Buccaneers at Chiefs: Five Game-Changing Players
By Bailey Adams
The Bucs have a history of struggling against tight ends. They’ll face one of the NFL’s best on Sunday: Travis Kelce. The Chiefs’ offense isn’t unstoppable, but their biggest weapon is Kelce. The tight end is the team’s leading receiver, catching 42 passes for 466 yards and three touchdowns. Jeremy Maclin and rookie Tyreek Hill have been solid enough for Kansas City, but Kelce is Alex Smith‘s top target.
The Bucs have allowed 55.7 yards per game to opposing tight ends this season. Greg Olsen is someone that they always struggle with, and he put up 181 yards on nine catches against them in week five. Kelce is a similar weapon, being his quarterback’s go-to guy in crucial situations. Looking at the Tampa Bay defense, it’s hard to figure out who is going to be able to cover him consistently. At six-foot-five and 260 pounds, he is physically dominant. Which Buccaneer is going to be able to line up and cover him this Sunday? Whoever is tasked with covering him is going to have an incredibly demanding job to do.
It’s not too reasonable to expect the Bucs to shut down Kelce completely. If they can keep him out of the end zone, that would be sufficient. Tampa Bay has only allowed three touchdowns to opposing tight ends this year. It would be a big step toward a victory if they can keep that number right where it is this Sunday.