Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bucs opponent preview: Chiefs, Week 11

When they play: Week 11 (Nov. 20) in Kansas City.

2015 record: 11-5, won wild card, lost to Patriots 27-20.

Last time vs. Bucs: Bucs won 38-10 in Tampa in 2012, with Josh Freeman throwing for three touchdowns and Ronde Barber returning an interception 78 yards for a touchdown.

2016 outlook: Which Chiefs are the real Chiefs? The ones that opened 1-5 last year, or the ones that won 11 straight? The ones that blanked the Texans 30-0 in the playoffs, or lost to the Patriots a week later? Alex Smith remains unappreciated, and Kansas City's defense, with five Pro Bowlers last year, is still not to be overlooked amid the rising Raiders and declining Broncos in the AFC West.

Player to watch: Smith had an interception percentage of just 1.5 percent last season -- only Aaron Rodgers (1.4) and Tom Brady (1.1) were lower among QBs with 300-plus passes. He did this with arguably one good receiver in Jeremy Maclin. His career postseason statistics? 11 TDs against one interception. He's 32, so his window for a sustained playoff run is running out.

Rookie to watch: Fifth-round receiver Tyreek Hill was kicked out of Oklahoma State after he was charged with violence against his pregnant girlfriend. He'll get a chance to play for the Chiefs, especially on returns, where he's been compared to Devin Hester.

Key matchup: Front seven vs. opposing running backs. Kansas City racked up 47 sacks without any player getting even eight -- once Justin Houston is healthy, he and Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson are game-changers. Can second-round pick Chris Jones give them another pass-rushing option?

Familiar face: Former USF linebacker Sam Barrington, cut by the Packers, has returned from an ankle injury that cost him almost all of 2015. Still just 25, he has a chance to show more of what he flashed in 2014 in Green Bay.

Cool stat: With limited targets to throw to, the Chiefs ranked 30th in passing yards (203 per game) and had only 20 touchdowns -- only five teams had less. But they had an NFL-low seven interceptions, so they didn't put their defense in many bad positions at all.

Bucs opponent preview: Chiefs, Week 11 09/09/16 [Last modified: Thursday, September 8, 2016 10:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning Strikes! podcast: Preseason storylines to watch


    In this episode of our Lightning Strikes podcast, Joe Smith and columnist Tom Jones set up the preseason with storylines to watch, as well as expectations for the season. Will defenseman Mikhail …

    Will defenseman Mikhail Sergachev make the Lightning?
  2. Florida Gators announce 2018 football schedule


    The Florida Gators announced their 2018 football schedule Tuesday, including an early SEC game against Kentucky and a matchup against Colorado State, which was part of coach Jim McElwain's buyout from the Rams.

  3. For starters: Rays vs. Cubs in Joe Maddon's return to Trop


    Joe Maddon's return to the Trop will be the main story tonight, but there is still a baseball game to be played, between a Cubs team surging toward another division title with six straight wins and a Rays team struggling to keep alive a longshot bid for the second AL wildcard spot.

    RHP Chris Archer will be on …

    Joe Maddon returns to Tropicana Field tonight for the first time since leaving the Rays to become manager of the Cubs.
  4. Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs could run into their nemesis


    Greg Auman finishes wrapping up the Bucs' win against the Chicago Bears and looks ahead to Sunday's game at Minnesota, where Tampa Bay could run into nemesis Case Keenum, in our latest Cannon Fodder …

    Bucs outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) sacks Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum (17) during a 2016 game. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  5. Strange case: Bucs could face nemesis Case Keenum again


    Who, you might wonder, will be the first NFL quarterback to beat Jameis Winston three times?

    Case Keenum of the Minnesota Vikings drops back to pass in the first half Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. [Getty Images]