The Buccaneers last weekend in Dallas had all the momentum early, but were unable to take advantage of it, and by the end of the day were losers 13-9 to a Cowboys team that played inspired. They had their shots, even near the end of the game, but didn’t take advantage of the chances that were given to them.
This Sunday they take their 5-3 record to Kansas City, where they go up against a Chiefs team that is 1-6, but feels a bit better after playing a tough game where they almost were able to pull off an upset, losing Sunday in the Meadowlands to the Jets 28-24. They are hoping that the strong play Sunday of young QB Tyler Thigpen continues.
The Bucs will again be led by Jeff Garcia, who was held in check by Dallas’ defense. While he was able to escape a couple of big pass rushes, Garcia was unable to come out with any big plays, and the team eventually had to settle for three field goals. Garcia has four TD’s and two picks on the season, and he needs to get this team scoring more to keep his starting job.
The running game should get a workout on Sunday, as the Chiefs are bad against the run, and in their last home game allowed over 300 yards rushing to the Jets. Earnest Graham and Warrick Dunn should see plenty of carries, and while Garcia will look to get the ball out quickly when he throws, don’t look for many pass attempts if Graham and Dunn can do what they should be able to do – which is pound the ball.
As for the Chiefs, coach Herm Edwards simply wants the team to keep growing and playing better. While a win vs the Bucs won’t be easy, they were able to play hard vs the Jets and are hoping that this week some of that confidence will continue and maybe they could do what they did early in the season to the Broncos, which is score a big upset. Unlikley, but it can happen.
A win for the Chiefs will be even tougher without leading rusher Larry Johnson, whose off the field issues will again have him sitting this one out. It will be up to Thigpen and some of the other playmakers like Dwayne Bowe and Tony Gonzlaez to pick up the slack with Johnson sitting the bench.
This game should go to the Bucs, but I can see the Chiefs again playing with pride and hanging in there. Look for the Bucs to pull away with a couple of big plays in the fourth quarter, but don’t expect it to be a cakewalk.