After Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Skyy Moore’s first-quarter fumble allowed the Indianapolis Colts to jump out to a 7-0 lead in Week 3, the football gods decided it was time to even the score: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fumbled the football away on the opening kickoff of Week 4’s Sunday Night Football matchup against Kansas City. Two plays later, the celestial books were back in order; the Chiefs held a 7-0 lead — just the first points scored in a 41-31 victory
But that was just the beginning. The Chiefs scored touchdowns on three consecutive possessions on the way to a 28-17 halftime lead, skillfully mixing chain-moving passes with runs from veteran Clyde-Edwards-Helaire and rookie Isiah Pacheco. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes looked like himself , repeatedly connecting on improbable passes that included a breathtaking flip to Edwards-Healire in the end zone.
After the Chiefs scored 10 unanswered points to open the second half, Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady engineered an 11-play, 73-yard drive to close the score to 38-24 as the third quarter concluded. The Chiefs responded with a field goal — and then Brady got a short field after a Mahomes interception, which he turned into another touchdown to reduce Kansas City’s lead to 10 points. But by then, there just wasn’t enough time left to close the gap; the Chiefs ran out the clock to seal a 41-31 win.
The Chiefs won the opening coin toss, electing to defer their decision to the second half. So Tampa Bay received the opening kickoff. But Kansas City’s Jack Cochrane forced a fumble, which Elijah Lee recovered — giving the Chiefs possession at the Buccaneers’ 21-yard line.
After a first-down run gained five yards, quarterback Patrick Mahomes dropped back and found tight end Travis Kelce over the middle; his momentum got him into the end zone for a 16-yard scoring play. The extra point made it Chiefs 7-0 with less than a minute off the game clock.
The Buccaneers started their first possession at their own 28-yard line. Two plays into the drive, a screen pass to running back Leonard Fournette gained 25 yards — getting Tampa Bay over midfield. On a later first-down run, defensive end George Karlaftis penetrated the line for a tackle for loss. With four yards to go on third down, the Bucs only gained one — forcing them to kick a field goal. They shortened the Chiefs’ lead to 7-3 with a successful kick.
For the Chiefs’ second drive, they started at the 21-yard line. A 12-yard reception by Kelce got the drive going, which was followed up by two medium gains. Before a short third down near midfield, the Chiefs used their first timeout. Coming out of the break, Mahomes rolled out right from under center and had to throw the ball as he was being tackled to the ground — but it got to wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster’s hands to miraculously move the sticks.
Two incompletions followed that sequence, setting up a third down — but Mahomes once again found Kelce to convert. The running game got going — first with with an eight-yard rush by rookie running back Isiah Pacheco, then a 20-yard carry to convert a third down by running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
Two snaps later, Edwards-Helaire finished the drive off with a three-yard touchdown run. The score was 14-3, with time still remaining in the first quarter.
Looking to answer, Tampa Bay took over from the 25-yard line. Linebacker Nick Bolton shot through the line to make a tackle for loss on a first-down run. After an incompletion to linebacker Darius Harris’ area of coverage, the Bucs had a positive play on third down — it just wasn’t enough to move the sticks. The Chiefs’ defense forced their first three-and-out.
From their own 18-yard line, Kansas City started their third drive with a flag for illegal formation. The following play was a 13-yard reception over the middle by Smith-Schuster. The Chiefs moved the sticks on the next play with a quick pass to Kelce. Tampa Bay linebacker Lavonte David forced an incompletion on the next play. Another eight-yard run from Pacheco set up a short-yardage third down and the end of the first quarter.
To start the second quarter, Mahomes scrambled to move the chains. On the following play, Mahomes found wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling deep down the middle for 36 yards; a well-placed throw allowed the receiver to use his length and secure the tight-window pass. After another chunk run by Pacheco, Mahomes nearly found Valdes-Scantling for a touchdown — but the pass fell incomplete. However, he got the Chiefs another set of downs with a quick pass to Kelce inside the five-yard line.
From there, the first attempt at running it in with running back Jerick McKinnon failed — but Mahomes followed it up with an incredible scramble that ended with a flick to Edwards-Helaire, his second touchdown of the game. The highlight-reel play gave the Chiefs a 21-3 lead early in the second quarter.
