Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-4) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (1-4)
The Buccaneers are currently searching for their second win of the season and the wait is starting to get to fans. This is not a bad football team, but they seem to always be on the short end of close games. The good news is the Bucs haven’t been blown out yet this season, and that’s even more impressive given the fact the Giants hung 41 points on them in Week 2.
But losing close games was cute but it’s not satisfying.
The biggest gripe Bucs fans have is with Josh Freeman, but patience is a virtue. Freeman needs to start getting comfortable in the pocket, and needs to stop rushing throws but Bucs fans need to stop assuming this issue is permanent. We need to remember this is Freeman’s third year and his first with a new system, and Ron Turner isn’t the Yoda from the world quarterback training.
Another question for Bucs fans is how will Aqib Talib’s suspension effect the team? The obvious answer is not much since Talib rarely made an impact in big spots. Look no further than every single elite receiver he’s ever been lineup up across from in his career. The secondary was thin with talent to begin with, and now that Anthony Gaitor is on the new IR, this secondary just got a lot weaker than it was.
That being said, Brady Quinn is the opposing quarterback this week which isn’t saying much. The Bucs just need to manage this game, because if they lose they are in serious danger of going 1-7 to start the season. After this week the Bucs get a rough game against the Saints and an even rougher road game against the upstart Minnesota Vikings. This week will be all about getting comfortable in their own skin, something that’s been happening for the first four weeks.
Hopefully this bye week was spent correcting the obvious flaws this team has. Not every single issue will be solved this year with the tools at hand, and the Bucs aren’t going to the playoffs. But that doesn’t mean this team can’t grow and games like this one against the Chiefs are games that are must wins.
Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
Nat’l TV: N/A
Bucs TV: BLACKED OUT
Away TV: KCTV5 (CBS)
Announcers: Marv Albert/Rich Gannon
Live Stream: NFL Live Stream
Radio: WDAE 620AM (Tampa), KCFC 101.1FM (Kansas City)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 227 (Bucs Feed), Sirius 815 (Chiefs Feed)
Weather: 93°F, Sunny
Line: Buccaneers by 4
Key Matchup: Doug Martin vs. Chiefs Run Defense
The Bucs traded up in this year’s draft to grab Martin before the Giants took him to end the first round. The reason for that was so Greg Schiano and company had their versatile back of the future. But the man they call Muscle Hamster has yet to fully break out and Sunday might be the day it happens. The Chiefs have a less than impressive run defense and Martin should again see the bulk of the carries over LeGarrette Blount. We’ve been waiting all year for Martin to come into his own and if he runs all over the Chiefs, the rest of the NFL will see why the Bucs are so high on this kid.
Last Week: Buccaneers had a BYE, Chiefs lost to Ravens 9-6
Last Meeting: November 2, 2008– Buccaneers 30, Chiefs 27
Series History (Since 2001): Bucs lead series 2-0
Key Bucs Storyline: Will Josh Freeman finally get comfortable in the pocket?
Opposing View: Will Brady Quinn serve as a serviceable replacement to Matt Cassel?
Prediction: Bucs 21, Chiefs 17