Questionable clock management and a pair of pass interference penalties just before halftime made things considerably worse, allowing Tampa Bay to go into halftime with a 21-6 lead.
Andy Reid gambles
With Kansas City trailing 14-6 and Tampa Bay starting a drive with 1:01 left in the second quarter, Chiefs coach Andy Reid rolled the dice that his defense could pick up a stop and give his sluggish offense a chance to score again before halftime.
He crapped out.
Bucs pick up first down after Chiefs timeouts
Reid called timeout after the Bucs ran up the middle with Leonard Fournette for no gain on first-and-10 from their own 29-yard line. The Bucs, now aware that the Chiefs were planning on stopping the clock, threw on second down and picked up an eight-yard gain.
Reid called another timeout.
Tom Brady found Rob Gronkowski for a five-yard completion on the next play to pick up a new set of downs. The Bucs made the most of it.
On first-and-10 from the Tampa Bay 42, Brady looked to take advantage of the new set of downs and passed deep down the left sideline to Mike Evans. He didn’t find his receiver, but a pass interference call on Bashaud Breeland ensured that he didn’t have to.
Pass interference calls put Chiefs in scoring position
Breeland tripped Evans up as the ball landed, and the refs flagged the Chiefs for a 34-yard penalty.
Another pass interference penalty in the end zone two plays later set the Bucs up with first-and-goal from the 1-yard line. Safety Tyrann Mathieu drew the flag this time for contact with Evans.
This ball is impossible to catch. pic.twitter.com/lbnyC9yVvG
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) February 8, 2021
Antonio Brown finds pay dirt
On the next play, Brady made the Chiefs pay, connecting with Antonio Brown on a play-action pass for his third touchdown of the day.
— NFL (@NFL) February 8, 2021
The sequence was reminiscent of the NFC championship, which saw the Bucs take advantage of some breaks and score just before the half against the Green Bay Packers with a touchdown that turned out to be the difference in the game.
Brown’s touchdown Sunday made a bad situation much worse for the defending champs.
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