Chiefs vs. Buccaneers scores, takeaways: Patrick Mahomes outscores Tom Brady as Kansas City rolls over Tampa Bay

The Week 4 battle between two legendary quarterbacks did not disappoint on “Sunday Night Football,” but one signal caller was much happier than the other. Where Tom Brady produced flashy numbers that aired it out for the Buccaneers at home, Patrick Mahomes enjoyed a much easier night for the Chiefs, riding Andy Reid’s creativity and a few acrobatic red zone hijinks to a 41-31 rout of Tampa Bay. The rematch of Super Bowl LV certainly showed offensive firepower, with the two teams combining for over 700 yards, but all of the Bucs’ points came from behind as the home team chased Reid’s Chiefs.

Here are some immediate takeaways from Kansas City’s big primetime win:

Why the Chiefs won

Reid’s offense was (almost literally) unstoppable. We’ve seen plenty of explosive plays from Mahomes and Co. over the years, but the road favorites had their way all night. No. 15 spread the ball around and hit Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Travis Kelce early for splash plays, and once again Reid’s creativity in the red zone was impeccable. Whether it was Mahomes scrambling and making last-second shovel passes in the back of the end zone or tight end Noah Gray lining up under center, they couldn’t be denied in the scoring drive.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Isiah Pacheco were also busy finding space on the ground, combining for over 130 rushing yards. The Chiefs defense was relatively porous except for a L’Jarius Sneed sack, and Mahomes gave the Bucs a late pick by lobbing one into double coverage. But that didn’t matter much at the time, with 41 points already on the board and a forced kickoff that set the tone in Kansas City’s favor from the start.

Why the Buccaneers lost

Todd Bowles’ defense had no answer for the best playmaking QB in football, giving up the most points of any Bowles-led unit in the coach’s career. Despite three sacks and a late pick by Sean Murphy-Bunting, their typically physical squad simply couldn’t contain the Chiefs for any length of time, especially on third downs and in the red zone. They also totally lacked a ground game, with Rachaad White and Leonard Fournette non-factors, but that didn’t really matter in the instant, all-night shootout.

No, the real killer, aside from their inability to stop KC, were the turnovers — an opening kickoff fumble by White, and a fumble by Brady on a rough strip sack. Brady was otherwise in MVP form, wanting the Bucs back within reach several times and threading the needle on some clutch throws to Mike Evans. In the end, their efforts were too little, too late and a little too sloppy, with five penalties also hampering their results.

Turning point

One could easily point to the kickoff that started the game, which gave the Chiefs an instant bonus possession just outside the red zone. But Sneed’s zoom in off the edge to flip Brady, force a fumble and allow TB12 to slowly get to his feet certainly felt like the unofficial cap of the game. Already down 21-10 heading into halftime, the Bucs’ fumble there set up a Chiefs TD drive to extend Kansas City’s lead to 18. Brady would go on to find Evans for his own score before halftime, but the damage was already done .

Play the game

Mahomes has been a magician ever since his historic breakout as a first-time full-time starter, but even by his standards, his second quarter TD pass (pitch? throw? throw?) to Clyde Edwards-Helaire was absurd. The athleticism, concentration and sheer guts required to not only attempt but easily succeed at something like this is why Mahomes remains the NFL’s model playmaker at the position:

What’s next

The Chiefs (3-1) will return to Arrowhead Stadium for a Week 5 “Monday Night Football” matchup with the rival Raiders (1-3), who just picked up their first win of the year by beating the Broncos. The Buccaneers (2-2), meanwhile, will stay in Tampa to host the Falcons (2-2), who beat the Browns close on Sunday.

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