The Buccaneers are looking to get their swagger back as they will take on the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday Afternoon.
The Super Bowl Champions came to Tampa to take on a Buccaneers team that has lost two of their last three and needs a win in the worst way.
This game has been on everyone’s list of must-see games since the schedule came out this spring.
The Chiefs are 9-1 and have been playing at a high level all season. Patrick Mahomes is the best young quarterback in the league and has the Chiefs averaging 417 yards a game on offense.
No quarterback can make plays while on the run better than Patrick Mahomes.
Mahomes, at 25 years of age, already has one MVP award and is closing in on a second. Mahomes also has a Super Bowl ring and could add a second one this season.
The Chiefs are averaging 32 points a game, while the Buccaneers are averaging 29 points a game. This game has the potential to be an offensive shootout. Whoever has the ball last might end up winning this game.
The Chiefs are coming off a come-from-behind 35-31 win over the Raiders last Sunday night, while the Bucs are coming off a Monday night loss to the Los Angeles Rams 27-24.
The Bucs will have to face this Chiefs team with a makeshift offensive line. Center A. Q. Shipley, who had done a decent job at center, suffered a neck injury late in the game against the Rams.
After a consultation with the team doctors, he has been advised not to play football again. His career is over.
Guard, Ali Marpet is doubtful for the game, and tackle Donavan Smith will be a game-time decision. Smith hurt his ankle in the Rams game.
How the Bucs will put the offensive line together is anyone’s guess. I would guess Ryan Jensen would move back to center to solidify the line’s right side, with Wirfs at tackle, Cappa at guard, and Jensen at center. How the left side of the line shakes out will be a game-time decision.
Joe Haeg, John Molchon, Aaron Stinnie, and Josh Wells could all see playing time on the offensive line.
The offensive line has struggled in two of the last three games. The Chiefs defense is not the second coming of the Steelers steel curtain defense of the ’70s, but when you are missing two starters from your offensive line, there has to be a cause for concern.
Everyone wants to bad mouth the Chiefs defense, but this defense is better than most people think.
They are giving up 355 yards a game, which is 15th in the league. They are in the top ten in pass defense, giving up 222 yards a game, and are giving up just 21 points a game.
The black eye is that they are in the bottom third in run defense, giving up 133 yards a game