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Chiefs vs. Bucs Post Game Gab

Eerily similar to last weeks defeat the Kansas City Chiefs again lose a very winnable game, falling short to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30-27 in overtime. Everything that could have went right for the Chiefs in the first 27 minutes of the game did, starting with the coin toss. Bucs coach Jon Gruden won the coin toss but opted to defer and allow the Chiefs to receive first.

The decision would backfire as Tyler Thigpen methodically drove the Chiefs down the field on a 12 play 69 yard drive that was capped off by seven yard touchdown pass from Thigpen to Dwayne Bowe. Then the wheels fell off for the Bucs, they fumbled their first offensive play off the game, setting the Chiefs up on the Tampa 41 yard line.

Taking advantage of the field position Tyler Thigpen again led the Chiefs down the field on a drive finished off by a one yard Kolby Smith touchdown dive. Down 14-0 Tampa Bay answered back with a 25-yard field goal, pulling Tampa within 11 at 14-3.

On the ensuing drive Tyler Thigpen may have made himself a Arrowhead legend, with Jamal Charles taking the direct snap from center he then handed to WR Mark Bradley on the reverse who hit Thigpen on a 37 yard touchdown pass. With the Chiefs now up 21-3 five minutes into the 2nd quarter, Tampa would continue to turn the ball over as Jeff Garcia was picked off by rookie CB Brandon Carr. The turnover would go for not as The Chiefs and Bucs traded punts.

The final two and a half minutes of the first half saw a flurry of scoring, after a 39 yard Connor Barth field goal that seemingly put the game out of reach at 24-3, The Bucs came alive after a 97 yard Clifton Smith kickoff return, that play swung the momentum for the rest of game in the Bucs favor.

After a Chiefs three and out, Jeff Garcia got the ball back with a 1:04 left on the clock and made a play with 12 seconds left to get the Bucs into field goal range and send the game to half 24-13. The scoring would die down in the second half as the Chiefs and Bucs combined for four strait punts. The beginning of the fourth quarter saw the most important series of the plays transpire, Clifton Smith fumbled away the ball at the K.C. 10 yard line. Attempting to run some time off the clock Jamal Charles would fumble the ball right back on the very next play.

One play later the Bucs would pullout some trickery of their own, opting to have running back Earnest Graham throw a three yard touchdown pass to TE Alex Smith. The conversion would fail but Tampa was within one possession for the first time since the 1st quarter 24-19. At the 3:34 mark in the 4th quarter the Bucs again looked dead in the water Connor Barth had kicked through a 28-yard field goal to put the Chiefs up eight, and then from the Chiefs seven yard line Earnest Graham fumbled away the ball into the end zone giving the Chiefs a touchback.

Unable to get a first down, after a questionable offensive pass interference play on Tony Gonzalez the Chiefs would punt the ball back to Garcia and the Bucs with 1:50 left in the game.

Ravaged by injuries at cornerback the Chiefs were unable to stop the precise passing of Garcia who went 5 for 6 passing and marched the Bucs 64 yards down the field, culminated by a 24 yard touchdown pass to Antonio Bryant with 25 seconds left. Tampa would get the two point conversion, tie the game at 27 and send it into overtime. Wining the coin flip the Bucs would go straight down the field and get into field goal range.

To add to the heart break for the Chiefs, Bucs kicker Matt Bryant missed a 38 yard field goal, only to be negated by a false start his next attempt would go thru and the Chiefs would lose in improbable fashion 30-27.

Grading the keys to the game

Get the Ground game going: The Chiefs finally found away to get it going on the ground without L.J. Running for 183 yards led by 106 yards on 18 carries by Jamal Charles and 46 yards on 10 carries from Kolby Smith before sustaining a knee injury. This may have been the most impressive rushing performance the Chiefs have turned in all season , combining the fact they were without their # 1 running back they also gained these yards against a stout Bucs defense. The only disappointment was the inability to run the clock out with three minutes left.

Grade: B+

Help Thigpen Help Himself: To start the game the Chiefs did everything right to put Thigpen in a position to succeed. Starting him out with a short crisp passing attack and then allowing him to display his athletic ability on the touchdown catch pass from Mark Bradley. Thigpen also did not get rattled going against a top ranked defense, due in part that the offensive line only allowed one sack. Besides a nice running attack and a solid game plan the other thing that has benefited Thigpen has been Mark Bradley?s consistent play since joining the Chiefs. Thigpen hit Bradley on a 56 yard pass and caught Bradley?s touchdown pass.

Grade: A+

Don?t get burned for the big play: The Chiefs did a good job for the most part of preventing the big play and making the Bucs dink and dunk and work for everything the got. But the one play that got away is the play that swung the momentum and got the Bucs back in the game. A 97 yard kickoff return by Clifton Smith brought life into a Bucs team that was heading to a blowout loss. After that the Bucs had confidence and were more willing to complete short passes and take what the defense gave them ultimately allowing them to win the contest.

Grade: C-

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