Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Chiefs

November 29th, 2020

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Football’s the ultimate team sport. It takes all 22 guys doing their jobs. One man can’t do it alone.




The Bucs were just done in by Patrick Mahomes, period.

They had no answers for No. 15, joining a growing list of clubs whose best-laid plans have been ripped asunder by the NFL’s ultimate shredder.

Mahomes beat the Bucs. He beat ’em in the opening quarter and he beat ’em in the final four minutes, clinging to a 3-point lead. He never let Tom Brady get another chance at a fourth-quarter comeback.

Yeah, he’s that good.

After the game, Bruce Arians quipped that Andy Reid might coach until he’s 80 because he’s got Mahomes under center. Arians was only half-joking.

Tampa Bay made its mistakes, but so did Kansas City. The difference is the Chiefs boast a 25-year-old eraser who may be on track for his second league MVP honor in the past three seasons.

Say what you will about the struggles of Carlton Davis covering Tyreek Hill, but is there any doubt Mahomes could have thrown for 600 yards Sunday if it was necessary?

While the Chiefs gave every indication they should be favored to return to Tampa in 10 weeks as the AFC’s Super Bowl representative, the Bucs just suffered through a brutal third quarter of the season.

They hit the midway mark at a robust 6-2 and now head into the bye week at 7-5, still in good shape for a wild-card playoff berth. This pass defense certainly needs a breather and Arians said the Bucs need to be vigilant about maintaining their COVID protocols during the week off.

If Todd Bowles is looking for some solace, here goes. Bowles won’t have to prepare for Mahomes again this season — unless the Bucs are playing for the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Here’s how the Chiefs avoided an AFC West sweep by Tampa Bay:

* You can’t say enough about Mahomes. He targeted Hill and Travis Kelce 23 times and found them for 21 completions. They get credit for getting open, but it’s Mahomes who kept delivering the ball on time from a startling variety of angles. And when he broke from the pocket and ran, he broke Tampa Bay hearts.

* Hill came into the league as a blur and he’s still the man to beat in a foot race. But along the way, he’s become a polished route runner and improved his hands. He’s now the complete package, a superstar who will keep Davis turning in his sleep this week.

* The Bucs decisively won the battle in the trenches. They applied plenty of heat on Mahomes, especially in the second half, while Brady enjoyed stout protection. If the Bucs put that kind of pressure on Kirk Cousins after the break, they’ll get five sacks. Mahomes kept buying time, looking downfield while he back-pedaled halfway to Valrico.

* That big early deficit robbed Ronald Jones of an opportunity to be a difference-maker. He played the part with 66 yards in only nine carries. A 100-yard day was well within his reach, but the scoreboard dictated the call sheet.

* The Chiefs did their best to keep the Bucs in the game after opening a 27-10 advantage. Their offensive line was flagged three times during a comedy of errors drive in the fourth quarter and KC finished with 10 penalties for 82 yards. only five fewer yards than the Chiefs gained on the ground.

* Devin White played well, despite the Mahomes onslaught. His nine solo tackles were three more than any other player and he continues to excel against the run.

* Fixing a leaky pass defense should be the No. 1 priority this week at One Buc Place. The 70 percent completion rate by opposing quarterbacks is simply unacceptable and Tampa Bay is on pace to allow 33 TD passes. The words “soft zone” should be stricken from the Bowles vocabulary, especially against statues like Cousins and Matt Ryan. Blitz, blitz, blitz.

* Rob Gronkowski was a major factor on Sunday, combining with Chris Godwin for 14 receptions on 16 targets. Add in two scoring catches for Mike Evans and you can’t say Brady’s primary targets had an off day. Brady hit on some deep throws, answering his critics, but he needs better starts. In the past five weeks, the Bucs have been outscored 59-10 in the opening quarter.

* Give the Bucs credit for playing stout defense in the red zone, setting the tone on the first drive by holding KC to a field goal. This game could have easily gotten completely out of hand. But before we give this defense too much credit, let’s note Mahomes converted half of his 12 third-down situations.

* The troubling third quarter of the season has generated doubts among Buc Nation, most of which expected more than a 7-5 mark at the bye. This defense has lost its swagger and Buc fans could hardly stomach all the lame excuses Tony Romo offered when Brady threw an incompletion or an interception. As for Brady, he walked out of his postgame news conference after less than 150 seconds. Should Brady and the Bucs fail to find their game in December, he won’t like the questions dead ahead.

Ira drives a 2020 Ford Escape from Bill Currie Ford. It really is a sweet, luxurious ride.

