A week after an underrated Indianapolis Colts defense thwarted the Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive efforts, the team faces another challenging defensive unit in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Bucs’ defense currently leads the league in a number of important statistical categories and they’re ranked in the top half of the league in several others. Many outlets have them ranked as the No. 1 defense in the NFL through three games this season.
That’s reasonable given that their defense hasn’t allowed more than 14 points in a single game this season. They’re also coached by one of the NFL’s premier defensive coaches, Todd Bowles.
Chiefs HC Andy Reid recognizes going into this game that his team has their work cut out for them, but he expects them to rise to the challenge after the disappointing loss in Week 3.
“Yeah, so they’ve got a real good defensive front,” Reid said. “Almost the same guys that they’ve had before, and they’ve got some good additions in there. So, it’s a great challenge (and) I’m expecting my guys to rise up to the challenge.”
For Patrick Mahomes, he knows all too well how good the defense in Tampa can be. He certainly remembers their defensive front chasing him all over the field in Super Bowl LV. Heading into the latest matchup, Mahomes is focused on execution and finding ways to get the ball out of his hands more quickly than he did in Indy.
“Yeah, they’re one of, if not the best, defense in football,” Mahomes said. “They have a great coach, defensive coach with (Head) Coach (Todd) Bowles, who’s done it for a long time and been really good everywhere he’s been. And they have great players in every phase: linebackers, d-line, secondary and they’ve played together for a while so they’re going to kind of confuse you, give you different looks and they’re going to fly around and make plays. So, it’s about us executing, getting the ball out of my hand and making these other guys make plays.”
For the offensive line, they’re paying no mind to the trash talk on the other side. Creed Humphrey has the utmost respect for the unique blend of talent and scheme that the Bucs have in their front seven. He’s looking forward to the challenge of matching up against them.
“Yeah, really a mixture of talent and scheme,” Humphrey said. “They have a good defense, for sure, very talented players – whether that’s the D-line, the linebackers, the secondary, they have talented players all throughout. And their DCs (Buccaneers Run Game Coordinator/Defensive Line Coach Kacy Rodgers and Pass Game Coordinator/Inside Linebackers Coach Larry Foote) do a great job with their schemes too, so it’s going to be a tough challenge for us. But, we’re excited to get after it.”
As for the offensive coordinator, Eric Bieniemy is expecting this matchup to be every bit as contentious as the last time these two teams faced off.
“Todd Bowles does an outstanding job,” Bieniemy said. “Obviously, he’s been in this league for a long time. He’s been a great defensive coordinator, now he’s a head coach slash defensive coordinator. He has a great staff and guess what? They’re doing a hell of a job on defense, so when you turn on the tape, our guys know, you’ve got to line up and play. It’s going to be one of those games. It’s going to be a 60-minute dog fight and may the best team win.”