Early Defensive Efforts Not Enough to Hold off Bucs

Posted Oct 14, 2012

The talk of the town this week in Kansas City was focused around Brady Quinn who was not only replacing an injured Matt Cassel, but also making his first start under center since December 2009. Quinn and the Chiefs squad took the field looking determined and focused as they faced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium.

During Tampa Bay’s first possession of the game, Justin Houston recorded his first career interception, stepping in front of a QB Josh Freeman pass, finding the handle and running it back 45 yards to the Buccaneers 41-yard line. The Chiefs, then, made their way down the field and methodically moved the ball. However, after ten plays, Tampa Bay’s S Mark Barron intercepted a pass intended for Steve Maneri at the Bucs seven-yard line.

Defense then took charge. The Chiefs and Buccaneers exchanged punts in the first fifteen minutes, and after numerous penalties and the first quarter coming to a close, QB Josh Freeman connected with WR Mike Williams for a 62-yard pass and a score.

On the next drive, RB Nate Eachus recorded his first reception of the season for a 19-yard gain and the Chiefs began to assemble an offensive push . A Quinn led offense made their way to the 21-yard line in 15 plays, their longest drive of the season. The drive stalled and K Ryan Succop was called to hit his tenth consecutive field goal, putting the Chiefs on the board with 7:50 remaining in the first half. Making the score 3 – 7.

Late in the second, former Chiefs K Conner Barth attempted a Bucs 55-yard field goal but was unable to connect and hit the post. It was his first missed field goal since October 2011.

As the Chiefs and Buccaneers headed into the locker room Tampa Bay gripped to a four-point lead.

The second half began exactly as the Bucs had planned and it went exactly as the Chiefs had feared. The Buccaneers offense knifed through the Chiefs defense in the early moments of the third quarter and Freeman completed three consecutive passes for a total of 80 yards and a touchdown. To add insult to injury, the Chiefs were driving on the very next possession when WR Dexter McCluster reached out for a pass that bobbled towards the ground. DB Ronde Barber snared the pass, before it touched the turf and the interception was returned for 78 yards and a touchdown.

The rest of the third quarter was uneventful but that was all but made up for when Shades of Garo Yepremian reared their ugly head. P Michael Koenen found Shaun Draughn in his face and his punt was blocked. Rumbling around in the endzone, Koenen grabbed the ball and hurled it into the arms of Edgar Jones who returned the ball 11 yards, scoring the first touchdown for the Chiefs in two weeks.

The Chiefs momentum was short lived. A jump ball thrown by Freeman towards DB Stanford Routt’s side was deflected by Routt and dropped fortuitously into the hands of WR Tiquan Underwood who scampered for a big gain. The drive was finally halted but not before it ate up over five minutes and culminated in another Tampa Bay Field Goal.

Midway through the fourth quarter, the Chiefs offense was still trying to get in rhythm, but the Buccaneers and Freeman were in mid season form. Driving nearly the length of the field, Freeman targeted Jackson for his second score of the game and it was effectively out of reach. A late rushing touchdown sealed the victory for the Buccaneers and leave the Chiefs with a 1-5 record.

The Chiefs now head back to Kansas City with many questions and two weeks to look for answers.

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