Bucs Coach Todd Bowles: ‘They Kicked Our Butts All Over the Field’

Tom Brady

Getty Tom Brady's fumble added to the Buccaneers' defensive woes on Sunday.

Big turnovers won’t fly as an excuse for Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles amid a 41-31 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 4.

“Turnovers had nothing to do with it,” Bowles told the media on Sunday, October 2. “We’ve got to play situational football. Our red zone defense was poor. Our run defense was poor. Our pass defense was poor. Third down was poor.”

Fumbles by Rachaad White and Tom Brady set the Chiefs up for easy touchdowns in the first half. Bowles said the defense should hold teams to field goals at the worst in those instances.

“We didn’t play well, we didn’t do a good job, and they kicked our butts all over the field,” Bowles said on Sunday. “And we played a poor game, and that falls on me.”

Tampa Bay’s defense, which allowed 27 points in the first three games, gave up 28 points in the first half alone.  The Bucs also allowed more than 400 yards for the first time this season.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes had his way, shredding the secondary for 249 yards and three touchdowns versus one interception. Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire gashed the Bucs front seven for 92 of the189 yards allowed by the Bucs.

Before the game, Bowles called the defense “very disruptive while people are trying to find their footing” during a September 30 press conference. The Chiefs found footing after only scoring 17 points at Indianapolis the week before.

“They just found a way to play better than we did,” Bowles said. “They played harder, they played better, they played tougher, and they won the ball game. Hats off to them.”

Third Down a Killer for Bucs

Tampa Bay’s third down struggles exceeded Bowles’ estimate.

“Third down was at least 60%, I’m pretty sure, and we did not do a good job of doing our assignments or calling the game as coaches and as players,” Bowles said.

Kansas City actually converted 70% of its third downs in a 12-17 performance. The Bucs also allowed an average of 5.4 yards per play, a sure recipe for an opposing offense to move the chains.

Bucs third down failures thwarted the few successes of the night by the Bucs defense. Safety Mike Edwards‘ sack of Mahomes in the third quarter gave the Bucs momentum, but Mahomes turned  it around with a deep pass to tight end Travis Kelce on third down.

“He’s a heck of a ball player. I’ve got a lot of respect for him,” Bowles said, who added that his team’s failures played a role, too.

The Bucs stopped the Chiefs’ lone fourth down offensive play of the night, but it came down to Edwards-Helaire dropping a wide open pass from Mahomes.

Bucs Sustain Injuries on Defense

It also didn’t help matters that the Bucs suffered two key injuries on defense.

Defensive back Logan Ryan went down with a foot injury in the first half. Fellow defensive back Carlton Davis III endured a stinger in the second half. Bowles offered no further updates after the game on their conditions.