Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Kansas City Chiefs preview: Kansas City will hope to continue play-off push against a buoyant Tampa Bay.

The Kansas City Chiefs return home this week to face their second NFC South opponent in succession. The Chiefs will be confident of following up last week’s victory over the Carolina Panthers with another win, against a Tampa Bay side that has blown both hot and cold this season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Kansas City Chiefs preview: Kansas City will hope to continue play-off push against a buoyant Tampa Bay.
An intriguing match up in store with the on fire Chiefs facing a rejuvenated Buccaneers

The Kansas City Chiefs are currently one of the hottest teams in the NFL. Their five-game winning streak is bettered only by the Dallas Cowboys run of eight in a row.

Yet, while the Cowboys are the name on every pundit’s lips on sports shows across the country, the Chiefs have quietly gone about their business, week after week, simply getting the job done.

Sitting pretty atop the AFC Standings

They sit in the number one seed position in the AFC and have looked every inch a Superbowl team.

Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs have been quietly getting the job done | Source: Getty Images
Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs have been quietly getting the job done | Source: Getty Images

However, with the Oakland Raiders tied with them on 7-2 in the AFC West, Andy Reid’s team will need to keep the intensity levels high, particularly with home-field advantage being so important in the play-offs.

But it is more likely to be the prospect of not wanting to go to the New England Patriots in a possible AFC Championship game that will provide as much inspiration for the Chiefs, than the thought of the Raiders breathing down their necks.

While a visit from the 4-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers should not cause Reid to lose much sleep in the build-up to game-day, should they take them lightly, then they will do so at their peril.

Harder to beat on the road

The Buccaneers have looked a far better team away from the sultry climes of Raymond James Stadium and have only been beaten once on the road this season – a heavy 7-40 loss at the Arizona Cardinals in week 2.

Head coach Dirk Koetter knows that if his team are to make a concerted run towards the play-offs, then they can ill-afford to have many more defeats between now and New Year’s Day.

Jameis Winston has the talent to lead the Buccaneers to victory in any game | Source: Getty Images
Jameis Winston has the talent to lead the Buccaneers to victory in any game | Source: Getty Images

The Buccaneers have an enormous task ahead of them if their ambitions of seeing post-season action are to come to fruition, with games against the Seattle Seahawks and the Cowboys forming part of their run-in, following this weekend’s trip to Arrowhead Stadium.

There is no doubt that, in Jameis Winston, they have an offense capable of hurting any team. Especially with their group of talented wide receivers, and in Mike Evans, they have someone who the second-year quarterback can link up with to make the big plays – as the Chicago Bears can testify after a resurgent Buccaneers destroyed them on both sides of the ball last week.

Coupled together with the return to action of running back Doug Martin, then Tampa Bay are capable of mixing plays up, and finding the end-zone.

It is Martin, in particular, that could play a pivotal role if the Buccaneers are to ruin the Chiefs perfect 4-0 home record this year.

An intriguing match-up is in prospect

The Kansas City defense is ranked seventh overall in the NFL, but only 27th against the run.

Koetter likes to pound the ball up the middle in the first quarter of games, and, should the Buccaneers be able to establish the rushing game early on, then they could hurt the Chiefs by keeping their defense on the field.

Spencer Ware has 572 yards and 2 touchdowns from 115 carries this season | Source: chiefs.com
Spencer Ware has 572 yards and 2 touchdowns from 115 carries this season | Source: chiefs.com

On the flip-side, of course, Kansas City have weapons of their own, with impressive tight end Travis Kelce leading the team in receiving, and running back Spencer Ware with over 550 yards from 115 carries this season.

Alex Smith has put some very impressive numbers together (179 completions for 1816 yards and 8 touchdowns), and, like the rest of the team, has virtually flown under the radar of the plaudits.

Ultimately, the Chiefs should have too much for the Buccaneers, and will be more likely to pick up the win.

Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs by 14.