TAMPA, Fla. — Patrick Mahomes had all the answers to solve Tampa Bay’s stingy defense, winning his last matchup against Tom Brady in the stadium where the seven-time Super Bowl winner handed him one of his most disappointing losses.
Mahomes threw for 249 yards and three touchdowns, including an electrifying jump pass to Clyde Edwards-Helaire, to lead the Chiefs to a 41-31 win over the Buccaneers on Sunday night.
Playing at a sold-out Raymond James Stadium just four days after Hurricane Ian tore through parts of Florida, Mahomes hit TD throws for 16 yards to Travis Kelce, 1 yard to Edwards-Helaire and 10 yards to Jody Fortson while making NFL history by reaching 20,000 passing yards. faster than anyone else.
Edwards-Helaire and tight end Noah Gray rushed for touchdowns for the Chiefs (3-1), who won the first meeting between Mahomes and Brady since Tampa Bay’s 31-9 rout of Kansas City in the Super Bowl – also played at Raymond James Stadium – two seasons ago.
“When I walked into the stadium I realized I hadn’t been here and the bad taste I had last time kicked in,” Mahomes said. “But it’s still not a playoff game. It’s a regular season game, which is important. This Super Bowl will always leave me with a bad taste.
The short pass to Edwards-Helaire was Mahomes at his best when it comes to improv: He eluded two defenders, made a 360 degree spin and flipped the ball over a crowd towards the ball carrier in the back of the end zone.
“I was able to use my speed, my little bit of speed, to get around the edge there. I was going to run for it, but they kind of flew around me,” Mahomes said. “I realized I wasn’t going to make it and I saw Clyde, so I kind of waved at him.”
Brady noted that it was fun to watch Mahomes, unless he was on the opposing sideline.
“I love seeing Patrick play. … Unfortunately, we’re on the wrong side tonight,” said Brady, who is 1-2 against the Chiefs quarterback since joining the Bucs in 2020 after two decades with the Nova Scotia Patriots. -England.
Brady completed 39 of 52 passes for 385 yards and three touchdowns without an interception for Tampa Bay (2-2). The Bucs, however, played from behind all night after rookie Rachaad White fumbled the opening kickoff and Mahomes tossed his TD pass to Kelce two plays later.
The Chiefs also entered the end zone on three of their next four possessions, with Mahomes repeatedly shredding the Tampa Bay defense with pinpoint passes and Edwards-Helaire and Isiah Pacheco taking turns running the ball effectively.
” It’s a team sport. We didn’t play very well in attack. We didn’t help (the defence) much either,” Brady said.
“We didn’t do much in the first half. Too many missed opportunities on third downs, turnovers. We have to play a lot better to be on the right teams,” added the seven-time Super Bowl winner. “We haven’t played our best yet this year.”
Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed sacked Brady, forcing a fumble that Mahomes turned into a TD from Gray, with the tight end taking a direct snap from the center on the 1-yard dive that put Kansas City up by 28-10.
Brady threw 13-yard, 1-yard TD passes to Mike Evans, who returned after serving a one-game suspension for his role in an on-field brawl in New Orleans two weeks ago. He had eight receptions for 103 yards.
Evans’ second touchdown cut Kansas City’s lead to 28-17 at halftime. It was as close as the Bucs got until Leonard Fournette’s 5-yard reception cut Tampa Bay’s deficit to 41-31 with 3:30 remaining.
Brady wouldn’t get the ball back for less than a minute.
Kansas City finished with 417 total rushing yards, including a 189-3 rushing advantage, against a defense that had allowed a league-low 27 points in three games.
“Everything in this game fell on the defensive end of the ball,” Bucs coach Todd Bowles said. “You name it, we did it. Missed tackles. Missed homework. Bad calls.
The Bucs have fired Mahomes three times and intercepted him once, but it wasn’t linebacker Shaquil Barrett who thought his team could have against an offensive line the Chiefs have revamped since struggling against Tampa Bay. in the Super Bowl loss.
As Hurricane Ian approached the Gulf Coast of Florida, the Bucs were evacuated for four days to the Miami area, where they practiced Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at the Dolphins training facility while the NFL made contingency plans to move the game to Minneapolis if it couldn’t be played in Tampa.
The Glazer family, owners of the Bucs, announced they were donating $1 million for hurricane relief. The NFL Foundation matches the donation, and the Bucs launched a “Florida Strong” campaign Sunday night to raise money, as well as honor emergency personnel and first responders.
Players and fans watched a “moment of support” before the national anthem, and the Bucs also paid tribute to those affected by the hurricane in a video presentation shown on giant screens before the game.
Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker (ankle) was inactive for the third straight game. … Bucs WR Chris Godwin (hamstring) and Julio Jones (knee), along with LT Donovan Smith (elbow), played for the first time since Tampa Bay’s season-opening win at Dallas. … Bucs CB Logan Ryan left with a foot injury in the first quarter. … TE Cameron Brate (concussion) and CB Carlton Davis (stinger) left in the second half.
Chiefs: Go home to take on the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday, October 10.
Buccaneers: Host the Atlanta Falcons next Sunday.
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