good team but we’ve got to play a lot better.”
Bowles says this loss was about the Bucs defense or lack thereof.
Mahomes threw for 249 yards and three touchdown passes against a Bucs defense that came into this game allowing an NFL-low 9.0 points per game.
Brady and company did show signs of coming to life scoring TD’s in all four of their red zone opportunities after the first quarter but Brady credits the Chiefs for playing better in all phases.
“It’s a team sport,” Brady said. “We’ve got to play a lot better if we want to beat good teams. it hasn’t been our best yet this year but it will be good to see what it looks like when we do play our best.”
The Bucs (2-2) host the Atlanta Falcons (2-2) in an NFL showdown Sunday at 1 pm. The Falcons beat the Browns 23-20 behind a strong rushing attack.