The Buccaneers came up short for the second week in a row, falling to the Kansas City Chiefs 27-24. The Bucs lost their second consecutive game for the first time this season and will go unto their bye week with a 7-5 record.
The Chiefs jumped out to a quick 17-0 lead as Patric Mahomes and receiver Tyreek Hill wreaked havoc on the Buccaneer secondary.
Hill had 203 yards receiving in the first quarter and finished the game with 269 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
The Bucs had no answer for Tyreek Hill. Carlton Davis made a valiant effort to cover Hill, but Hill’s speed was too much as he continually got behind Davis.
Bruce Arians said the plan was to have Davis cover Hill with some safety help when they could. “Davis had him man-to-man. We tried to get a safety to him if we could. You’ve got Travis Kelce on the other side, too, so there’s a lot of weapons. When we did play man-to-man, Patrick found him, and they made some outstanding plays.”
It was another slow start for the Buccaneers, which had shades of the game against the New Orleans Saints written all over it.
The Bucs were down 17-0 after one quarter.
The Bucs started to pressure Mahomes in the second quarter, which helped stop the Chief’s momentum.
It was 20-7 Chiefs at the half.
Linebacker Shaq Barrett asked about the change in the defensive strategy from the first to the second quarter said that Todd Bowles told them “to get after it.”They were allowed to pin their ears back and get after the quarterback.
“Coach Bowles gave us a chance to get after the quarterback a little bit more, and we took advantage of that.”
Perhaps coach Bowles would be wise to use that strategy to start games instead of waiting till the Bucs are in a hole before turning the boys loose.
Bruce Arians asked about the slow start said that the lack of converting third downs was a part of the slow start.
“We just missed on third down. We had very, very manageable third downs. They did an outstanding job in their blitz package, and we didn’t handle it as an offense. There are times when we look really, really good and are really in sync when we’re converting third downs. And that’s huge. Most of them have been seven or less, where we’ve been pretty good most of the season. Early in the game, for whatever reason, we’re not making the plays. We’re not getting open, and we’re not protecting, we’re just not making enough plays.”
Both teams put up over 950 yards offense combined, with the Chiefs finishing with 543 yards and the Buccaneers with 417.
The Bucs have now lost three out of their last four and are 2-4 this season against teams with winning records.
The bye week is here, and the midnight oil should be burning at One Buc Place as this coaching staff has many issues to correct.
The Vikings, Lions, and two games against the Falcons remain on the schedule. On paper, those are games we put in the win column. In reality, those games will be a lot harder than many Buc fans would care to admit.
Until the secondary issues are corrected, experienced quarterbacks like Kirk Cousins, Matt Stafford, and Matt Ryan will pick apart that defense.