The much-anticipated faceoff with the defending Super Bowl Champions will have to wait until Week 12, when the two teams play at Raymond James Stadium at 4:25 p.m. on CBS. And now, with the addition of quarterback Tom Brady, there's a little bit of an extra edge to the matchup.
Two years ago, Brady and the New England Patriots knocked the Chiefs out of the postseason when they beat them in the AFC Championship game to advance to Super Bowl LIII, where they took down the Los Angeles Rams 13-3. Brady has been a pest for Kansas City and we're about to see if that continues now that Brady is in Tampa Bay.
The thing is, the Chiefs haven't changed much since the team that stormed to the Super Bowl behind multiple come-from-behind wins to overtake the San Francisco 49ers last year. They're poised for a repeat and have an improving defense on top of one of the most potent offenses in the league. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes followed up his 2018 league MVP award with a Lombardi trophy and he still has the supporting cast around him to stay on that level of success. The Chiefs have The Cheetah in Tyreek Hill on top of Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins and Damien Williams, who came on strong in the postseason last year. They also added in the draft and bolstered their defense in free agency.
The last time the Buccaneers played the Chiefs came in 2016, when Tampa Bay went into Arrowhead and came out with a 19-17 win. It was a nail-biter that saw kickers play a major role. Cairo Santos was the Chiefs' placekicker that season and it was Roberto Aguayo's rookie year in Tampa Bay. Aguayo was a perfect four-for-four in field goal attempts and tacked on an extra point on a Jameis Winston touchdown to none other than utility player Alan Cross for the Bucs' only trip into the end zone that day while still taking home the W. In fact, the Bucs have won the last five matchups with the defending Super Bowl champs and own the all-time series 7-5.
Kansas City Chiefs
2019 Record: 12-4
Scoring Offense: 5th (26.3 points per game)
Total Offense: 6th (379.2 total yards per game)
Rushing Offense: 23rd (98.1 rushing yards per game)
Passing Offense: 4th (293.1 passing yards per game)
Scoring Defense: T-7th (3 defensive touchdowns)
Total Defense: 11th (45.0 sacks)
Rushing Defense: 26th (2,051 rushing yards allowed)
Passing Defense: 11th (3,881 passing yards allowed)
Turnover Margin: T-7th (+8)
The story of the 2019 season was basically that of the offense, which ranked in the top 10 in three of the four major categories. Prior to the 2019 season, the Chiefs hired defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to revamp the defense and Kansas City saw notable improvement down the stretch – especially against the pass. The offense took care of the football, while the defense created 22 turnovers, resulting in the seventh-best turnover margin in the league.
The Chiefs started the offseason by placing the franchise tag on defensive tackle Chris Jones and then reinforced the secondary in the draft, making the best part of their defense better.
Chiefs' 2020 Draft Class: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU (Round 1, 32nd overall), LB Willie Gay Jr., Miss. St. (Round 2, 63rd overall), OT Lucas Niang, TCU (Round 3, 96th overall), S L'Jarius Sneed, Louisiana Tech (Round 4, 138th overall), DE Michael Danna, Michigan (Round 5, 177th overall), CB Thakarius Keyes, Tulane (Round 7, 237th overall)
The thought of a pass-catching running back fresh off a national championship joining the already-potent Chiefs' offense is a little scary. After Damien Williams was relatively quiet in the regular season, he exploded in the postseason for six total touchdowns, rushing for 104 yards in the Super Bowl. It was enough to apparently earn him the nickname 'Playoff Damien.' Kansas City also reinforced the offensive line with their third-round pick to add some protection for the mobile Mahomes.
The Chiefs' other four draft picks were spent on defense, grabbing two more players for the front seven along with two defensive backs, including Sneed, who ran a blazing 4.37 40-yard dash. It helped fill some gaps that free agency left, including the departure of cornerback Kendall Fuller.
Key Veteran Additions: OT Mike Remmers, CB Antonio Hamilton, QB Chad Henne, TE Ricky Seales-Jones
Notable Departures: RB LeSean McCoy, CB Kendall Fuller, LB Reggie Ragland, DE Emmanuel Ogbah, G Cameron Erving, QB Matt Moore, P Dustin Colquitt
See? Not much has changed from the 2019 team that were crowned world champions. In fact, after the draft, many used the tagline, 'the rich get richer' when describing Kansas City. But many have also described the Buccaneers that way – especially offensively, now that they have Brady under center with offensive weapons like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, O.J. Howard and Cam Brate. And on Sunday, November 29 at 4:30 p.m., we'll find out just whose riches will spoil the other's.