All-around solid effort in Kansas City results in Buccaneers returning to .500 for the first time since week 2
Offense, defense and special teams, this game had it all. Coming off a fantastic team effort win at home a week ago against Chicago, the Buccaneers built off the win to put together another impressive showing in hostile territory.
One of the main attractions in this matchup and a man who deserves a lot of praise after spending a lot of time getting roasted this season is Roberto Aguayo. Aguayo connected on all four of his field goal attempts and also hit his only extra point attempt on Sunday. Roberto was directly responsible for 13 of the Buccaneers 19 points in a much needed game if the Bucs have any dreams of dancing in the playoffs.
Another big part of the Bucs victory against the Chiefs is quarterback Jameis Winston. Once again, Winston did a great job of protecting the football and extending drives on third down. Jameis threw for 331 yards and a touchdown, and besides the lost fumble early on, played an excellent game. The Buccaneers as a team converted on 68% of their third downs, in large because of Winston’s efficiency. Jameis Winston continues to look more comfortable with his number one back, Doug Martin, behind him.
Speaking of Doug Martin, although his yards per carry and overall yards on the ground were not all that impressive, it was good to see him register 24 carries on the afternoon, a sign that he is, if not extremely close, to 100% healthy. Martin had 63 yards on the ground but also had three receptions for 42 yards, including a nifty 27 yard catch and run play in the first quarter to jump start a drive that ended in a short field goal.
The offense as a whole played well, picking up 442 yards and only turning the ball over once early in the game. The offensive line did their part against an impressive Kansas City front seven, allowing just one sack in the game. The offense does however need to improve on their red zone efficiency, as the only scored one touchdown on five trips to the red zone.
Let’s not forget about the Buccaneers defense, although there was room for improvement, the defense bent but didn’t break in Kansas City. They did give up 343 yards on the day, including 108 yards to tight end Travis Kelce. Allowing the Chiefs to convert on 50% of their third down attempts and not finding a way to bring down Alex Smith wasn’t all that impressive either.
What the Bucs defense did right, they did well, however. They forced two turnovers, and slowed down Spencer Ware about as good as anyone has been able to do all season. Another impressive note from the defense is they held Kansas City out of the end zone two out of the three times the faced a goal-to-go situation. Chris Conte came up with another interception deep in Buccaneers territory and had a 53 yard return that set up the Bucs 4th quarter touchdown. The interception at the least prevented a Kansas City field goal and was the difference in a two point game. it is the kind of game changing play that a defense can grow on.
The Buccaneers at .500 return home next week for a tough match up with the red hot Seattle Seahawks next weekend, a game that will go a long way in showing the NFL if the Buccaneers are pretenders or contenders.