Tyrann Mathieu says trust was key to Chiefs defensive success against Buccaneers

Nov 29, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) runs the ball after an interception agains the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 29, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) runs the ball after an interception agains the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Tyrann Mathieu discussed the difference between Weeks 11 and 12 for the Chiefs defense.

Tyrann Mathieu was ready to turn the corner. So was the rest of the Kansas City Chiefs defense.

After a frustrating week against the Las Vegas Raiders—the second such performance this season—in Week 11, the Chiefs came into their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers facing questions of how the defense, most notably the pass rush, would respond after allowing the Raiders to ring up 31 points in a losing effort (especially after giving up 40 points in the first matchup between the AFC West rivals).

The Chiefs silenced their critics on Sunday afternoon, for the most part.

The Bucs were stymied for the entire first quarter as the Chiefs raced out to a quick lead. From there, the defense was especially impressive in the third quarter when they forced two turnovers to halt Tom Brady from moving the chains any further. While it wasn’t a perfect effort on either side, the reality is that the Chiefs responded well to such a close game by staring down an NFC contender on the road.

After the game, reporters spoke to safety Tyrann Mathieu about the differences in the defense’s performance from week to week.

"“To begin, I think the most important thing is focusing on each other. Opponents are going to throw each and every thing at us. Sometimes we’ve been able to handle it and other times we haven’t. This week, it was just all about trust—trust in your teammates, trust in the guy next to you, trust in the communication, trust in the play call. I thought for the most part of the game, I thought we were able to do that. I thought we were out there trusting each other, believing in the play call, and I think that kinda showed tonight.“Obviously playing against Tom Brady, he’s going to make his plays, but at the end of the day, I thought we held up well. We forgot about last week. We moved on and I thought it served us well.”"

Mathieu had one of the Chiefs two interceptions himself after it bounced off of the helmet of teammate Daniel Sorensen. Chiefs corner Bashaud Breeland had the other one.

On the season, Mathieu has 55 combined tackles, 3 interceptions, and 5 deflected passes.

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