It seems like every time we write about the Bucs on this site, they are either going up the rollercoaster – getting close to the top. Or, they are free-falling and the track is falling apart as they ride down. There really seems to be no in-between with these guys and their performance on a weekly basis is unpredictable. On Monday, they took on the Rams in primetime, a spot the Bucs have been truly terrible in this year. Now they are 1-3 in that spot as they looked good throughout most of the game but had one of the worst second-half performances I’ve ever seen an offense partake in. Despite the Bucs defense forcing two turnovers and limiting the Rams to just 10 points, Tampa could not capitalize.
They are in the midst of a bit of a crisis at the top. It’s clear that offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich is overmatched for the job he has. There has been suspect play-calling all season and it was on full-display Monday Night as they refused to ditch the deep ball despite Tom Brady never connecting on them and they favored Leonard Fournette over Ronald Jones III, a guy who looks lightyears better at this point.
On defense, Todd Bowles finds out what works with his coverage and then completely abandons it the second that they are starting to gel. Their zone coverage was so effective this past week (sarcasm) that they held Jared Goff to only 376 yards passing.
The Bucs pretty much could use the New York Jets now more than ever, but it isn’t coming this week. Instead, they get to face the second-best team in the NFL in the 9-1 Kansas City Chiefs. This is the same team that has won five straight games, mounted one of the most impressive final drives of the season last week and have an MVP frontrunner quarterback. Maybe the only positive in this whole thing for Tampa is that they are playing their second straight game at home while the Chiefs are on the road for the second straight time.
Bucs Players to Watch:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tom Brady: It’s as simple as this, when Brady plays like he did last week, 26-48 passing with two interceptions, the Bucs don’t have a shot at winning, despite how good their defense played or how many turnovers the other team had. Brady has to use the weapons he has and he has to understand his part of the game. Going long every third down doesn’t work and he and the staff will have to realize that much sooner rather than later.
Kansas City Players to Watch:
Kansas City Chiefs, Clyde Edwards-Helaire: While I’m already confident that the Chiefs win this game, if they can get Edwards-Helaire going, it’s over. The Bucs have the top rush defense in the NFL and have stuffed some of the best backs this season but CEH is coming off his best week since the first game of the season. If they have the pass and run game going, forget about it.
The Chiefs are just 3.5 point favorites here and the Bucs were blown out as an underdog last time out
Chiefs 28 Bucs 21
By: Matt Lively CruelFan.com