Tom Brady gets Bucs offense going, defense struggles

Mon Oct 3 12:48am ET
By ROB MAADDI
AP Pro Football Writer

Related photo caption below

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)


Related photo caption below

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) greet each other after an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. The Chiefs won 41-31. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)


Related photo caption below

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)


TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Tom Brady looked more like himself, carrying Tampa Bay's offense with his arm.

Only problem for the Buccaneers was the defense couldn't stop Patrick Mahomes and the rest of Kansas City's offense.

''Our red zone defense was poor. Our run defense was poor. Our pass defense was poor. Our third-down efficiency was poor,'' Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles said. ''We played a poor game. That falls on me.''

The Chiefs scored touchdowns on four of the first five possessions and didn't punt until late in the fourth quarter in a 41-31 win over the Buccaneers on Sunday night. They also had a pair of short TD drives, starting from Tampa's 21 after Rachaad White fumbled the opening kickoff and from Tampa's 20 after Brady was strip-sacked in the second quarter.

''We didn't play well. They did a good job and kicked our butts all over the field. Turnovers had nothing to do with it,'' Bowles said.

The bright spot for the Buccaneers (2-2) was Brady and the offense finally got going after totaling three TDs in the first three games. Tampa found the end zone four times. The 45-year-old Brady completed 39 of 52 passes for 385 yards and three TDs.

''A little bit better than the way we've been playing but, obviously, not good enough,'' Brady said. ''We're here for one reason, not to move the ball, we're here to score more points than the other team. ... We didn't do a good job in the run game. We could've done a lot better in the pass game. We just have to get to work.''

The Bucs had just 3 yards rushing on six carries. They're averaging just 65.3 yards rushing per game this season. Leonard Fournette netted minus-3 yards on his three carries against the Chiefs.

''It's not just one thing. I'm sure it's several things. We have to take time to evaluate it and do a better job,'' Brady said. ''We're not going to throw all the time. We have plenty of good, capable runners. We have a line that does a good job in the run game. We just haven't found a rhythm there.''

After opening the season with road wins at Dallas and New Orleans, the Buccaneers have lost two straight at home. Last week, the offense couldn't do much in a 14-12 loss to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

Brady got wide receivers Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Julio Jones back this week. Also, left tackle Donovan Smith returned after missing two games.

Evans was outstanding, catching eight passes for 103 yards and two TDs. Godwin had seven receptions for 59 yards before he was banged-up again. Jones was targeted twice, catching one ball, and only played one down in the second half because he got nicked up.

''When we're throwing and catching the ball well, we're able to move the ball and get the ball in the end zone,'' Brady said. ''That's going to pay dividends down the road.''

The Buccaneers had a difficult week, heading to Miami for practice because of Hurricane Ian and they weren't sure until Friday that they were playing at home instead of in Minnesota.

Nobody made that excuse. They were outplayed start to finish.

Next up for the Bucs is another home game against the Atlanta Falcons (2-2).

Top Headlines
The Paur Report

Starts, Sits, Sleepers: Week 4

Player Notes
JuJu Smith-Schuster Oct 3 12:50am ET
JuJu Smith-Schuster

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster had another solid game on Sunday against the Buccaneers, catching five of his eight targets for 46 yards. Smith-Schuster has been targeted eight times in three of the four games so far and while he hasn't had a 100-yard game or found the end zone yet, he's still a decent WR3 option in PPR leagues, with the upside to be more if he can start getting involved in the red zone.

From RotoBaller

Travis Kelce Oct 3 12:30am ET
Travis Kelce

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce caught a 16-yard touchdown on the second play from scrimmage in Sunday's win over the Buccaneers, setting the tone early for how his day would go. Kelce led the Chiefs in targets with 10, hauling in nine of them for 92 yards. Kelce is the No. 1 target in one of the NFL's best offenses and should be consider the overall TE1 in fantasy.

From RotoBaller

Marquez Valdes-Scantling Oct 3 12:30am ET
Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling was targeted five times in Sunday's win over the Buccaneers, hauling in three of them for 63 yards. It was the most yards that MVS has had in a game this season. Expected to be a field-stretching threat for quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Valdes-Scantling has mostly been unable to get going down the field, though he did have a 36-yard reception this week. Is it a sign of things to come for Valdes-Scantling? Fantasy managers should be curious, but there's still a lot of reason to worry here.

From RotoBaller

Brandon McManus Oct 3 12:20am ET
Brandon McManus

Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus only scored five fantasy points in the Week 4 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday on the road. In the 32-23 loss, McManus made his lone field-goal attempt from 28 yards out while missing one of his three extra-point tries on the day. It's now back-to-back poor fantasy performances from the Broncos' strong-legged kicker, as he made just one of his two field-goal attempts in the Week 3 win over the San Francisco 49ers while attempting zero extra points. The 31-year-old will be a borderline streaming option for fantasy managers when the Broncos take on the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday Night Football in Week 5.

