Mahomes Magic Helps Chiefs Beat Bucs In Tampa Bay

By Terrance Turner

Oct. 2, 2022

TAMPA, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 02: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs throws a touchdown pass to Clyde Edwards-Helaire #25 (not pictured) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second quarter at Raymond James Stadium on October 02, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

Tonight’s “Sunday Night Football” was in Tampa Bay, Florida. The game, held at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, seemed unthinkable four days ago, when Hurricane Ian ravaged Florida. (The Bucs had to evacuate to Miami to avoid the storm.) Tampa escaped with relatively minor damage — downed power lines, flooded roads, fallen trees. Over a hundred thousand lost power. But the stadium and field were largely intact. So tonight, Raymond James Stadium was filled with cheering fans. Everyone took part in a moment of silence to remember those affected, and the national anthem was sung by the Tampa Bay Chorale.

It was Tampa Bay’s first game inside the stadium since the hurricane. But for the Chiefs, it was their first trip to Raymond James Stadium since their embarrassing loss in the 2021 Super Bowl, The storm was the story headed into tonight’s game. But the story quickly became the Kansas City Chiefs and their spectacular offense. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw for 249 yards and three touchdowns, including an electrifying jump pass to running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire. In their first trip to Tampa in two years, the Chiefs beat the Buccaneers 41-31.

The Chiefs offense dominated almost from the very start. The Bucs fumbled the opening kickoff. For some reason, Bucs rookie Rachaad White caught the ball two yards in the end zone and decided to return it. He reached the 23-yard-line before Chiefs linebacker Jack Cochrane knocked the ball loose. Elijah Lee recovered the fumble for the Chiefs at the Tampa Bay 21 yard line. That’s where the Chiefs started their drive. The Buccaneers had given them a gift.

Kansas City capitalized immediately. Edwards-Helaire ran five yards up the middle. Mahomes threw to tight end Travis Kelce, who made the catch and the hurtled over a defender for the touchdown. Kelce celebrated with one of his signature end-zone dances.

After all of 56 seconds, Chiefs led 7-0. The Bucs had to respond, and they did. Though they couldn’t reach the end zone, Tampa Bay did manage to put up some points. A field goal by kicker Ryan Succop made it 7-3

The Chiefs responded with a 12-play, 79-yard drive, highlighted by a 12-yard catch from Kelce and a 23-yard return by RB Isiah Pacheco. Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran up the middle for 20 yards, Mahomes made it to the three-yard line, and Edwards-Helaire topped the drive off with a three-yard rushing touchdown. Now it was 14-3.


But the Chiefs running back had another TD on the next drive — thanks to a little Mahomes Magic. In an astonishing play, Mahomes ran away from a defender, spun around to avoid a tackle and then tossed the ball one-handed — to Edwards-Helaire, who made the catch in the back of the end zone. That TD catch made it 21-3.

In a postgame interview, Mahomes took us inside that play. “I told Coach Reid I missed a wide-open touchdown the play before, so I owed a touchdown for the team,” he said. “[The defense] covered it well. I beat ’em around the corner. I made a little spin move, and I knew I wasn’t goiing to get in running,’ so I gave Clyde a chance. He made a great play.”

Mahomes’ daring play gave Kansas City a 18-point lead. But the Bucs answered back right away. Their six-play scoring drive went 75 yards in just two and a half minutes. Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady located wide receiver Mike Evans in the end zone for a touchdown.

The Chiefs took over but their drive stalled at midfield. They went for it on 4th down but got stalled by the Bucs defense and turned the ball over on downs.

But they got the ball right back. Brady was preparing to make a pass when he got blindsided by Chiefs safety/cornerback L’Jarius Sneed. Sneed hit him and knocked the ball out; it got recovered by defensive tackle Chris Jones. Now the Chiefs had the ball back. Mahomes scrambled for seven yards. Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco rushed eight yards to the two-yard line. Then tight end Noah Gray lined up under center, got the ball and plowed into the end zone for the touchdown.

Brady fired a ball to Bucs tight end Cameron Brate, who made the catch โ€“ but a Bucs defender reached out and knocked the ball free. But on the next play, Brady found Mike Evans in the end zone and Evans caught his second touchdown of the night. Tampa Bay bounced back to make it 28-17 at the half.


The Chiefs added a 44-yard field goal in the third quarter (courtesy of Matthew Wright). They scored again in the third quarter, when Mahomes fired to Jody Fortson for the touchdown.

Brady’s end zone pass to Evans was incomplete — but the ref threw a flag immediately. Juan Thornhill got flagged for a personal foul which moved to the ball near the 1 yard line. On 3rd and goal, Rachaad White (the rookie out of Arizona State) jumped over the pile and across the goal line for the touchdown. Succop added an extra point to make it 38-24 with 44 seconds left in the third quarter.

The Chiefs regained possession and were kept out of the end zone (this time) by the Tampa Bay defense. But they added a field goal to extend their lead. Punter Tommy Townsend held the snap; backup Matthew Wright kicked it through. (He’s replacing injured kicker Harrison Butker.) Wright’s 32-yard field goal made it 41 to 24.

Tampa Bay’s offense got right back on the field after Mahomes got intercepted by Tampa Bay cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting. Tampa Bay took over possession. Brady hurled a pass to Leonard Fournette, who pushed his way through for the touchdown. Succop’s extra-point kick got the Bucs within 10. They trailed by ten.


But that was as close as they would get. Kansas City used up most of the remaining time on their final drive; Tampa Bay finally got the ball back with under a minute to go. The Chiefs kept them from scoring any more points and held on to win, 41-31.

Mahomes’ sensational performance was a major reason for the Chiefs’ victory. He was 23-of-37 on passes (62%) and threw for 239 yards, with three touchdowns and only one interception. It was a dramatic turnaround from last year’s Super Bowl, in which Tampa Bay’s defense kept Mahomes from throwing a single touchdown. In his postgame interview, Mahomes summed up his feelings about the win: “To come down here in this stadium and win this game — that was special.”

The SNF interviewer complimented Mahomes as “so fun to watch,” and Brady agreed. โ€œI love seeing Patrick play. … Unfortunately we’re on the wrong end of it tonight,โ€ said Brady, who’s 1-2 against the Chiefs quarterback since joining the Bucs in 2020. Brady completed 39 of 52 passes for 385 yards and three TDs without an interception for Tampa Bay, which now sits at 2-2. The Chiefs bounced back from last week’s loss to go to 3-1.

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