Ira with his good friend Sean Sullivan, general manager of Bill Currie Ford, Tampa’s first family of ford. Sean will help you personally in any way he can. Find his email at

29 Responses to “Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Chiefs”

  1. Destinjohnny Says:

    A Jason Licht drafted team will never win

  2. Wee Willie Winky Says:

    I guess I was watching a different game than Ira.

    The one I watched was the one where the Bucs D was totally outclassed by KC.

    It was a real embarrassment; a total $hitshow.

    I agree that the bye couldn’t come fast enough for the fans.

    Much like the Wuhan virus, losing is contagious after all.

  3. Pelsbuc61 Says:

    Terrible GM + overrated coaches + below average players = another lost season

  4. Wee Willie Winky Says:

    A BA coached team will never win.

  5. Jonathan Limpchimpi Says:

    Written by a fella who favors The Chiefs. Congrats Ira ( although not sure how a Brooklyn kid is a Kansas City fan )…now back on The Bucs Bus for the final quarter of the season.

  6. AMI_Chris Says:

    An underperforming team, no matter the coach or QB. Dreadful.

  7. Craig Says:

    The weather caused K.C. to lose steam. It didn’t affect MaHomes much, but the fast guys at the beginning lost a step later on.

    The problem I see with the Bucs is the coaching. They were not ready for the Chiefs at all. Leftwich is in some time warp from his playing days. That garbage of running on first down, long pass, short pass, punt must be updated.

    It looked more like the players had fight enough to finish and broke away from their bad coaching. Soft coverage seemed to still be called by Bowles, but the players slid into better places than coach wanted.

    They need work, but the players are, but hungry.

  8. Mike Johnson Says:

    Joe revealed to us today Ira never reads our responses. That is not what Joe wrote. –Joe So why comment on his column? At least Joe reads a lot of our responses Gotta let you go Ira.

  9. Coburn Says:

    Still don’t buy the idea that they couldn’t run it after the first quarter. Yeah down a couple scores but still have all game. I’d blame at least a few of the three and outs and maybe even one of the interceptions on giving up on the run game and still ended up keeping it close

  10. Jay Adams Says:

    Ira is about as spot on as a Milli Vanilli authentic singing studio album.

    Hey Ira, if you ever do read 1 of these the Bucs did NOT win in the trenches in the 1st half. Brady was under constant pressure and not many QBs except for a Mobile one would have fared well with the Vanilla play-calling that doesn’t surprise any defense.

  11. ModHairKen Says:

    Usual Ira. Completely misreads the room. Preoccupied with drivel. The Defense blew it early. Bad scheme. Bad execution. Late adjustment. The playcalling on Offense sucked. Arians has lost the ability to prepare a team for a tough game.

    Those are the takeaways.

  12. Dapostman Says:

    Memo to Todd Bowles:

    No one on the Bucs can cover Tyreke Hill by himself.

  13. Buc fan always Says:

    [Enough! Joe has known Ira for over 20 years. Have never seen him wear gear of any NFL team except the Bucs. If anything he’s a Bucs apologist. Just about anyone that has ever worked for the Bucs, Ira has become an advocate for. Hell, Joe even heard Ira say good things about Gus Bradley on national radio (a former Bucs assistant). If Ira is who you think he is, why did he not name his new puppy “Patty?” Stop trying to push lies about Ira or you may catch Joe in a bad mood and the goodbye button. — Joe]

  14. Buc fan always Says:

    Read the above posts Joe… your readers know where your contributors allegiance lies.

  15. Jerome Says:

    I love your columns, Ira, but I don’t think you speak for most Bucs fans when you say we couldn’t stomach Tony Romo’s “excuses” for Brady. I think he was saying what many have. Where is the pre snap motion to give Brady a read on the defense. Where are the hard counts to sniff out a blitz? Some of the route running has been bad, and the play calling offensively at times is terrible.

    I will say I was encouraged that we seemed to get into a better groove offensively later in the game. We called plays that seemed to feature what Tom does best. This isn’t to say that Tom is without blame, but BA and co. need to stop trying to turn him into something he isn’t. BA should not be trying to turn a marathon runner into a sprinter at 43.

  16. Teddy P Bayer Says:

    Not only do I love you Ira I think you’re as capable and comprehensive as anybody on the market. God…remember when each market had an Ira?

    Love you on mad dog, love you here.

  17. Joe Says:


    Presnap motion is a strawman argument. The Bucs are one of the best scoring teams in the NFL. At the end of the day, it’s not how you score points, it is that you score points. And the Bucs do that without motion. Just because Dan Orlovsky twittered this doesn’t mean it is so.

  18. Jerome Says:

    Joe, we will have to agree to disagree about pre snap motion.

