Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers suffered a tough loss at the hands of the Los Angeles Rams last week to drop their record to 7-4. Now, they get Patrick Mahomes and the 9-1 defending Super Bowl Champion, Kansas City Chiefs.
It’s the fourth time Mahomes and Brady will face each other. Brady leads the head-to-head matchup 2-1, with one of those games being a Brady win in the AFC Championship Game. This could be the last time these two quarterbacks face each other, short of meeting in the Super Bowl, as Brady is nearing the end of his career.
The last time the Chiefs saw both Brady AND Rob Gronkowski came in January of 2019 in the AFC Championship Game. Brady and the Patriots beat the Chiefs 37-31 in overtime in one of the all-time great playoff games. Brady and The Patriots would go on to win their sixth Super Bowl Championship. Fast forward nearly 12 months later and Mahomes and the Chiefs are the latest to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.
Brady and the Bucs offense has struggled as of late. Newcomers Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski are trying to fit in the offense consistently. For Brady, he’s been known to play mistake-free football and lately, he hasn’t been as sharp with a critical interception at the end of the game against the Rams. Brady didn’t play terribly but he will need to be better, as does the entire offense, against the Chiefs. The good news for the Bucs? The Chiefs defense has allowed over 30ppg the last two weeks. If Brady can find a way to move the ball without making mistakes they should be able to put up points.
Big Test For The Buccaneer Defense
On the defensive side, they have a tough task at hand against the explosive Chiefs offense. Of course, Mahomes is the focal point of the offense. Over the last three games, Mahomes has passed for 1,136 yards, 11 touchdowns, and just one interception. Not only will the Bucs defense have to contend with the likes of Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire but the Chiefs will be welcoming back receiver Sammy Watkins to the mix who has missed several games with a hamstring injury. The Bucs have been mediocre against the pass as they rank 16th. Positional discipline and better tackling are crucial for this secondary or the game could get out of hand quickly.
Primetime Is A Problem For This Buccaneers Team
Three of the last four losses for the Buccaneers have come in Primetime games. This is very unlike Brady’s success in the past. There is no one reason as to why this team, not just Brady, struggles in Primetime. Now, Sunday’s game against the Chiefs isn’t QUITE primetime but will be in the national spotlight at 4:25 on CBS. It will be an opportunity for the Bucs to pick up a big win against the defending Super Bowl Champions so they can keep pace with the rest of the NFL.
This game could come down to who has the ball last and plays mistake-free. This is a big test for the Bucs as a team as they head towards the final stretch of the regular season.