For Kansas City they are hoping this trip to the Sunshine State will shine a little brighter than their last trip to Jacksonville earlier in the season. The state of Florida has not been kind to the Chiefs and if they want to get over the hump, they'll need to find a way to beat the Bucs on the road in a game that could validate their last two victories over the Falcons or Colts.
The Chiefs are coming into the game against the Buccaneers on a two game winning streak, while Tampa Bay is coming off a bye week and a win over the Bears two weeks ago. This game will be big for Kansas City to get back to the .500 mark and set the table for their big playoff push.
"I just think if we can get to even now with eight games to go and five division games to play in the last six it would better define what we have left to do and give us more time to get it done" Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil said.
The Chiefs, if they could win on Sunday and coupled with a Denver or San Diego loss would place them one game behind the division leaders. The Chargers host the New Orleans Saints and the Broncos are trying to avoid their third straight loss when they host the suddenly hot Houston Texans. Chiefs know all too well that Houston is no pushover. With that said the Chiefs despite scoring 101 points the last two weeks are not taking this weeks opponent lightly.
"I still think we need a sense of urgency. I don't think we need to panic." Quarterback Trent Green said. "Everybody wants to say it is a must-win game and what I've used the past couple weeks is that it's just a sense of urgency - that we go into the game, from series-to-series, from quarter-to-quarter, from half-to-half, with the urgency to get things done to try and create turnovers, offensively to put ourselves in third-and-short situations."
Tampa Bay on the other hand is on the way down in the NFC. They stand 2-5, and are not even within an earshot of Atlanta, who is 6-2. The Bucs have only one win at home, and are winless against AFC foes this season. Despite the losing record the Buccaneers have forced 12 turnovers as they possess the NFL's second best defense.
"There's not too much you can do when you play a team like that." Running back Priest Holmes said. "You just have to be able to be conscious of the fact when you're in the mix of four or five defenders to either hit the ground or try and protect the ball."
During the pre-season it was looking pretty good for Tampa Bay, when they were 3-1, but they opened the regular season at 0-4. Since the slow start, the Buccaneers have only lost once and that was a seven point lost to the St. Louis Rams on the road.
"I've always looked as a bye week as an advantage in terms of getting a break and getting a chance to get the body back and being able to focus a little more clearly, getting the chance to be away from football." Holmes said. "But right now, we're on our upside and we're talking about winning ball games, getting back to 4-4 and then being able to really compete."
Next week for the Chiefs the Chiefs finish out their play against the NFC South as they go to New Orleans to face the Saints. Chiefs fans hope they'll be playing that game with a 4-4 record.