Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Preview and Prediction

Everything you need to know before the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday in Week 12 of the NFL season.
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Following their big Sunday Night win over the Raiders, the 9-1 Kansas City Chiefs head to Tampa Bay to face Tom Brady's Buccaneers. The Buccaneers are now 7-4 following a tough Monday Night loss to the Los Angeles Rams where Brady fell flat and the defense didn't help Tampa's cause with nearly as many missed tackles (14) as pressures (15) on the game.

Here's everything you need to know before Kansas City and Tampa Bay kickoff on Sunday afternoon.

Stat to Know: The Chiefs and Buccaneers are the two highest-scoring teams in the NFL.

Ahead of Week 12, the Chiefs and Buccaneers have the first and second most points scored in the NFL. The Chiefs have 321 total points over 10 games, while the Buccaneers have 320 total points over 11 games. Of those 641 points for the two teams, 21 of them come from defensive touchdowns with touchdowns scored by Tyrann Mathieu and Daniel Sorensen of the Chiefs and Jamel Dean of the Buccaneers.

Matchup to Watch: Travis Kelce vs. Buccaneers linebackers

Travis Kelce is having the best season of his career right now without a doubt, as he is on pace for an NFL record-setting 1,434 yards and career-best 11 touchdowns. This matchup will be among the toughest of the season for Kelce to deal with, as two of the Buccaneers' options to cover Kelce are linebackers Lavonte David and Devin White. David has been a top linebacker over the last few years and is one of the main figures on this excellent Buccaneers defense. White is a young, talented linebacker who has given up a lot of production in coverage in his two seasons in the NFL but has also had his fair share of moments of brilliance in that time. If David and/or White get a lot of time covering Kelce, it will be a crucial, intriguing matchup for this game.

Key to the Game: Will the Chiefs' defense help the offense enough to win?

Over the last two games, the Chiefs defense has been brutal. They have allowed 31 points in each of those games, facing the Carolina Panthers and the Las Vegas Raiders. They hadn't allowed more than 17 points in any of the three games prior to that and had allowed more than 20 only once all season. Despite that, the Chiefs have squeaked out with wins in both games, but those were against the 21st- and 29th-ranked defenses for Expected Points Added (EPA). This game is against the third-ranked defense for EPA. Can the offense do enough against an elite defense or can the defense turn it around on Sunday?

Prediction: Chiefs 31, Buccaneers 27

I think Tom Brady is going to have his best game in several weeks with the Chiefs secondary continuing on to create a concerning situation. I think Patrick Mahomes is going to end up getting the better of him, though, and the Chiefs will improve to 10-1 before heading back to KC to face the Broncos on Sunday Night Football.

For more Kansas City Chiefs analytics and analysis, follow @SIChiefs and @WichitaChiefSam on Twitter.