Chiefs vs Buccaneers

Sunday’s primetime NFL game gives us a rematch of Super Bowl LV between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This will be the first time the teams have met since that Super Bowl and it could be the final time Patrick Mahomes squares off head-to-head with Tom Brady. While the Chiefs opened the week as favorites, there are now even betting odds on these teams with the over/under set at 46 points.

The Buccaneers are hoping to avoid a second straight home loss after dropping their home opener against the Packers last week. Of course, Tampa was able to take care of business against the Cowboys and Saints to begin the season. That leaves the Bucs 2-1, putting them alone in first place in the NFC South.

Likewise, the Chiefs are hoping to avoid a second straight defeat after falling to the Colts last week. Just like the Bucs, Kansas City began the season with impressive wins over the Cardinals and Chargers, putting them at 2-1 on the season. However, the Chiefs play in a far more competitive division and can’t afford to make losing a habit.

Mahomes Mixing It Up

The Kansas City offense may have been clicking during the first two weeks of the season, but that’s not what we saw last week. Patrick Mahomes completed just 57% of his passes and threw his first interception of the season while ending up as the team’s leading rusher in the loss to Indianapolis. However, Mahomes and the KC offense are always capable of getting going again, even with Mahomes still adjusting to some of his new receivers outside of stalwart tight end Travis Kelce.

On the other side of the ball, the Kansas City defense has been an overlooked part of the team early in the campaign. The Chiefs have already racked up 10 sacks in three games and scored a defensive touchdown in Week 2 against the Chargers. They’ve also forced a turnover in all three games, although all three opponents have scored at least 20 points against the Chiefs this year.

The Brady Bunch

While the Chiefs have allowed at least 20 points in every game, the Bucs have yet to score more than 20 points in any of their first three games. Tom Brady has just three touchdown passes in three games and has looked a little off averaging just 6.5 yards per pass. The Bucs are also yet to create a running play longer than 17 yards this season, as they’ve been steady but unspectacular with their ground game in support of Brady.

The good news is that Tampa’s defense has been the best in the NFL thus far, conceding just nine points per game. The Bucs have already amassed 11 sacks and eight takeaways in three games. Even in last week’s loss to the Packers, the Buccaneers only allowed 14 points while giving up less than 80 rushing yards per game through three games.

Against the Grain

A vast majority of the betting on this game has favored the Bucs, creating a pick’em. But while Tampa’s defense has been outstanding, stopping Mahomes for 60 minutes is never easy while the Kansas City defense should also find success against Brady and the struggling Tampa offense. Ultimately, Mahomes looks more likely to be a difference maker than Brady, making the Chiefs the best bet in this game.

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