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Brady eyes offensive improvement as Bucs face Chiefs

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Tom Brady says Tampa Bay's offense must improve as they prepare to face the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday./AFP
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Sep 30, 2022 - 09:14 AM

LOS ANGELES — Tom Brady says the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ misfiring offense must improve as they prepare for a Super Bowl rematch with Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

After a week of preparations disrupted by Hurricane Ian, which forced the team to relocate to Miami to practice, the Bucs will host the Chiefs at the Raymond James Stadium on Sunday after receiving the all-clear to stage the game from local authorities.

It is the first meeting between the two teams since Brady led the Bucs to a 31-9 win over the Chiefs at the same venue last year to clinch his seventh Super Bowl crown.

That victory saw the Bucs score four touchdowns while their dominant defense shut down Chiefs quarterback Mahomes.

It has been a different story this season however with the Bucs’ offense averaging just 17 points a game in the team’s first three games.

“I certainly expect us and hope we can score more points than what we’ve been scoring,” Brady told reporters on a conference call.

“We’re all disappointed by the fact that we haven’t scored as many points as we’re capable of scoring. We’re three games in, and we realise there’s things we haven’t done so well that we’ve got to get corrected.

“It comes down to a lot of different things. It’s making the right play, executing the plays. And if we do that I believe we’ll score more points.

“But it hasn’t been at the highest level for the first three weeks of the year.”

The Bucs’ offensive problems were on display as they stumbled to a 14-12 home loss to Green Bay last weekend after low-scoring opening wins over New Orleans and Dallas.

Brady still the standard 

In overall offense, Tampa Bay rank 27th out of 32 teams so far this season.

By contrast, the Bucs defense is ranked fourth in the league, and as Brady acknowledged, has been largely responsible for helping them to a winning 2-1 start.

“We’ve got to go out there and match what they’re doing,” Brady said. “We’ve got to go out and score more points and take the pressure off them.”

While the 45-year-old Brady’s meagre passing stats have left him 28th in the quarterback rankings this season, Chiefs opposite number Mahomes is in no doubt that the NFL icon is still the gold standard by which other players are measured.

Mahomes, 27, said he hopes to emulate Brady by extending his career for as long as his form and fitness allow.

“I want to play as long as I can play,”Mahomes said. “Obviously, it’s hard to play until you’re 45 years old, and I don’t want to be out there just hanging on.

“But you see what Tom is — he’s still playing at a very high level. I think that’s why it’s hard for him to kind of give it up — when you’re playing at a high level you don’t want to leave it.

“I’m going to try to keep my body in the best shape possible and as long as they’ll let me play and I can play at a high level, I’ll be out there.”

Pederson eyes Philly return 

The Chiefs head into Sunday’s game smarting from a shock 20-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts last weekend which followed impressive wins over the Los Angeles Chargers and Arizona Cardinals.

In other highlights this weekend, the Philadelphia Eagles will attempt to preserve their unbeaten record when they host red hot quarterback Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

After the chaos of last season, when head coach Urban Meyer was fired and the team finished 3-14, the Jaguars looked to have turned a corner under former Eagles coach Doug Pederson.

Pederson was sacked by the Eagles in 2021, just three years after leading the team to a memorable Super Bowl.

Pederson admits he is not certain of the reception he will get from the Eagles’ notoriously rambunctious crowd.

“It’s Philly. Anything’s possible, right, with these fans?” he said this week. “I”m just looking forward to running out of the tunnel with the Jaguars and getting ready to play a game there.”

Elsewhere on Sunday, the Buffalo Bills (2-1) will look to get back to winning ways after a bruising loss to the Miami Dolphins last weekend when they travel to Baltimore to take on the Ravens (2-1).

The Ravens’ preparations have been disrupted by a season-ending injury to tackle Michael Pierce, who tore a left biceps in a 37-26 win over New England last weekend.

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