From RotoBaller

Isiah Pacheco Oct 3 12:20am ET
Isiah Pacheco

Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco had 12 carries back in Week 1, but his role with the offense plummeted the next two weeks. That changed in Week 4 against the Buccaneers, as Pacheco saw 11 carries for 63 yards, with much of his work coming in the second half. He finished with a higher yards per carry average than Clyde Edwards-Helaire and far outpaced Jerick McKinnon in carries 11-2. Pacheco doesn't have a lot of fantasy value right now, but he's a threat to Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

From RotoBaller

Jerick McKinnon Oct 3 12:20am ET
Jerick McKinnon

Kansas City Chiefs Jerick McKinnon had seen his usage rise over the past few games, but that changed on Sunday against the Buccaneers, as McKinnon had just two of the team's 37 rushing attempts. He lost a yard on the ground, and caught his only target for one yard. Worse for McKinnon's fantasy value, Isiah Pacheco had 11 carries and seemed to take over as the No. 2 back in KC. McKinnon was a blip on the fantasy radar and can safely be sent back to the waiver wire.

From RotoBaller

Derek Carr Oct 3 12:20am ET
Derek Carr

The Denver Broncos defense was exposed in the Week 4 loss to the division-rival Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday in a 32-23 defeat. They entered the game having not allowed more than 17 points in three games played, but they gave up over 30-plus in this one while surrendering a whopping 385 yards of total offense. Josh Jacobs became the first RB to go over 100 yards on the ground against them (144 yards and two touchdowns), and Davante Adams became the first wideout to go over 100 yards against them. In addition, they only sacked Derek Carr twice and were unable to force a turnover. If pass-rusher Randy Gregory's knee injury turns out to be serious, they'll also be without one of their better defensive linemen for Thursday night's tilt against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 5.

From RotoBaller

JuJu Smith-Schuster Oct 3 12:13am ET
JuJu Smith-Schuster

Dynasty | Skyy Moore brings in two of four targets for 31 yards. Dynasty Analysis: Moore saw his most action of the season and his young career on Sunday night versus a tough Tampa Bay defense. It was good to see the rookie involved more after logging just ten offensive snaps the prior two games combined. Sitting as the rookie WR8 at DLF and oozes upside simply because of the offense he plays in. Outside of JuJu Smith-Schuster, the Chiefs lack a true proven wideout so the spot is up for grabs.

From Dynasty League Fantasy

Breece Hall Oct 3 12:13am ET
Breece Hall

Dynasty | Rachaad White rushed three times for six yards and caught fives passes for another 50 yards. Dynasty Analysis: White was involved heavily in this one as Tampa found themselves behind early. It was by far the most work the rookie had seen and appeared to be playing the James White role with Brady at the helm. Leonard Fournette has struggled to really get going so there may be more playing time in store with Gio Bernard still on the shelf. White ranks as the rookie RB3 behind just Breece Hall and Kenneth Walker.

From Dynasty League Fantasy

Albert Okwuegbunam Oct 3 12:10am ET
Albert Okwuegbunam

Denver Broncos tight end Albert Okwuegbunam had his second zero-catch game in four contests in the Week 4 loss to the division-rival Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday, and this time he wasn't even targeted at all. Okwuegbunam came into the 2022 season as an intriguing upside TE2 with quarterback Russell Wilson in town and with tight end Noah Fant in Seattle, but that hasn't come to fruition at all. The 24-year-old now has just six receptions on 10 targets for 45 yards in four games. Eric Saubert was the only Denver tight end targeted on Sunday, catching one of his two targets for 25 yards in the loss. Albert O will eventually factor into the offense, but he doesn't belong on fantasy rosters in 12-team leagues and remains well off the streaming radar heading into Week 5's Thursday night matchup with the Indianapolis Colts.

From RotoBaller

Clyde Edwards-Helaire Oct 3 12:10am ET
Clyde Edwards-Helaire

Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire carried the ball 19 times in Sunday's win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, finishing with 92 yards and a touchdown. He also caught a two-yard touchdown, his lone reception. Edwards-Helaire's usage had been a concern coming into this game, but he re-established himself as the leader of the backfield, even though Isiah Pacheco had 11 carries. Consider Edwards-Helaire to be a solid fantasy RB2 going forward.

From RotoBaller

Tyler Lockett Oct 3 12:00am ET
Tyler Lockett

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett saw heavy involvement in the offense during the Week 4 matchup against the Detroit Lions. Lockett hauled in six of his eight targets for 91 yards in the win. He wasn't able to score a touchdown, but he still had a productive day on the field. Those eight targets were good for a 27% target share during this contest. He should have a tougher challenge against the New Orleans Saints defense in Week 5. He'll float around WR3 range for that contest.

