Cliff Notes: Chiefs vs Bucs

Kansas City's offense put together an impressive performance for the second straight week in Sunday's 30-27 loss to Tampa Bay. Tyler Thigpen marched his offense down the field on the opening possession, connecting with Dwayne Bowe for a seven-yard touchdown.

On that same drive, Chan Gailey attempted to rectify the play-calling mistake he made on the Chiefs' second-to-last possession last week, by running a bootleg on KC's first third-down Sunday, the play Herm Edwards said he would have liked to run a week ago in New York. The bootleg call resulted in a five-yard Thigpen run and a first down. On the Buccaneers first offensive play, Tank Tyler forced a fumble and Turk McBride jumped on it, giving the Chiefs possession on Tampa's 41-yardline. The Chiefs took advantage of the short field, and Kolby Smith punched in a one-yard touchdown run, giving the Chiefs their first 14-point lead in over two years.

The Chiefs defense yielded a field goal on the ensuing possession, but the offense answered right back with a touchdown on an unbelievable play. On third-and-one, the Chiefs broke from the huddle into their seldom-used wildcat formation with Jamaal Charles set to receive the shotgun snap and Thigpen split out wide.

Charles took the direct snap for a 16-yard gain. That play set up a 37-yard wide receiver pass from Mark Bradley, who hit Thigpen.

"That was a play we put in this week," said Thigpen. "I guess on the first play we kind of did it when I split out and the guy didn't respect me, and then coach came right back to it and called it, so it was a good play call by him."

And a good play call it was, especially after the flack offensive coordinator Chan Gailey received for the conservative play-calling in last week's loss to the Jets.

Two possessions later, rookie kicker Connor Barth banged in a 39-yard field goal, giving the Chiefs the 21-point lead they would eventually squander. Tampa's Clifton Smith ran the ensuing kickoff back 97 yards for a touchdown. Then, on a third-and-11 during the Bucs' next possession, McBride hit Bucs quarterback Jeff Garcia late, resulting in a 15-yard penalty.

The Buccaneers capitalized, as Matt Bryant hit a 43-yard field goal, cutting KC's halftime lead to 11. The Chiefs would muster only three second-half points while giving up 17, allowing the Buccaneers to complete their largest comeback in franchise history.

Certainly this loss is a painful one for Chiefs fans, as surrendering a 21-point lead never seems good in the short term, but it may pay dividends in the long run. If you're one of those fans eager to see Carl Peterson and Herm Edwards fired, this loss should make you happy. Every stinging loss makes drastic offseason changes more and more likely.

Every stinging loss also moves the Chiefs closer to a top-flight draft pick. Do you want Rey Maualuga, Matt Stafford, Michael Oher, Tyson Jackson, or James Laurinaitis to be a Chief? You ought to be thrilled over Sunday's blown lead. Okay, maybe saying you should be thrilled is going a little overboard, but losing is the downside of having a high draft pick or change in the front office and coaching staff.

This loss, like last week's, is one that can be tolerated, because young players again made huge strides. Branden Albert didn't yield a sack, Mark Bradley made several catches, Tyler Thigpen turned in another solid performance, Brandon Carr snagged another interception, and Jamaal Charles banked his first 100-yard performance.

Kansas City's young talent is showing obvious signs of improvement, but there's still not enough of it. One more top-five draft pick and another solid rookie class will go a long way for this franchise. So will some front office changes.

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