Sunday Night Football: Chiefs dominate Bucs in first half, lead 28-17 at halftime

It was almost all Chiefs almost all the time in the first half of Sunday Night Football.

The Chiefs had five possessions, not counting a sack on the final play, scored four touchdowns, ran 40 plays, picked up 16 first downs, gained 219 yards and went 8-of-9 on third down. They recovered two Bucs fumbles.

It adds up to a 28-17 Chiefs lead at halftime.

The Chiefs did not punt in the first half against a defense that had allowed 27 total points this season. They stopped themselves on downs on a fourth-and-one at the Tampa Bay 34 when Patrick Mahomes‘ pass bounced off the hands of a wide-open Clyde Edwards-Helaire. But Kansas City got the ball back 11 seconds later when Tom Brady never saw L’Jarius Sneed on the blitz, and Sneed’s strip-sack was recovered by Chris Jones.

They scored six plays later when tight end Noah Gray scored out of the wildcat, taking the direct snap and running up the middle for a 1-yard score.

Mahomes created more than a few highlights in the first half. He threw two touchdown passes, completing 14 of 21 passes for 126 yards. Edwards-Helaire scored two touchdowns, getting to the end zone on a 3-yard run and a 2-yard reception. Travis Kelce caught seven passes for 65 yards and a touchdown.

Isiah Pacheco and Edwards-Helaire both have six carries for 41 yards.

The Bucs have been their own worst enemy, beginning with Rachaad White‘s fumble on the opening kickoff that led to a two-play, 21-yard scoring drive for the Chiefs that got Tampa Bay in an early hole.

Bucs receiver Mike Evans, who served a one-game suspension last week for a shove of Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore, scored two touchdowns in the final 8:50 of the first half. He had scores of 13 and 1 to keep the Bucs in it.

Brady has completed 18 of 24 passes for 195 yards.

Brady appeared to be in some discomfort after the hit by Sneed, and Blaine Gabbert warmed up on the sideline, but Brady didn’t miss a play.

The Bucs have minus-3 yards rushing and 180 total yards on 28 snaps.