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Buccaneers vs. Chiefs statistical preview: Turnovers are key

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Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

This is just a simplified preview of the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs using some basic stats.

KC's Defense

Bucs KC
Off Pass      (yds/g) Off Rush   (yds/g) PF         (ppg) Def Pass      (yds/g) Def Rush   (yds/g) PA         (ppga)
Rank 15th 17th 13th 13th 27th 7th
252.7 104.9 24 244.4 121.7 18.7
Diff (Def - Off)
Pass Rush PA
-8.3 16.8 -5.3

Kansas City's biggest weakness is stopping the run. Fortunately for the Bucs, the return of both center Joe Hawley and running back Doug Martin may pay dividends, provided rookie left guard Caleb Benenoch can improve his play from his first game of the season.

The Chiefs defense points per game allowed ranks among the best in the league. The Bucs offense has not fared well against top defenses such as Arizona and Denver. In my Offensive Drive articles this season, I noted that the Bucs offense has struggled all season, averaging about 18 points per game excluding the help they get from the defense or special teams.

This KC defense will be a very good test for the offense and Winston, but for a related metric that I will show later in the article.

Bucs' Defense

KC Bucs
Off Pass      (yds/g) Off Rush   (yds/g) PF         (ppg) Def Pass      (yds/g) Def Rush   (yds/g) PA         (ppga)
Rank 22nd 20th 17th 23rd 25th 26th
Yds/g 233.1 99.7 22.8 267.7 118.3 26.9
Diff (Def - Off)
Pass Rush PA
34.6 18.6 4.1

Obviously, the Bucs' defense is quite a mediocre defense when taken in totality. Yet once the offense stopped gifting the ball to the opposing teams so often, the defense has produced. Here are the results:

Bucs' Offensive Opponents
Scoring to Results
Game Rank Team PPG Game Scored Bucs Result
5 12th Car 24.4 14 Win
6 22nd SF 20.8 17 Blowout Win
7 5th Oak 27.2 24 (30 - OT) OT Loss
8 1st Atl 32 43 Blowout Loss
9 31st Chi 15.7 10 Blowout Win

With the exception of the Atlanta game on a short week, the Bucs' defense has held the opposing offenses below their scoring game averages in regulation time. With this trend, I believe the Bucs can keep Kansas City's offense below their average scoring for the year provided the Bucs' offense does not turn the ball over.


Kansas City leads the league in takeaways, with a total of 22 takeaways. They beat the Panthers last week due to two takeaways. One was a pick-six by Eric Berry and the other was a strip fumble for the game winning FG. The Chiefs offense did not create a touchdown in that game.

Finally breaking even, the Bucs are at a net zero mark for turnover differential.


These two teams mirror each other such that the wins are reliant upon defenses to create scoring for their respective teams. Whoever wins the turnover battle will probably win this game.