The BucsNation staff made their predictions for the game. How right or wrong were they?
The Bucs are now 2-2 after their second straight loss, this time at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs in a 41-31 loss. The defense just could not slow down the Kansas City offense and the Bucs offense had another slow start. The Bucs Nation staff made predictions before the game.
This season, we are going to be analyzing each prediction and see if it was on the money or off the mark. Let’s get into it.
Gil Arcia: Mahomes goes off
“The Bucs faced a big challenge last week against the Green Bay Packers with Aaron Rodgers slinging the ball around. And with facing Patrick Mahomes this week, the challenge may be much tougher. Even though Tampa Bay’s defense tightened up in the second half of last week’s loss to the Packers where Rodgers was held in check, I don’t see that happening this week. Give me Mahomes with four touchdowns and 300-plus yards passing with no mistakes.”
Gil was pretty close on this one. While Mahomes did not have over 300 yards passing nor did he have four touchdowns, he easily could have. Tampa Bay’s defense had no answer for the Chiefs quarterback all night as Kansas City scored the most points against a Todd Bowles defense since Bowles arrived in Tampa. Mahomes finished 23/37 for 249 yards through the air with three touchdowns and one interception.
James Yarcho: Defense Lives Rent Free In Mahomes’ Mind
“The last time these two teams met it was a nightmare for Patrick Mahomes – and those wounds are still fresh enough to cause problems this time around. Unlike Gil, I don’t see this as a game where Mahomes goes off and shreds a very stout Bucs defense. Instead, the Bucs will sack Mahomes four times and get two takeaways for the third week in a row.”
The overall prediction from James here is actually not bad, but the reasoning is a bit off. Kansas City made things look very easy against the Bucs defense, but Tampa did manage to rack up three sacks and had one takeaway on the night. This will be a performance the Bucs defense will want to put behind them.
Evan Wanish: Julio plays and gets his first
“Wide Receiver Julio Jones has been held out of the last two games due to a partially torn PCL. Todd Bowles said after the Green Bay game that Jones would probably suit up against Kansas City. Not only will Jones make his return to the field, but he will also find the endzone for the first time as a Buccaneer. Jones will make an impact, having over 60 receiving yards and one touchdown.”
Quite possibly my worst prediction of the season so far. Julio Jones did play, but he was limited and only ended up with two targets on the night. Jones ended with one catch for seven yards and Todd Bowles said he got “nicked up” a little so he was held out for most of the second half. Like the Bucs performance, it was a rough one for me this week.
Mike Kiwak: Deuces for Winfield, Jr.
“Antoine Winfield, Jr. has been excellent in his new role as primary nickelback while logging more situational snaps at safety for Tampa Bay’s defense. He currently has twice as many solo tackles (16) than receptions allowed (8), and I expect him to clamp down KC’s slot options while being involved in a couple splash plays. I’ll put Winfield down for a forced fumble and a sack.”
A lot of the predictions for this week were for the defense and that is unfortunate because pretty much the entire defense struggled at times Sunday night. Antoine Winfield Jr. had a pretty quiet day, only racking up 5 total tackles with no sacks or takeaways.
Will Walsh: Chris Jones on third down… Yikes
“Chris Jones is the story. His performance is very likely to determine the outcome of this game. Jones is a very disruptive defensive lineman and one of the better interior rushers the Bucs will face this season. The Bucs are working with a remade offensive line and Tampa’s youth, inexperience, and lack of continuity will be put to the test this week. Their grade will heavily determine the Bucs’ chances of victory. Chris Jones is a good player and he will make his plays but Tampa Bay has to limit their impact. The third down passing game cannot be affected by Jones, against the Green Bay Packers the Bucs found themselves in a lot of third and long situations. If that trend is continued and the Chiefs’ lineman is able to register his second multi sack performance of the season, then Tom Brady may be throwing more tablets than touchdowns.”
While the bigger story was the Bucs struggles on defense, they did have trouble containing Chris Jones consistently on the offensive side of the ball, so this is a solid prediction. Rookie guard Luke Goedeke was tasked with slowing him down and he tried is best, but Jones is too good. His performance on the stat sheet is not all that impressive, just one tackle but Jones had consistent pressure and even drew a holding penalty which negated a 27 yard pass from Tom Brady to Chris Godwin. Chris Jones did his thing on Sunday night and it hurt the flow of the offense.
James Hill: Secondary Makes Mahomes Miserable
“The Bucs secondary has been one of the bright spots on the entirety of the roster this season. Multiple players have gotten interceptions through three weeks and I believe that trend will continue in this matchup against the chiefs despite the teams potent passing offense. I have Carlton Davis, Logan Ryan, AND Antoine Winfield Jr. getting interceptions in this game and making Mahomes struggle throughout the matchup.”
While the Bucs recorded an interception in this one, it was actually Sean Murphy-Bunting who came up with it in his first appearance on defense this season. Both Carlton Davis and Logan Ryan left the game with injuries, even though Davis appears to be OK. Ryan was still being evaluated for a foot injury and Antoine Winfield Jr. had a quiet day.
Chris Weingarten: Let’s get Physical
“During the first three weeks of the season, the Bucs have struggled to find consistency on offense. New players added in the off-season, plus a host of injuries in training camp, have led to disappointing results thus far. It seems as if the team is trending towards being the healthiest it’s been all year, and I believe that against the Chiefs, the Bucs will finally find an offensive identity. An inspired, and clearly more physical offensive line will lead the way for the Bucs. Look for the Bucs to control the ball, wear down the Chiefs with the run game, and finally score over 20 points. Tom Brady throws two play action touchdown passes, with one of those to rookie Rachaad White, as the Bucs give the hometown fans a much-needed moment of happiness.”
The Bucs did score over 20 points for the first time this season, but that is about the only thing they can hang their hat on. Th Bucs were not able to control the ball or wear down Kansas City because they were always in passing situations due to be down less than a minute in. While Rachaad White did catch a touchdown, he did run for one and looked comfortable as a pass catcher. Unfortunately, things just did not go the Bucs way on Sunday night.
Now the Bucs welcome the Atlanta Falcons to town in a matchup of 2-2 teams. The winner of this game will have the division lead in the NFC South. Bucs and Falcons battling for the division, just like we all predicted.