Our Bucs are hanging around in a very winnable NFC South right now and head into one of the toughest environments in all of sports on Sunday at uber-hostile Arrowhead Stadium to take on a hot 7-2 Chiefs team featuring a five-game win streak.
It’s a tough task going into legendary Arrowhead Stadium no matter the Chiefs team you’re facing, and this happens to be a solid football team. They’re usually not going to “wow” you with sexy football, but when has an Andy Reid coached squad been “sexy”? They’re going to play conservative football behind Alex Smith’s 8tds and only 3 ints and solid 66.7% completion pct. We know we’ll see the Andy Reid staple screen plays to tailbacks, but TE Travis Kelce will be a huge focus for Buc defenders as he leads in catches and targets; though Smith is gracious in spreading the football between Kelce, Jeremy Maclin, Tyreke Hill, Chris Conley and Spencer Ware all with substantial targets.
They’ve only turned the ball over eight times on offense, and survive strictly on the extra possessions generated by the defense. In truth, statistically, their offense is on the low end at 25th in passing and 22nd in rushing, but again, with low turnovers and low penalties, they can continue to be productive scoring 205 points, only 11 less than our super explosive offense.
Defensively, KC does give up some yardage, but not the points at 168, good for 7th in the league. They are #1 in pro football in takeaways at 22, and CB Marcus Peters is no fluke, much like Josh Norman’s astronomical rise last season for the Panthers. They come into Sunday ranked 13th against the pass but 6th worst against the run giving up 4.7 yds per carry, so expect a heavy dose of a healthy Doug Martin and try to keep Jameis’ throws under 30 if possible.
I believe the most important stat could be on special teams. Kansas City’s punt return unit is fantastic and though they haven’t returned a punt yet, they average 14.9 yards per return setting up Alex Smith and the Chiefs offense great starting field position throughout the game. Their top five 31.5 yard line averaging starting position is stout and if our hopeful pro bowl punter Brian Anger can coffin corner some kicks, it could be huge in helping to shut down KC’s offense.
They’re not a spectacular 7-2 football team, but the Chiefs do a few important things very well. If Douggernaught can have his breakout game of the 2016 campaign, we have a legit shot to pull a big upset in hostile Arrowhead Stadium. Go Bucs!