Tampa Bay started their attempt to respond with a chain-moving play on first down. Then, Brady found wide receiver Mike Evans deep down the middle of the field for a 30-yard gain. They kept moving the chains with nice gains through the air, getting into the red zone without facing a third down. Then, Brady found Evans over the middle for a tough touchdown catch — making the score 21-10.
A seven-yard run by Edwards-Helaire opened up Kansas City’s next drive, but was followed by a missed throw to Smith-Schuster. On third down, a quick-screen pass to Kelce moved the chains. A short run by Edwards-Helaire was boosted by a flag for a horse-collar tackle; the next snap, Pacheco took a carry for nine yards to set up a short second down. A stuffed run led to third down, where McKinnon was also tackled short of the line to gain.
They elected to go for it on fourth down, getting Edwards-Helaire wide open on a wheel route — but the pass bounced off his shoulders and hands for a very significant incompletion.
The Buccaneers’ ensuing drive ended quickly; cornerback L’Jarius Sneed flew from the right edge to sack Brady, causing a fumble that the Chiefs recovered at Tampa Bay’s 20-yard line.
A scrambling Mahomes moved the sticks on the first third down the Chiefs faced, then a seven-yard run by Pacheco gave Kansas City a good position for second down with goal-to-go. After taking a timeout, a shovel pass to McKinnon was stuffed. On third down, tight end Noah Gray motioned into an under-center position, taking the snap for a scoring sneak. The play extended Kansas City’s lead to 28-10 with two minutes remaining in the first half.
The Buccaneers’ drive started with the two-minute warning occurring after the first snap. Brady made a few throws to get Tampa Bay closer to midfield, setting up a third down with five yards to go. The conversion was made with a quick pass to wide receiver Julio Jones; that play was followed with a chain-moving pass to Godwin, leading to a timeout by the Buccaneers.
Out of the quick stoppage, Brady threw an incompletion — then found Fournette for nine yards to get to the Chiefs’ 32-yard line. Two snaps later, a flag was called on safety Juan Thornhill in coverage, setting up Tampa Bay in favorable position. After Bryan Cook forced an incompletion on first down, Brady found Evans in the corner of the end zone — beating rookie cornerback Jaylen Watson on a fade route to score before halftime. The scoreboard read 28-17 with ten seconds remaining.
The following kickoff was returned by rookie Isiah Pacheco for 42 yards, the longest of his career so far. After nearly breaking one, the Chiefs’ offense looked to try and capitalize — but Mahomes was sacked on the dropback. The score remained 28-17 at halftime.
Kansas City opened up the third quarter with the ball, starting with a nice catch by rookie wide receiver Skyy Moore to gain 15 yards. Two positive runs by Edwards-Helaire moved the sticks further, but Kansas City did run into third down and 10 yards to go. They converted with a quick screen pass to Smith-Schuster, gaining 19 yards.
Going from the 30-yard line, the Chiefs gained four yards on two plays — setting up third down. Pressure forced Mahomes to scramble right, where he decided to give Moore a chance in tight coverage deep down the field. The ball was too far, and the Chiefs settled for the field goal. A good kick made the score 31-17 in the Chiefs’ favor.
To answer, Tampa Bay got a drive going with a 10-yard completion to Godwin — but the Bucs stalled out on the following three plays. The third-down stop was punctuated by safety Juan Thornhill forcing an incompletion.
Kansas City began their next drive at their own 35-yard line, quickly resetting the downs with a good catch by Smith-Schuster. Then, a great play design left Valdes-Scantling streaking open down the sideline, going for 36 yards into Bucs’ territory. On a following third down, Mahomes found Moore for a 16-yard gain and a huge conversion to the five-yard line.
After a first-down sack, Mahomes went to tight end Jody Fortson — lined up isolated as a wide receiver to the right side. He executed a slant route, beating cornerback Carlton Davis III to score a touchdown. Kansas City looked in command with a 38-17 lead late in the third quarter.
Trying to get back in the game, Tampa Bay leaned on completions to Evans to move towards midfield. Then, two nine-yard gains by running back Rachaad White set up a big completion to tight end Ko Kieft — getting the Bucs to the four-yard line. After a personal-foul call on Thornhill, the Bucs played from the two-yard line. A one-yard run was the first snap, then an incompletion to Evans on a fade route. On third down, White scored on the ground — tightening the score to 38-24.