From RotoBaller

Patrick Mahomes Oct 3 12:00am ET
Patrick Mahomes

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes faced a tough matchup on Sunday against the NFL's best scoring defense, but he was able to connect with his receivers for three touchdowns in the win over the Buccaneers. Mahomes was 23-for-37 for 249 yards in the game. He threw one interception and added 34 yards on the ground. Mahomes is an elite fantasy quarterback and while he has just one 300-yard game so far this season, his ability to get the ball in the end zone keeps his value high.

From RotoBaller

Rashaad Penny Oct 2 11:50pm ET
Rashaad Penny

Seattle Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny looked to be bottled up early during Sunday's contest against the Detroit Lions. Luckily, Penny was able to find his groove and get back on track. He rushed 17 times for 151 yards and two touchdowns in the win over the Lions. Penny came through with some big plays in this game, but he can't always be trusted to do this well. The fifth-year back is clearly an important part of this offense, so his carries should remain consistent. He'll be on the RB2 radar for the Week 5 matchup against the New Orleans Saints.

From RotoBaller

Kenneth Walker III Oct 2 11:50pm ET
Kenneth Walker III

Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III was unable to get much going on the ground during the Week 4 matchup against the Detroit Lions. The rookie back rushed eight times for 29 yards in the win. He was clearly outshined by Rashaad Penny who rushed for over 150 yards in this game. The Seahawks are going to continue leaning on Penny with Walker picking up the scraps. It's tough to imagine Walker being worth starting against the tough New Orleans Saints defense next week.

From RotoBaller

D.K. Metcalf Oct 2 11:50pm ET
D.K. Metcalf

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf saw a ton of action during the Week 4 matchup against the Detroit Lions. The 24-year-old hauled in seven of his 10 targets for 149 yards in the win. Sadly, Metcalf wasn't able to score a touchdown, but he remained useful in fantasy leagues despite it. Those 10 targets were 30% of the target share, which is a bit surprising. His workload will likely decrease against a stronger secondary next week. Fantasy managers should put Metcalf in the low-end WR2 range for next week's matchup with the New Orleans Saints.

From RotoBaller

Geno Smith Oct 2 11:40pm ET
Geno Smith

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith was surprisingly solid during the Week 4 matchup against the Detroit Lions. The 32-year-old completed 23-of-30 passing attempts for 320 yards and two touchdowns without an interception in the win. He also added seven carries for 49 yards and a touchdown on the ground. There were certainly some mistakes made by Smith in this game, but he did enough to help his team win against the shaky Lions secondary. It will be much more difficult to trust Smith as a streaming choice against the New Orleans Saints in Week 5.

From RotoBaller

Jerry Jeudy Oct 2 11:30pm ET
Jerry Jeudy

Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy had a nice bounce-back game against the Las Vegas Raiders in the Week 4 loss on Sunday. After two forgettable performances the last two weeks, Jeudy rebounded to catch four of his five targets for 53 yards and his second touchdown of the season in the 32-23 defeat. It looks as though the 23-year-old has gotten over a rib injury that he suffered early in Week 2. Jeudy hasn't seen a ton of a volume in a Broncos offense that has mostly struggled through four games, but he could be in for an increase in looks from quarterback Russell Wilson with running back Javonte Williams (knee) believed to have suffered a serious injury. Jeudy will be an upside WR3 in Week 5 against the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night.

From RotoBaller

Courtland Sutton Oct 2 11:30pm ET
Courtland Sutton

Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton found the end zone for the first time this year in the team's 32-23 loss to the division-rival Las Vegas Raiders in Week 4 on Sunday. Sutton led the team in catches (five) and targets (seven) while going for 52 yards and the touchdown. While he didn't have an overwhelming lead in targets on the team this week, it's still clear that Sutton is quarterback Russell Wilson's favorite go-to target through the air through the first four weeks of the season. That should continue in a Week 5 meeting on Thursday night against the Indianapolis Colts, and Sutton could see even more looks after top running back Javonte Williams suffered a potentially serious knee injury in the loss to the Raiders.

From RotoBaller

Melvin Gordon Oct 2 11:20pm ET
Melvin Gordon

Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon III's Week 4 outing was one to forget in the 32-23 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday. Gordon only saw three carries and gained eight yards, also losing a costly fumble that the Raiders defense returned for a touchdown just before halftime. He was targeted just once in the passing game and failed to haul it in. The fumble was his fourth in four games in 2022, and it landed him in the coaching staff's dog house, even after Javonte Williams left with what is believed to be a serious knee injury. Despite the fumbling issues, Gordon could be heavily involved on Thursday night against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 5, which would give him RB2 upside. However, Mike Boone could also take valuable touches away in Denver's backfield.

From RotoBaller