By Kyra Hallett
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers outplayed the Kansas City Chiefs in all aspects of the game, winning 38-10 Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.
The Bucs offense stepped up big time against the Chiefs. They had the sixth-highest total yardage in a single game in franchise history with 468 yards. Quarterback Josh Freeman had his best game this year throwing for over 300 yards (328) for the first time this season. He had one interception with three touchdowns and one sack. Freeman also rushed three times for five yards.
Running back Doug Martin rushed for 76 yards and received for 55 for a combined total of 131 yards on the day. The Bucs also used running back LeGarrette Blount more. He had seven carries for 58 yards and one touchdown with his longest run being for 35 yards.
Wide receiver Mike Williams had a breakthrough day. He had four catches for 113 yards including a 62-yard touchdown reception. Williams’ touchdown pass was caught around the defender. Vincent Jackson didn’t touch the ball till the second half, but he ended up with 66 yards and two touchdowns. Another breakout star was wide receiver Tiquan Underwood. Underwood had two receptions for 68 yards with a big play towards the end of the game to set up a field goal.
Once again, tight end Dallas Clark did not see the ball. Clark was targeted once by Freeman but the pass was intercepted. The offense as a whole did their job. Grade: A
Kicker Connor Barth missed a field goal for the first time this season, ending his streak of 25 consecutive field goals. The field goal attempt was for 55 yards; his career best is a 57-yarder which came earlier this season against the Washington Redskins. Punter Michael Koenen punted twice versus the Chiefs, with his longest being for 54 yards.
The returners had a decent day. Punt returner Roscoe Parrish returned three punts for an average of seven yards per punt and his longest for nine yards. Kick-off returner Arrelious Benn had two returns for an average of 18 yards and his longest being for 23 yards. Grade: A
The Bucs defense were on their toes Sunday. Rookie safety Mark Barron had his first career interception in the first quarter. In the third quarter, a pass to running back Dexter McCluster was broken up by cornerback E.J. Biggers. The ball ended up on McCluster’s back and Ronde Barber snatched it up and ran it back for a 78-yard touchdown. Both Barron and Barber led the team in tackles with six.
The defense broke-up a lot of plays. They held quarterback Brady Quinn to 180 yards passing and the running backs to 80 yards with the Chiefs getting a total of 260 yards. The Chiefs possessed the ball longer than the Bucs for a total of 33:11 minutes.
The Chiefs helmets also went flying Sunday. They lost six helmets throughout the game after a hard hit from the Bucs.
This was just the second time this season the Bucs did not sack the quarterback. Grade: A
The Buc coaches seemed to have worked through some of the issues they had in the previous weeks during their week off. Offensive coordinator, Mike Sullivan, admitted that he was surprised at how little they called some plays while calling others more often. The team seemed to have fixed that issue, mixing plays up while using different players. Sullivan also seemed to have fixed the issue with the run game. He said, that sometimes the run failed because he “called the wrong run at the wrong time.”
Head coach Greg Schiano said he was going to decided which player was going to start at right guard on Sunday. He choose Jamon Meredith, which seemed to have worked out. Another decision coach had to make was who was going to replace cornerback Aqib Talib. Talib is suspended four games for using Adderall. E.J. Biggers took his spot and had a good game. He assisted Barber in the interception and had two tackles in the game. Grade: A
The Bucs will face the New Orleans Saints next week with the Saints coming off their bye. They will be well rested and looking for their second win this season.
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Kyra Hallett is a freelance writer and a Multimedia Sports Journalist. She has experience covering Tampa Bay sports in many outlets including Examiner.com. Her dream job would be to work with the athletes and their fans. You can view some of her work at KyraHallett.com or here at Examiner.com.