It is Week 12, and we have one of the season’s most anticipated matchups. It is the Chiefs (9-1) traveling to Tampa Bay and battling the Buccaneers (7-4). Mahomes and Brady clash again, but this time Brady is not a Patriot.
Let’s predict the stat lines for the Chiefs this week.
Patrick Mahomes: 321 yards, four touchdowns, and 36 rushing yards
Patrick Mahomes is on a tear this season. He has 3,035 passing yards, 27 passing touchdowns, and only two interceptions. Through the first 11 weeks, Mahomes is the NFL MVP and is set to win the award for the second time in three seasons as a starter. It will also be his third straight year with an MVP award, as he won Super Bowl LIV MVP last season.
As for this game, Mahomes is going up against a very youthful secondary, No defensive back on the Bucs has more than two years of NFL experience. Last week, the Bucs surrendered 23 catches, 275 yards, and one touchdown to Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods combined. This week, Mahomes is going to tear apart the weak secondary that continues to struggle.
Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and the return of Sammy Watkins are going to wreak havoc on the Todd Bowles and the Buccaneers defense. The front even is solid and the pressure will force Mahomes to roll out and lead to him gaining rushing yards.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire: 72 rushing yards, 44 receiving yards, one touchdown (receiving)
Last week, Edwards-Helaire ran the ball 14 times for 69 yards and two touchdowns. The Chiefs are going to look to use CEH to slow down the pace and to open more opportunities in the passing game. Edwards-Helaire will probably have around 13-18 carries and will use that to move the offense through the ground.
Clydro will also have a big day in the passing game. The front seven of the Bucs can get to Mahomes, forcing him to more check down to Edwards-Helaire and he will take advantage of those extra opportunities through the air and end up taking one into the end zone.
Tyreek Hill: 9 receptions, 114 yards, and two touchdowns
Travis Kelce: 8 receptions, 108 yards, and a touchdown
As I said earlier, the Bucs secondary has struggled the past few weeks and this will open up opportunities for Hill and Kelce. This could be the game where you see multiple deep ball connections between Mahomes and Hill. Mahomes and Hill have been using the entire field really well this year, and his ability to destroy a defense short will open up opportunities deep. Hill will have a very active day against a secondary that allowed 275 yards to two receivers last week.
Kelce has been at an elite level once again this season. In ten games this year, he has 896 receiving yards, and this week he will continue his historic streak of 1,000-yard receiving seasons to five. Kelce has been a beast through the middle of the field and feasting off linebackers in coverage. The Buccaneers have sent Devin White out in coverage throughout the season and he has struggled. Kelce will likely go against White and have a big day as White has been exposed by multiple tight ends this year.
Defensive Star: Tyrann Mathieu- 11 tackles, 1 sack, and an interception
Tyrann Mathieu has not been the same player throughout the past couple of weeks, but I think this week will be a reminder of who the Honey Badger is. The Chiefs need to let Mathieu play the “center fielder” of the defense, running around and making plays with his instincts. The defense has thrived when he plays that role and this is a week where the defense needs to step up. This is a big week for the defense to prove that they can shut down the Bucs loaded offense, and the Honey Badger needs his rent money.
The Chiefs face one of their toughest tests this season as they travel to take on one of the NFC’s scariest and most dominant teams. The offense will continue to do its thing, so expect Mahomes and company to have a big day. The defense has struggled and looked vulnerable. They are going up against one of the NFL’s most talented and dangerous offenses led by arguably the greatest quarterback of all time. This is the Fox Game of the Week and the two NFL powerhouses will battle in what could be a preview of Super Bowl LV.