The Chiefs vs. Buccaneers matchup isn’t just about the star power involved. Let’s look at a few under-the-radar difference makers for Sunday Night Football.
The Sunday night spotlight is necessary for the level of star power involved in a game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. From the game’s best young quarterback in Patrick Mahomes to its greatest of all time in Tom Brady, and potential future Hall of Fame pass catchers like Mike Evans or Travis Kelce, there are plenty of exciting players involved in a highly-anticipated game in primetime like this one.
But what’s true is that these games are often won or lost on the talents of those who are lesser known. Key contributions from under-the-radar players can make all of the difference, and there are a few key players to watch on Sunday with this in mind. Beyond the household names, keep your eye on these potential difference-makers to see how they impact a big non-conference game for both teams.
One of the keys to this game for the Chiefs, if they want to win, is to make sure to be careful with the football. The Tampa Bay defense is a stout one that has no problem generating turnovers, especially in the secondary where Todd Bowles’ unit has already claimed five interceptions of opposing quarterbacks through three games.
Jamel Dean is the early leader among plenty of talented defensive backs for the Bucs with 2 interceptions and 3 pass deflections. This is a sure-handed unit that will take advantage of careless errors, unlike other teams this year who’ve allowed Patrick Mahomes to get away with an errant pass here and there.
Dean is hardly the only one in the defensive backfield ready to seize on any flippant throws from Mahomes. Antoine Winfield Jr. is a playmaker and he already has 1 interception this year. Fellow safeties Mike Edwards (who led the team last year with 3) and Logan Ryan have the others, but Carlton Davis led the team in passes deflected last year and is certainly capable of making such plays, too.
Mahomes is going to have to take chances in order to put pressure on Bowles’ defense, but they should be calculated risks built on trust and solid communication.