KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Kansas City marched into Raymond James Stadium Sunday afternoon and held on to beat Tampa Bay 27-24. The win kept the Chiefs atop the American Football Conference West Division and right on the heels of the Steelers for the best conference record with a 10-1 mark The Buccaneers fell to 7-5 in losing their third consecutive home tilt as well as any realistic chance of catching the 9-2 Saints for the top spot in the National Football Conference South.
KC took the opening possession of the game and immediately put points on the scoreboard at 12:18 of the opening period. K Harrison Butker finished off an eight play drive that took 2:46 to go 64 yards. The 19 yard field goal put the Red & Gold up 3-0.
The Chiefs needed only one play to extend their lead at the 6:49 mark of the opening stanza. After holding the Pewter Pirates to a three-and-out on their second possession, it only took QB Patrick Mahomes (37-of-49 for 462 yards and 3 TDs plus 0 INTs) one play and 10 seconds to put more points on the scoreboard for Kansas City. #15 found WR Tyreek Hill with a 75 yard catch-and-run and Butker was good with the conversion to move KC out to a 10-zip advantage.
The Chiefs weren’t done in the first period as they scored at the 1:32 mark. Again, it was Mahomes finding Hill this time from 44 yards out. That capped a 95 yard drive that took seven plays in 3:50. Butker was good again with the PAT and it looked like the rout was on as the Arrowheads surged to a 17-0 margin.
finally dented the scoreboard with 4:29 left in the second quarter. QB Tom Brady (27-of-41 for 345 yards and 3 TDs plus 2 INTs) found RB Ronald Jones II in the left flat and #27 took it to the house to complete a 37 yard score. That culminated a seven play drive that traversed 88 yards in 4:09. K Ryan Succop split the uprights to cut the Chiefs lead to 17-7.
KC extended its advantage with just 14 second left in the first half. Butker booted a 29 yard three pointer that ended a 13 play drive that consumed 4:15 while travelling 69 yards. That gave the Chiefs a 20-7 lead at half time.
The Bucs cut the margin at 11:04 of the third quarter. With their opening possession after half time, TB marched 67 yards in 3:56 that took eight plays. Succop was good from 26 yards out and that trimmed the Kansas City advantage to 20-10.
KC answered on their next drive at the 7 minute mark of the third period. Mahomes hooked up with Hill for the trifecta with this one for 20 yards that finished off a seven play drive that took 4:04 to go 80 yards. Butker was good with the extra point and the Chiefs stretched their lead to 27-10.
The Pewter Pirates
got back into the scoring column at 12:44 of the final quarter. Brady connected with WR Mike Evans for a 31 yard strike. That closed out an eight play drive that went 75 yards in 2:25. Succop was good again and that trimmed the Chiefs lead to 27-17.
After forcing a Chiefs punt, Tampa Bay got within a score with 4:10 left in regulation. Brady again found Evans with this score from seven yards out. That capped a 10 play drive that went 51 yards in 2:11. Succop was true with the kick and, all of a sudden, it was a game with Kansas City holding on to a slim 27-24 lead.
KC then did what good teams do and that’s close out the contest. The Bucs defense was not able to get the ball back for the offense and the Chiefs were able to lock up the victory.
The Buccaneers will now take a week off for a much needed bye week to rest and recharge as well as get healthy. Tampa Bay gets back to action on December 13th when the Minnesota Vikings come to Raymond James Stadium for a 1 p.m. Sunday kickoff.
Look for Rob Kriete’s Buc Up column on Saturday December 12th. Until then, stay safe everyone.