The Buccaneers are 2-1 heading into Week 4 following a loss at home to the Green Bay Packers. Tampa Bay plays host again this week and this time to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Tampa Bay is currently a 1-point underdog via DraftKings Sportsbook at home. Our staff weighs in with their predictions and Week 4 picks below.
Gil Arcia: Mahomes goes off
The Buccaneers faced a big challenge last week against the Green Bay Packers with Aaron Rodgers slinging the ball around. And with facing Patrick Mahomes this week, the challenge may be much tougher. Even though Tampa Bay’s defense tightened up in the second half of last week’s loss to the Packers where Rodgers was held in check, I don’t see that happening this week. Give me Mahomes with four touchdowns and 300-plus yards passing with no mistakes.
James Yarcho: Defense Lives Rent Free In Mahomes’ Mind
The last time these two teams met it was a nightmare for Patrick Mahomes - and those wounds are still fresh enough to cause problems this time around. Unlike Gil, I don’t see this as a game where Mahomes goes off and shreds a very stout Bucs defense. Instead, the Bucs will sack Mahomes four times and get two takeaways for the third week in a row.
Evan Wanish: Julio plays and gets his first
Wide Receiver Julio Jones has been held out of the last two games due to a partially torn PCL. Todd Bowles said after the Green Bay game that Jones would probably suit up against Kansas City. Not only will Jones make his return to the field, but he will also find the endzone for the first time as a Buccaneer. Jones will make an impact, having over 60 receiving yards and one touchdown.
Mike Kiwak: Deuces for Winfield, Jr.
Antoine Winfield, Jr. has been excellent in his new role as primary nickelback while logging more situational snaps at safety for Tampa Bay’s defense. He currently has twice as many solo tackles (16) than receptions allowed (8), and I expect him to clamp down KC’s slot options while being involved in a couple splash plays. I’ll put Winfield down for a forced fumble and a sack.
Will Walsh: Chris Jones on third down… Yikes
Chris Jones is the story. His performance is very likely to determine the outcome of this game. Jones is a very disruptive defensive lineman and one of the better interior rushers the Bucs will face this season. The Buccaneers are working with a remade offensive line and Tampa’s youth, inexperience, and lack of continuity will be put to the test this week. Their grade will heavily determine the Buccaneers’ chances of victory. Chris Jones is a good player and he will make his plays but Tampa Bay has to limit their impact. The third down passing game cannot be affected by Jones, against the Green Bay Packers the Buccaneers found themselves in a lot of third and long situations. If that trend is continued and the Chiefs’ lineman is able to register his second multi sack performance of the season, then Tom Brady may be throwing more tablets than touchdowns.
James Hill: Secondary Makes Mahomes Miserable
The Buccaneers secondary has been one of the bright spots on the entirety of the roster this season. Multiple players have gotten interceptions through three weeks and I believe that trend will continue in this matchup against the chiefs despite the teams potent passing offense. I have Carlton Davis, Logan Ryan, AND Antoine Winfield Jr. getting interceptions in this game and making Mahomes struggle throughout the matchup.
Chris Weingarten: Let’s get Physical
During the first three weeks of the season, the Buccaneers have struggled to find consistency on offense. New players added in the off-season, plus a host of injuries in training camp, have led to disappointing results thus far. It seems as if the team is trending towards being the healthiest it’s been all year, and I believe that against the Chiefs, the Bucs will finally find an offensive identity. An inspired, and clearly more physical offensive line will lead the way for the Buccaneers. Look for the Bucs to control the ball, wear down the Chiefs with the run game, and finally score over 20 points. Tom Brady throws two play action touchdown passes, with one of those to rookie Rachaad White, as the Bucs give the hometown fans a much-needed moment of happiness.
Week 4 Staff Picks
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.