Here we review the fascinating numbers from the Chiefs’ win over the Buccaneers.
Everybody likes the quirky stats that you can throw at your pals to make you look smart. Here’s a collection of numbers that you can toss around at the water cool—errrr, you probably don’t have a water cooler at work anymore. But you can share these figures in your text groups with your buddies after the Kansas City Chiefs’ big win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Let’s get to the stats.
Who else could you begin with? Wide receiver Tyreek Hill began the day with 752 yards receiving. He finished it as the league’s first pass catcher to eclipse the 1K yard mark in 2020, and now leads the NFL with 1,021 yards in the air. Hill put on a clinic in Tampa, hitting paydirt from 75, 44, and 20 yards out. He gutted the Bucs secondary for a remarkable seven receptions of 19 yards or more. Hill’s 8-yard grab inside the 2-minute warning (his only catch in the 4th quarter) was the play that sealed the game. The Cheetah even got some respect from national pundit Skip Bayless.
#1 and #2
We talked about Hill, who now leads the NFL in receiving yards. Here’s the crazy part. No. 2 in the league is his teammate, tight end Travis Kelce, who chipped in a quiet 82 yards against the Bucs. Throw your Madden game in the trash and turn on this team. This is the only place you can find these kinds of numbers on a real NFL field. Kelce just missed the 1,000 yard mark on the season, but he’ll have his day next week at Arrowhead against the Broncos.
Speculate with whatever you want about what makes the Chiefs’ offense tick. The fact is, the quartet of Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce is a code that no defensive coach can crack.
Mahomes currently leads the league with 3,497 yards passing. If he can average 301 passing yards per game over the last five games of 2020, he will eclipse 5,000 passing yards for the second time in his young career. This is a landmark number, something that only seven other players in league history have ever reached.
Another 5,000 yard season would make Mahomes just the second player in league history to reach that number more than once in his career—something Drew Brees has done five times!—and he would also be the first ever to do it twice before his 30th birthday.
That’s the Chiefs’ magic number in the AFC West. That’s it. Now, let’s be real: After the Chiefs defeated the Raiders in Week 11, the division was securely under K.C.’s control, but today’s events all but locked it up. Any combination of two Chiefs wins or Raiders losses will mathematically give the Chiefs their fifth consecutive division crown. A Raiders loss to the Jets next Sunday afternoon (highly unlikely) would set the table for the Chiefs to celebrate a division title at Arrowhead that night with a win over the Broncos.
The Raiders need nine of the final ten Raiders/Chiefs games to go their way, and that’s just not going to happen. The Raiders have a very easy schedule remaining, with the Jets, Colts, Chargers, Dolphins and Broncos on tap. But after getting trounced by the Falcons on Sunday, no one expects this Raiders team to win out. Meanwhile, the Chiefs also have the Broncos, Dolphins, Saints, Falcons, and Chargers remaining on their schedule.
Here’s one final stat regarding the Chiefs’ playoff hunt:
3 (and out)
The Chiefs forced Tom Brady and the Bucs into three first quarter three-and-outs. Tampa Bay was forced to punt on all four of their possessions in the opening quarter while totaling just 38 yards of offense. That’s the good news.
The bad news is, we didn’t see Buccaneers punter Bradley Pinion in punt formation again. Things changed once the first quarter ended. From that point, Tampa Bay scored on every drive til the end of the game except for two third-quarter interceptions (both of which were caught inside the Kansas City 20-yard-line and led to subsequent Chiefs’ punts). Without the hot start from the Chiefs’ offense, we could be singing a very different song this week.
The Buccaneers were the last (32nd) team on the victory tour for Chiefs radio announcer Mitch Holthus, but Sunday’s win means the 27-year veteran has now called a victory for the Chiefs over every other NFL team. Congratulations to Mitch, the longest tenured radio announcer in Chiefs history!
When Mahomes lost a fumble early in the 2nd quarter, it was the first time in 22 games since the star quarterback had lost a fumble, including the playoffs. You have to go all the way back to Week 6 of the 2019 season, when Mahomes lost one in a home loss to the Houston Texans.