    Do you think Brady being able to diagnose coverage would help on these deep throws he’s being asked to make? Especially when the defensive pressure is steady? Motion does help and even though Brady is the GOAT it’s a lot to ask any QB to process during reads when he gets less than 3 seconds.

    Also, it wasn’t only Orlovsky when Romo is saying the same thing. All due respect to you but they played in the league at this position. They might know a thing or two about it.

  19. Joe Says:

    Do you think Brady being able to diagnose coverage would help on these deep throws he’s being asked to make? Especially when the defensive pressure is steady? Motion does help and even though Brady is the GOAT it’s a lot to ask any QB to process during reads when he gets less than 3 seconds.

    Does one need presnap motions to be able to figure out coverages? Maybe for a rookie or a young quarterback. Maybe. Brady is no rookie.

    Did the Bucs have a lot of presnap motion last year (honestly don’t know because Joe never pays attention to the window dressing)? Guessing no since it is the same coaching staff and the Bucs were third in scoring and had the passing leader at quarterback.

    Again, the Bucs are scoring points. That’s the goal of any offense. So for Joe, this presnap narrative would be like someone complaining that Ted Williams or Tony Gwynn aren’t getting enough stolen bases. It’s an argument for the sake of arguing.

  20. D1 Says:


    The Patriots used pre snap motion during Bradys entire tenure. You can argue He doesn’t need it , but there’s a reason why the Patriots incorporated it into their scheme .

    I believe the point is this, why not give TB everything that he was able to use successfully in NE, this includes pre snap motion. I recall Brady saying that He’s not comfortable yet and it’s going to take time. I tend to take him at his word regarding this issue.

    The scoring results are there as you’ve stated, but that doesn’t mean that Brady is where he wants to be within the scheme. As far as the other argument put out there that rookie QB’S are not bothered by these things , maybe that’s correct, but they’re not Tom Brady. Their game or style of play reflect that of how Brady plays.

  21. Bucsfanman Says:

    I thought the 1st half was an abomination. I still will never understand teams that go away from the run so quickly.
    Our secondary is who we thought they were, and they were toast against a better QB and receivers.
    At least we made ourselves look respectable in coming back to within a score. For a moment, I thought Hill might finish with 300 yards receiving.

  22. Alanbucsfan Says:

    The loss of Vita Vea this season cannot be underestimated. Without his push and dominance in the middle of the DL, the DE’s have been less effective, Suh is getting more double teams, and the LB’s are playing more “read” than attack.

    The defensive coaches are making good adjustments by halftime of games, but after giving up 20 and 17 1st half points and the offense abandoning the run, it’s too much for an immobile Brady to overcome.

    The D has to be better to start games.

  23. Roy T. Buford Says:

    Great article here.

    YES, Mahomes is that good.

    BUT…Bruce Arians and his “cast of a thousand coaches” that probably have 300 years of experience once again, couldn’t prep and be alive enough through four quarters against a great QB with probably 10% or less of that football experience.

  24. Hodad Says:

    I disagree the game dictated we throw more, and take the ball out of Rojo’s hands. We had three quarters left in the game. Put the ball more in Rojo’s hands, keep Mahomes on the sideline. You think the Titans give up running Henry when they fall behind? Make matters worse, they bring in a cold Fournette in the redzone, and force feed him the ball. Arains is a fraud. Bad December, clean house.

  25. Richard Dickson Says:

    Let’s not forget the two picks we had off Mahomes that were nullified because of defensive penalties. One of those drives led to what ended up being the deciding touchdown.

  26. D-Rome Says:

    This defense has lost its swagger and Buc fans could hardly stomach all the lame excuses Tony Romo offered when Brady threw an incompletion or an interception.

    I love your columns Ira but what you see as excuses I see as reasons. Romo is offering his opinions as a former quarterback that was once considered an upper eschelon, elite QB. If Romo is seeing something (or not seeing something) and he comments on it, especially for the QB position, then it’s worth noting.

    You may see it as excuses but Romo was not wrong.

  27. teacherman777 Says:

    Give Ronald Jones 20 carries per game and we will not lose again!!

    Run the freaking ball!!

  28. Bucamania Says:

    Yes, Mahomes is that good and the Bucs secondary is that bad.

    Still waiting for leaders to show up on this team besides JPP.

    Mike Evans? LVD? White? Shaq? Anyone???

  29. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Mahomes IS that good and we should appreciate that we are watching sports history every time we watch him play. Props to Mahomes he’s great.

    Tyreek Hill is also great and mind numbingly fast. I do not see how Bowles or anybody expected to put a DB who is .2 slower than Hill and not expect to see what happened?

    Davis is physical…couldn’t he have chucked him hard at the line with one of our safeties backing him up? There is simply no way a 4.44 guy can run with a 4.24