5. Debacle before halftime
(0:24 – 2nd) 1st & 10 at TB 42
Pain. Just pain. We should first talk about the timeout Andy Reid took with 0:49 seconds left in the first half, hoping to stop the Bucs and get the ball back before half. The timeout ended up helping Tampa as it gave them time to reset and take a shot downfield. Tom Brady threw a deep shot to Mike Evans, and Bashuad Breeland got a little tangled up with Evans, leading to a PI call and a spot foul. Tampa proceeded to punch in another touchdown right before the half.
I don’t know what to make of this sequence, to be honest. The choice to call timeout wasn’t a categorically bad decision, but was a gamble by Reid, especially considering the Chiefs defense wasn’t playing well. Still, it’s not as if Reid had challenged something silly or truly wasted a timeout. There was a logic behind the move: if you stop Tampa, Mahomes gets the ball with a chance to add some points before the half.
It only came back to bite the team because Arians and Brady wisely used the timeout to their own advantage, and Breeland got beaten on his route—handily. There’s room to examine so many parts of this series: was the penalty call correct? Why was Breeland alone on Evans if the Chiefs knew Tampa was playing aggressive? I don’t know the answer to these questions, but I do know that the last minute of the half was a tough watch for Chiefs fans.
The DPI enabled a Bucs TD, which put the Chiefs in a 21-6 deficit going into the half.