Taking a look at the NFC South standings, the Atlanta Falcons are the only team to have played 10 games so far. They have put that extra game to good use, and they sit ahead of everyone else in the division with a 6-4 record. Tampa Bay and New Orleans are tied for second after the Buccaneers blew out the Bears last week while the Saints stole defeat from the jaws of victory in a heartbreaking loss to the Broncos. Both teams have identical 4-5 records. The disappointing Panthers sit in the cellar with a 3-6 record after they blew another game and narrowly lost to the Chiefs last week.
Tampa Bay’s Game This Week
Speaking of the Chiefs, they also happen to be hosting the Buccaneers this Sunday. This will be one of the toughest games of the year for the Bucs. Arrowhead Stadium is one of the toughest places to play in the league. The Chiefs fans are complete animals, making an amount of noise that few other stadiums have ever been able to match.
Arrowhead is a tough place to play even when the Chiefs aren’t good, but this year they are very good. Tampa Bay will have their work cut out for them if they want to pin a loss on the 7-2 Chiefs. The Chiefs are playing very well right now and are in playoff contention. They are on a five-game winning streak and have a 10-game home winning streak.
Bucs’ Keys to Success
If Tampa Bay wants to walk out of Kansas City with a victory this week, they first need to take care of the football. The Chiefs lead the NFL with 22 takeaways. They have only given the ball away 8 times, which means they also lead the NFL in turnover differential. The Buccaneers are in the middle of the pack in turnover differential, giving the ball away 15 times and forcing 15 turnovers from opponents. The Bucs have to take care of the football this Sunday.
The man who must be extra careful to protect the football is Jameis Winston. Tampa Bay’s signal caller has already thrown 10 picks this year, which ties him with Eli Manning for the fifth-most of any quarterback in the league this year. In the crazy Arrowhead environment, Winston must throw the ball away when he faces pressure from the Chiefs’ pass rush.
Winston needs some help from his offensive line so that he has time to throw the football against Kansas City. He has already been sacked 22 times this season. The line must come through against the Chiefs. Not only do they need to give Winston time to throw, but opening up holes in the running game will be key to controlling the clock and taking the energy out of the crowd.
If the offense can play well against the Chiefs, Tampa Bay will win this game. The Chiefs’ offense is not very scary, and teams that can put up points against them can beat them. It will be a tough matchup, but this would be another huge road victory for a Tampa Bay team that has already proven they can win on the road this year with a 3-1 road record.