June 25, 2021

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Can Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce be stopped?

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Sep 7, 2017; Foxborough, MA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) celebrates with tight end Travis Kelce (87) after scoring a touchdown against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

(Opinion Editorial)

It sounds like an impossible task, and for the most part, it is. 

You aren’t likely to shut them both down on every play all game long; it just isn’t going to happen. At some point, both are going to make their move and beat you pretty badly, and it will probably happen a few times throughout the game. The Chiefs defense is saddled with basically the same chore as our own. Stop multiple talented scoring threats. Probably the best way to do that, at least for our Bucs, is to play to their strength. That strength is their front seven, especially with Vea back. The Bucs, simply, must disrupt the passing game overall. The only way to do that is at the source. Mahomes must have his world rocked. That task is a mighty big order when the guy’s world you are trying to rock is the very mobile Pat Mahomes. He can make all the throws, and he can do them moving east or west equally well.

All is not lost, though. 

Mahomes only threw six interceptions all season long. The good news is three of them came in one game. More good news is that Mahomes had four turnovers in the Miami game this season if you throw in the fumble, he also lost. The Dolphins lost that day by six points. The Dolphins defense registered three sacks in that game, but the Chiefs pulled that game out against the Dolphins, and against us, in my opinion, they get beat; and soundly. It’s not asking too much for the Bucs to register three-plus sacks. 

So the obvious answers are the correct ones. 

Put pressure on Mahomes without letting him beat you on the fly. Jamb Hill and Kelce at the line, try to knock them off their route, slow them down. Screw up the timing between Mahomes and his weapons. Make Mahomes throw some balls he wish he had back, and when he does, make him pay. Balls bouncing off our defender’s chest to the ground aren’t going to make the day. We must execute and capitalize on any deviation we can create in Mahome’s game. We have the players to accomplish this task. Lastly, the Bucs Defense must not allow the big play especially early and get down. On the plays that we get beat, we must minimize those times by not allowing their players to break it to the house. It’s a given that the Chiefs are going to make some plays on Super Bowl Sunday. The Chiefs didn’t fall into the biggest game of the year by chance. We just have to minimize the damage those plays cause.

Hill and Kelce are machines, beasts of the gridiron. 

You slow these two players down, not allow them to be comfortable in their routes and approach to each play, and we stand a very good chance of becoming the first Home Team and the first to win a Super Bowl as one. Nobody wants that asterisk next to the Bucs notation of first home team in Bowl history that directs you to a notation that the Bucs lost the game to the Chiefs as the home team. We cannot allow this game to get away from us. The Bucs should keep running the football as they have all playoffs long. Stick with it until the end, even with mixed results. If these things can be done and we, in turn, protect Brady as well as the line has done for most of the season, this game is a big win for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Go Bucs!!

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