Bucs Pro Bowler Put Chiefs on Notice Ahead of Super Bowl Rematch

Patrick Mahomes, Shaq Barrett

Getty Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass rusher Shaq Barrett chases down Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes in Super Bowl LV.

In the NFL, bulletin board material generally goes one of two ways — and the Kansas City Chiefs just received some.

The “fighting words” came courtesy of Tampa Bay Buccaneers edge rusher Shaquil Barrett, who was on the roster during Super Bowl LV. Obviously, that was a game Mahomes and the offense would like to have back.

Down multiple offensive linemen, the Chiefs signal-caller spent most of the night running for his life against Barrett and the Bucs’ pass rush. From the sound of it, Tampa Bay expects that narrative to continue in Week 4.

Bucs’ Shaq Barrett Calls out Chiefs Offensive Line

During a video press conference on September 28, Barrett told reporters that he thinks the Buccaneers “have a lot of favorable matchups” in the trenches.

“I think we have an opportunity to really dominate the game,” he continued. “We got an opportunity to really impose our will as pass rushers, edge rushers in this game and really have like a coming out party.”

The final portion of the quote was the icing on the cake. Barrett concluded that “I know we had six sacks the other game but I feel like we can really have a coming out party as [edge defenders],” implying that Tampa will bring down Mahomes more than six times on Sunday.

In all fairness, the Bucs are currently tied for third in the NFL in sacks with 11 so it’s no wonder they’re a confident bunch. Barrett appears to lead the way with both his words and his actions, accumulating 11 quarterback pressures in three games according to Pro Football Focus. He also has two sacks, although linebacker Devin White is first in that category with three.

A formidable pass rush, no doubt, but Barrett is talking about the Chiefs’ offensive line as if it hasn’t changed in the two years since the Super Bowl. The thing is, outside of fill-in Andrew Wylie, this entire OL unit is different in 2022.

Chiefs Offensive Line Deserves Some Respect

The Kansas City O-line is far from perfect but in terms of sacks allowed this season, no NFL challenger beats them and only the Jacksonville Jaguars rival them. Both the Chiefs and Jags lead the league with only two sacks allowed.

Most fans will admit that the Chiefs are somewhat susceptible on the edge between offensive tackles Wylie and Orlando Brown Jr. — who has been dealing with a knee issue of late.

Having said that, they are very sturdy up the gut and it’s quite possible that they have the number one interior offensive line in football between Joe Thuney, Creed Humphrey and Trey Smith.

That group has been a hassle for opposing defensive linemen to deal with and it allows Mahomes to trust the strength of the pocket if he ever needs to step up to avoid the outside rush. The Chiefs’ interior will be especially important in picking up blitzing linebackers like White and Lavonte David, who tend to wreak havoc surging up from the second level.

Defensive tackle Vita Vea is also a lot to deal with as a bull rusher.

As it stands, Brown has been the weak link in the Chiefs’ blocking unit so far. He’s allowed nine pressures but has not been charged with a sack on PFF. In fact, none of the starting five were charged with the two KC sacks so far.

Smith and Wylie are next behind Brown with six and five pressures allowed, respectfully. After the early smack talk, this should be a fun position battle to watch in Week 4.

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