Chiefs Fall to Bucs 25-0

Posted Aug 12, 2011

Kansas City shut out in preseason opener

In their first game since the worst-to-first turnaround in 2010, the Chiefs faced off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a soggy Friday night at Arrowhead. The primetime match kicked off the first of four preseason games for the Chiefs and the 2010 AFC West champs could not get into an offensive rhythm, losing a 25-0 in the preseason opener.

After the opening kick, QB Matt Cassel led the offense onto the field for the first time since their playoff loss to Baltimore in January. Led by Cassel and RB/WR Dexter McCluster, among others, the Chiefs went three and out despite an 8-yard run by McCluster and Kansas City was forced to punt.

Among the starters for Tampa Bay was their starter from last year and Kansas City native Josh Freeman. The Buccaneers weren’t able to convert on third down either however, and the Chiefs took the field again.

The possession was another short one for the Chiefs offense, when Cassel fumbled the snap and Tampa Bay recovered on the Chiefs 9 yard line. Freeman put the Bucs on the scoreboard first when he scrambled into the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown run and a 7-0 lead after the extra point.

Cassel came in for the third series and RB Thomas Jones kicked off the drive with an 8-yard run and then a 17-yard dash that sent him into the Gatorade jugs. RB Jackie Battle saw some action next when he contributed a 5-yard run but the ball was jarred loose in the process. The officials ruled Battle down originally, but Tampa Bay threw the challenge flag, which went on to reverse the call and give the Buccaneers the ball at mid-field.

The Bucs put together a pair of first downs on the ensuing drive including a 21 yard reception by WR Dezmon Briscoe, but LB Cory Greenwood got to Freeman to cause a forced incomplete pass on third down to set up the field goal and a 10-0 lead.

QB Tyler Palko entered the game to begin the team’s fourth drive and completed a pair of passes to WR Terrance Copper for a first down to start the series. Palko was forced out of the pocket later on and the 2-yard scramble led to another punt from P Dustin Colquitt.

Freeman completed five consecutive passes for Tampa Bay on the following drive, but former Buc Sabby Piscitelli got some revenge on his old team and knocked down a pass later in the series to force a 40-yard field goal.

2011 Chiefs first-round draft pick Jonathan Baldwin saw his first NFL action with a 14 yard reception on the next drive, but the Chiefs went on to punt again to put Tampa Bay back at the 21 yard line. Linebacker Eric Bakhtiari put Chiefs fans on their feet when he registered the first sack of the game on QB Josh Johnson, and the Bucs went on to punt as well.

After a botched punt return put the Chiefs at their own 3 yard line, Kansas City couldn’t recover and Tyler Palko was sacked in the end zone to bring the Tampa Bay lead to 15-0.

The Chiefs’ red zone defense gave fans lot to cheer about at the end of the second quarter and produced some momentum to take into halftime.

Johnson and the Buccaneers put together a drive with nearly 5 minutes remaining that took them from their own 30-yard line to the Chiefs 3, but that’s all the farther they got before the half ended.

Rookie defensive back Jalil Brown reached around receiver Michael Spurlock to knock down the Josh Johnson pass in the end zone on third down and safety Reshard Langford defended a pass on the following play to prevent the 4th down touchdown with 38 seconds remaining.

The Chiefs took that momentum into the second half with a 12-yard sack by LB Justin Cole on the third play of the half. Tampa Bay punted after being unable to recover from the 12-yard loss and Palko stayed in for another series. Chiefs fans lost their breath for a second on the following series, as Palko was sacked and lost the ball in the process on the 17 yard line but WR Cody Slate was there to pick up the ball and run for 9 yards, but the Chiefs still had to punt.

The Buccaneers continued their offense following the Chiefs punt, and Johnson put together an 8-play scoring drive that finished with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Spurlock.

Former Iowa Hawkeye quarterback Ricky Stanzi made his NFL debut on the next series and was welcomed by a roar of cheers from the Arrowhead fans. Stanzi went 1 for 2 on the drive but his one completed pass came as he was being tackled to the ground and Jackie Battle caught the ball for an 8-yard gain.

The Chiefs still had to punt however, but on the following series, rookie LB Gabe Miller entered the game and registered his first NFL tackle with DB Quentin Lawrence. All other rookies saw action Friday night as well.

The Bucs were flagged for three penalties on the drive but still managed to reach the Kansas City 41 yard line before punting with 18 seconds left in the quarter. They got the ball back soon after, due to a sack on Stanzi, and Tampa Bay put together another scoring drive capped off with a 45-yard field goal from K Jacob Rogers.

Kansas City put together some offense on their next drive, beginning with a 7-yard reception by Jeremy Horne and an 8-yard scramble by Stanzi. Battle also contributed back-to-back rushes for 12 combined yards on the following two plays. They weren’t able to continue the surge however, and a pair of incomplete passes and a sack over the next four plays forced another Chiefs punt.

Tampa Bay had no luck on their next drive either, with their punt going into the end zone for a touchback. The Chiefs were able to catch a break on the play, after an unnecessary roughness call on Bucs safety Devin Holland moved the Chiefs up to the 35 yard line.

Both teams exchanged punts on the following two series and the Chiefs finished the game with a pair of rushes from Jackie Battle and 2011 draft selection FB Shane Bannon to end the lopsided 25-0 defeat.

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