The Chiefs had a second down with five yards to go as the fourth quarter began. They ended up moving the sticks, but quickly faced another third down. On the conversion, Mahomes threaded the needle — low and away from the defender to Kelce. The great tight end made the play. They pushed inside the red zone with another strong run by Pacheco; from there, a tough third-down pass to Valdes-Scantling was dropped. The Chiefs settled for a field goal, pushing their lead to 41-24.
Trying to claw back into the contest, Tampa Bay moved the chains two times to start the drive. However, two offensive penalties on consecutive third-down attempts pushed them back too far to recover. They punted with under eight minutes to go in the game.
The Chiefs looked to pound the rock, and had success with Edwards-Helaire on the ground. He gained 14 yards on the first three plays. After a short pass, Mahomes looked down field — but cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting jumped the route and picked off the pass — returning it 33 yards to the Chiefs’ 34-yard line.
The Bucs started with a 13-yard gain on a screen pass to Fournette. Two plays later, Evans gained nine yards to the Chiefs’ 12-yard line — then Godwin took a pass to the five. Immediately after, Brady found Fournette in a tight pass at the goal line — scoring the late touchdown. Kansas City’s lead shrunk to 41-31 with more than three minutes on the game clock.
The Chiefs looked to run out the clock and emerge victorious, and they accomplished that mission. Edwards-Helaire and Pacheco gashed the Bucs’ run defense like they had all night, cruising to close out this game. The Chiefs eventually punted with roughly 50 seconds to go.
Tampa Bay tried their best to score again before the game’s end, pushing into Chiefs’ territory. Eventually, the clock struck three zeroes — finalizing the Chiefs’ 41-31 win over the Buccaneers.
Safety Justin Reid was slow to get up after blitzing on a big play late in the first half. He went to the medical tent soon after.
Kicker Matthew Wright has made all five of his point-after attempts, and converted a 44-yard field goal attempt in the third quarter. Early in the fourth quarter, Wright converted a 32-yard attempt.
Kick returner Isiah Pacheco has three returns so far — but one at the end of the first half wet 42 yards, the longest of the season.
Punt returner Skyy Moore took his only opportunity to return a punt for 12 yards; he fair caught
|Yards per play||5.4||6.4|
|Yards per rush||5.10||0.50|
|Passing Gross Yards||249||385|
|Passing Net Yards||228||373|
|Yards per pass||5.70||7.00|
|Rushing first downs||8||2|
|Passing first downs||17||23|
|Penalty first downs||2||2|
|Third down (Made/Att/Pct)||12/17/71%||6/10/60%|
|Fourth down (Made/Att/Pct)||0/1/0%||0/0/0%|
|Goal to go (Made/Att/Pct)||3/3/100%||3/3/100%|
|Red Zone (Made/Att/Pct)||5/6/83%||4/4/100%|
|Extra Points (Made/Att)||5/5||4/4|
|Field Goals (Made/Att)||2/2||1/1|
|Two-Point Conv (Made/Att)||0/0||0/0|
|Gross Punting Avg Yds||43.0||41.7|
|Net Punting Avg Yds||43.0||37.7|
|Total Rtn Yds (No KOs)||12||33|
|Punt Returns (Num/Yds)||1/12||0/0|
|Kickoff Returns (Num/Yds)||3/91||2/51|
|Int Returns (Num/Yds)||0/0||1/33|
|Time of Possession||38:38||21:22|
|Russell Gage Jr.||2||24||12.0||0||14||4||5|
|CHIEFS FUMBLES||FUM||LOST||FF||REC |
|BUCCANEERS FUMBLES||FUM||LOST||FF||REC |
|Antoine Winfield Jr.||5||3||2||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Carlton Davis III||3||2||1||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0|
|CHIEFS KICK RET||NO||YDS||AVG||LG||TD|
|BUCCANEERS KICK RET||NO||YDS||AVG||LG||TD|
|CHIEFS PUNT RET||NO||YDS||AVG||LG||TD|
|BUCCANEERS PUNT RET||NO||YDS||AVG||LG||TD|