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Tyreek Hill recalls Bucs’ defensive adjustments after 203-yard quarter

In Week 12, the Chiefs wide receiver exploded for more than 200 yards in the first quarter, forcing Tampa Bay to adjust its defensive plan.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Back in Week 12 — when the Kansas City Chiefs played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill opened the game by embarrassing the Tampa Bay defense on its home field, gaining 203 yards on just seven receptions.

That included a 75-yard touchdown reception — and another for 44 yards where Hill didn’t quite stick the landing.

Hill ended the game with 269 yards (and three touchdowns) on 13 receptions. That tied for 13th-most in league history — but was still well behind the franchise record set by Chiefs wide receiver Stephone Paige on December 22, 1985, when he gained 309 receiving yards (and scored twice) on just eight catches against the San Diego Chargers.

As the two teams continued to prepare for their Super Bowl matchup on Thursday, reporters asked Hill why he didn’t gain more yards against the Buccaneers.

At first, Hill planted his tongue firmly in his cheek.

“I just got tired. I got tired of running,” he quipped.

But then he thought better of it.

“No, let me stop,” he said.

“[Tampa Bay coach] Todd Bowles is a great defensive coordinator,” said Hill. “He’s been doing it for a long time. I’m sure he’s seen guys like me throughout his career — just being able to dial up Cover 2, Cover 55 Strong and things like that to slow me down. Also, putting Carlton Davis on me — slowing me down — and bringing the safety over the top a bit to double me and Travis Kelce.

“That kind of slowed us down a lot — plus their front seven is tremendous. Once they get clicking on defense, they’re a great defense. They fly around the field, they’re great.”

“They’re fast and they’re always on the attack,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said on Monday. “There are not a lot of guys that do it as well as Todd Bowles does it — and he’s got a large package of goodness there that he throws at you. So, you’ve got to be on your toes when you’re playing against his team — or his defense.”

Still, even in the second half of the Week 12 game, Hill scored on a 20-yard reception that made the difference in the game — which on Thursday, likely led him to his final attempt at humor with the press.

“I feel like I just got lucky and was able to get open,” he grinned.