Countdown to Kickoff: Chiefs-Buccaneers, Week 4 2022

October 2, 2022

The rematch of Tremendous Bowl LV has arrived, garnering league-wide consideration. Over 19 months after hoisting the Lombardi Trophy inside Raymond James Stadium – making historical past underneath a cloud of confetti – the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs on Sunday, October 2 at 8:20 p.m. ET. Thought-about consensus convention contenders with well-rounded rosters, the Bucs and Chiefs will take middle stage within the prime-time highlight. This marquee matchup options two prolific passers: a mature legend in Tom Brady and a younger generational expertise in Patrick Mahomes. In 2020, Todd Bowles’ masterful scheme and the defensive manufacturing was largely chargeable for sealing the membership’s victory on the largest stage. The unit harassed Mahomes and took away the deep go, whereas benefiting from two lacking offensive tackles by attacking the perimeters. As soon as once more in 2022, the Buccaneers’ protection is a major attributing issue to the group’s 2-1 report and top-spot within the NFC South. After per week of preparation, here’s what it comes all the way down to:

4 Stats That Matter

  • 112.1. Even with out big-play risk Tyreek Hill (Miami), Mahomes has a 112.1 passer ranking and an 8-1 touchdown-interception ratio by way of the primary three video games of the season. The Chiefs’ high-powered offense is scoring 29.3 factors per recreation on common, headlined by one of the best receiving tight finish within the league, Travis Kelce.
  • 9.0, or the variety of factors per recreation that the Buccaneers protection is permitting – greatest within the NFL. Todd Bowles’ unit additionally grades amongst league leaders in sacks, takeaways and third-down protection. The attack-styled, aggressive protection has began off gradual towards opponent’s opening scripts, however the unit has been impenetrable all through the rest of video games within the 2022 slate.
  • 125.1, or Mahomes’ passer ranking towards the blitz since 2021, which ranks second amongst quarterbacks on 250 whole makes an attempt. When opposing groups ship blitzes, Mahomes is ready to evade strain together with his elusiveness, making sensational throws whereas scrambling. Nevertheless, when the Bucs’ utilized a four-man rush in Tremendous Bowl LV, Mahomes had a 15.1 passer ranking when underneath strain – the second-lowest mark he has ever had in a recreation.
  • 2.40. Brady has been releasing the ball faster in 2022, with a mean throw time of two.40 seconds (league-high). With a revamped offensive line and a depleted receiver corps, the Buccaneers have employed a brief passing assault to try to mitigate the opposition’s go rush.
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3 Lineup Notes

  • Mike Evans might be again after serving a one-game suspension, and the Bucs are inching nearer to the return of Chris Godwin and Julio Jones. Each Godwin (hamstring) and Jones (knee) have missed the final two video games after struggling respective accidents within the season opener towards the Cowboys. The willpower won’t be made till hours earlier than kickoff on Sunday, with Bowles indicating each might be game-time choices. Godwin and Jones did take part in a restricted trend sooner or later in the course of the week of preparation for Kansas Metropolis.
  • Donovan Smith, the Bucs’ beginning left sort out, has missed two consecutive video games after struggling an elbow harm in Week One at Dallas. It’s nonetheless unsure whether or not Smith will return to motion towards Kansas Metropolis, however he did apply on a restricted foundation this week. Logan Corridor had been restricted by a groin harm on Wednesday at apply on the Miami Dolphins’ coaching facility, however Corridor upgraded to a full participant on Friday. Defensive lineman Akiem Hicks won’t play towards the Chiefs and Corridor can have one other elevated workload on Sunday vs. Kansas Metropolis in Hicks’ absence.
  • For the Chiefs, defensive finish Mike Danna (calf) was dominated out of Sunday’s matchup. Three gamers had been listed as questionable, together with kicker Harrison Butker (left ankle), defensive finish Joshua Kaindoh (sickness) and receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling (stomach). Butker and Kaindoh had been non-participants throughout Friday’s apply, whereas Valdes-Scantling upgraded to a restricted participant. If Valdes-Scantling is on a snap rely in the course of the Week 4 matchup or is dominated out on Sunday, Justin Watson and Skyy Moore would obtain added snaps for Kansas Metropolis to try to ignite the passing recreation.
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2 Challenges Offered by the Chiefs

For the reason that departure of Tyreek Hill, the Chiefs have restructured their offense to try to change his contributions downfield. In 2022, Kansas Metropolis has positioned extra of an emphasis on operating the soccer to enhance the play-action recreation. The Chiefs have utilized a mix of inside zone, exterior zone and energy that includes Clyde Edwards-Helaire. With Creed Humphrey, Trey Smith and Joe Thuney within the inside of the road, the Chiefs are efficient with motion up entrance to pave operating lanes. Arguably one of the best inside within the NFL – the trio is proficient in using a frontside blocker and bottom seal to open up the display recreation, edge runs, or designed rollouts for Mahomes. With a heavy-dose of misdirection, the Chiefs’ have succeeded in getting playmakers to the perimeter. Mahomes continues to be the magician and architect, dissecting defenses. He can throw a side-arm go off-balance with pinpoint accuracy and sometimes steps up into the pocket after evading strain, flicks the wrist, and releases the ball downfield. With the escape artist on the helm, the Chiefs are among the many league’s hierarchy. The Bucs’ protection should be disciplined in setting the sting, in taking pursuit angles and wrapping up tackles.

The Chiefs could have a new-look offense, however let’s not overlook about one phenom particularly: Travis Kelce. Accumulating six-straight 1,000-yard seasons (2016-2021), Kelce is on his solution to being enshrined in Canton, Ohio. With a tactical strategy on routes and the power to persistently discover comfortable spot in zones to take advantage of defenses, Kelce is very touted as one of the best on the place within the trendy period. He possesses the physique management and ball expertise of a receiver, breaking stigmas surrounding the tight finish place. No. 87 is a participant that defensive coordinators gameplan round. On out-breaking routes, slants and even go routes, Kelce runs them with the precision {that a} receiver units up a slant to bait a defensive again. Given his deadly stutter step, whichever Bucs defender is tasked with protection obligations on Kelce, hip fluidity is essential. Kelce persistently finds separation and is the point of interest for the Chiefs’ offense. Tampa Bay’s protection might want to know the place he’s lined up on each snap.

1 Key Thought from Todd Bowles

On how the Chiefs’ offense is totally different than in years previous:

“The operating recreation has picked up. They have massive offensive linemen down there. They have larger receivers – versus smaller, faster receivers – that may catch the ball very nicely. They’ve nonetheless acquired [Travis] Kelce, they’ve nonetheless acquired [Clyde Edwards-Helaire], they’ve nonetheless acquired a number of items and [Patrick] Mahomes has solely gotten higher since we performed them. He was nice then, he is nice now, he is gotten higher. He is seeing a number of issues; he is operating the offense nicely and so they’re clicking on all cylinders so far as a unit. It would not need to be a person particular person; the unit is enjoying nicely.”