Chiefs vs Buccaneers score, takeaway: Patrick Mahomes beats Tom Brady as Kansas City rolls over Tampa Bay

The Week 4 battle between two legendary quarterbacks didn’t disappoint on “Sunday Night Football,” but one flagman left much happier than the other. While Tom Brady produced garish numbers for the Buccaneers at home, Patrick Mahomes enjoyed a much easier night for the Chiefs, riding Andy Reid’s creativity and some acrobatic red-zone hijinks for a 41-31 rout from Tampa Bay. The Super Bowl LV rematch certainly showcased offensive firepower, with both teams combining for more than 700 yards, but all of the Bucs’ points came from behind as the home side chased Reid’s Chiefs .

Here are some takeaways from Kansas City’s big prime-time win:

Why the Chiefs won

Reid’s attack was (almost literally) unstoppable. We’ve seen plenty of explosive games from Mahomes and Co. over the years, but the road favorites have been catching on all night. The No.15 split the ball, hitting Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Travis Kelce early for splatter plays, and once again Reid’s creativity in the red zone was impeccable. Whether Mahomes scrambles and makes last-second shovel passes in the back of the end zone or tight end Noah Gray lines up under center, they couldn’t be denied in scoring range.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Isiah Pacheco also kept busy finding space on the court, combining for over 130 rushing yards. The Chiefs’ defense was relatively porous aside from a strip-sack from L’Jarius Sneed, and Mahomes offered the Bucs a late pick by lobbing one in double coverage. But that didn’t matter much at the time, with 41 points already on the board and a forced fumble at kickoff setting the tone in Kansas City’s favor from the get-go.

Why the Buccaneers lost

Todd Bowles’ defense had no answers for football’s best quarterback, giving up the most points of any unit Bowles led in the coaching career. Despite three sacks and a late Sean Murphy-Bunting pick, their typically physical team simply couldn’t contain the Chiefs for an extended amount of time, especially on third down and in the red zone. They were also totally lacking in ground game, with Rachaad White and Leonard Fournette non-factors, but that didn’t really matter in an instant shootout all night.

No, the real killer, aside from their inability to stop KC, was the turnovers — a fumble from White’s kickoff and a fumble from Brady on a rough strip sack. Brady was otherwise in MVP form, wanting the Bucs to come within reach multiple times and threading the needle on some clutch throws to Mike Evans. In the end, their efforts were too little, too late and a bit too sloppy, with five penalties also hampering their results.

Turning

You can easily point to the kickoff that started the game, which gave the Chiefs instant bonus possession just outside the red zone. But Sneed’s zoom to the edge to topple Brady, force a fumble and leave TB12 slow to get up certainly felt like the unofficial ceiling of the game. Already down 21-10 heading into halftime, the Bucs breakaway set up a TD Chiefs drive to extend Kansas City’s lead to 18. Brady would go on to find Evans for his own score before the break, but the damage was already done.

Game of the game

Mahomes has been a magician since his historic breakthrough as the first full-time player, but even by his standards, his second-quarter TD pass (pitch? Hurt? Toss?) to Clyde Edwards-Helaire was absurd. The athleticism, focus and courage needed to not only try but easily pull off something like this is why Mahomes remains the NFL’s model point guard in this position:

And after

The Chiefs (3-1) return to Arrowhead Stadium for a Week 5 “Monday Night Football” game with rival Raiders (1-3), who are coming off their first win of the year by edging out the Broncos. The Buccaneers (2-2), meanwhile, will stay in Tampa to host the Falcons (2-2), who narrowly beat the Browns on Sunday.

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