AFC West: Chiefs lose to Buccaneers 19-17
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers took their celebration all the way to the showers Sunday after snapping the Kansas City Chiefs' five-game winning streak, whooping it up louder than any fan in the building.
When some of them started to talk about how great it felt, though, Gerald McCoy set them straight.
“He was like, `That is expected,'” Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston said of their longtime defensive tackle, “and I thought, `You're right.'”
Winston sliced up a Kansas City defense missing top cornerback Marcus Peters, then McCoy and the Buccaneers defense stood tall in a 19-17 victory Sunday that could prove pivotal to their season.
Tampa Bay (5-5) is suddenly right in the NFC South playoff hunt.
“We have a really close locker room. We pull together,” said Chris Conte, who made a crucial pick for Tampa Bay in the fourth quarter. “When we travel, we come together as a team and get it done.”
Winston threw for 331 yards to help set up four field goals by Roberto Aguayo, and hit tight end Robert Cross for a touchdown with just over 6 minutes left to give the Buccaneers a cushion.
The Chiefs (7-3) marched swiftly downfield, and Alex Smith hit Albert Wilson with a short TD pass with just over two minutes left. But their defense couldn't stop Mike Evans on third-and-3 moments later, and the big wide receiver's sixth reception gave the Buccaneers a first down.
By the time Kansas City finally forced a punt, there was 8 seconds left in the game.
“This is my responsibility that my team plays better than this,” said Chiefs coach Andy Reid, whose team had not lost at home since Oct. 11, 2015. “I didn't have them ready when they needed to be.”
It was the Buccaneers' fifth straight win over Kansas City dating to 1993.
“We can't make mistakes. We can't stop ourselves, whether that be blocking the wrong people or getting penalties. We got to execute,” Chiefs wide receiver Chris Conley said. “We've got to continue the tempo that we have during the middle of the field. We've got to keep that tempo in the red zone.”
The Chiefs, who had won 17 of their last 19 regular-season games, repeatedly fizzled inside the Tampa Bay 20. They had to settle for a field goal by Cairo Santos on their first trip and Smith threw an interception in the end zone midway through the fourth quarter.
The Chiefs were 0 for 3 in the red zone last week at Carolina.
“I don't think there's one thing you can point to. I don't think there's one thing that can do it,” Smith said of the red-zone trouble. “You got to come away with points. That's a difference-maker.”
Smith was 23 of 30 for 268 yards in another inconsistent performance Sunday, while Spencer Ware was bottled up much of the afternoon. The bruising running back finished with just 69 yards rushing.
“We have to capitalize. We can only learn from this and move forward,” Ware said. “There's nothing wrong with what's going on right now. We just have to capitalize.”
MARTIN MOVES IT
The Buccaneers' Doug Martin carried 24 times for 63 yards in his second game back from a hamstring injury. But that modest total was important in helping Tampa Bay go 11 of 16 on third downs.
Chiefs long snapper James Winchester played one day after the funeral for his father, Michael, who was shot to death at an Oklahoma City airport on Tuesday. Police believe the elder Winchester, an employee for Southwest Airlines, was gunned down in retaliation for losing his own airline job.
Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston made his season debut , though he hardly factored into the game. The four-time Pro Bowl pick has been out after surgery in February to repair the ACL in his left knee.
Buccaneers: Starting cornerback Brent Grimes left in the first half with a quad injury and did not return. Backup offensive lineman Ben Gottschalk left with a knee injury.
Chiefs: Outside linebacker Dee Ford, the NFL sack leader with 10 coming in, did not play in the second half with a hamstring injury. Peters (hip pointer), starting defensive tackle Jaye Howard (knee) and wide receiver Jeremy Maclin (groin) were inactive.
Buccaneers: Return home next weekend to take on another Super Bowl favorite, Seattle.
Chiefs: Head to Denver for a Sunday night showdown between AFC West contenders.
- Albert Wilson
- Ben Gottschalk
- Brent Grimes
- Cairo Santos
- Chris Conley
- Chris Conte
- Dee Ford
- Doug Martin
- FOX Sports San Diego
- Gerald McCoy
- Jameis Winston
- Jaye Howard
- Jeremy Maclin
- Justin Houston
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Marcus Peters
- Mike Evans
- Roberto Aguayo
- Spencer Ware
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers