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Buccaneers 2016 season preview: Can they match up with the Chiefs?

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2013 Pro Bowl Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

Previewing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 2016 season, game by game. Today: week eleven’s game at the Kansas City Chiefs.

Bucs’ all-time record vs. Chiefs: 6-5

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers haven’t faced the Chiefs much, but they’ve mostly won when they have. In fact, the Bucs have won the last four meetings, but the Chiefs they’ll face this year are a different team entirely. Alex Smith is no top-notch quarterback, but Andy Reid manages to get just enough out of him to win plenty of games throughout the year, with a not overly impressive receiving corps at that.

The real core of the Chiefs is the defense, though, and this will be one of Jameis Winston’s toughest tests. The Chiefs have quality and depth throughout their roster, and their defense is a well-oiled machine that keeps getting them into the playoffs. If Donovan Smith doesn’t take some big steps, Justin Houston could walk away with far too many sacks from this game.

In fact, this may turn out to be one of the toughest games on the schedule. Not because the Chiefs are unbeatable, but because they match up fairly badly with the Bucs. A quick passing game, a fast running game, and a devastating pass rush are not a combination that Tampa Bay has been able to stop in recent game. Perhaps Mike Smith can change that, but fundamental changes to a defense in one year are fairly difficult.

In all, I expect this to be a loss. Sad but true, but that shouldn’t stop the Bucs from getting to the playoffs. Of course, a win here would be a real statement, especially given the fact that the game will be played in Kansas City.