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It’s Brady v Mahomes for the first time since Super Bowl LV in Tampa on Sunday Night Football.
Kansas City return to Tampa Bay for the first time since Super Bowl LV and while both teams are somewhat diminished, Tom Brady and the Bucs should have too much juice for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.
The Bucs are coming off a 14-12 loss to the Packers, but that was without receiving trio Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Julio Jones. All three return this week, and provide a massive upgrade on the weapons Brady had to throw to against Green Bay.
Not all of the Bucs offensive woes can be blamed on their missing receivers though – the offensive line has suffered from injury and personnel attrition, and this is also showing up in the run game, as Tampa average just 3.4 yards per carry, ranked 30th in the league.
What has not changed since Super Bowl LV is that the Bucs defence has been a dominant unit. They have only conceded 27 points over the first three games.
While the Chiefs are comfortably the best offence that Tampa Bay will have played against, it is clear that the loss of Tyreek Hill in the offseason makes Kansas City a far lesser threat to create explosive than they were in Super Bowl LV.
The Chiefs are only the 10th ranked offence in the league per Football Outsiders DVOA, and they have had offensive line issues of their own, particularly the play of left tackle Orlando Brown.
Kansas City are also coming off an horrific Special Teams performance against Indianapolis. In what should be a close game, a repeat of that effort would be decisive.
Laying just one point at home, Brady and the Bucs look the play.
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Leonard Fournette and Mike Evans are the focal point of the Bucs offence and should be able to get in for a score. Remarkably, Fournette has yet to score a touchdown this season but the prospect of some lighter boxes with the Bucs receiving weapons back should help.
Expect the Chiefs to make use of two tight end sets in an effort to get Bucs head coach Todd Bowles to put his base personnel on the field more often. This should create opportunities for the Bucs second tight end, Noah Gray.