The Kansas City Chiefs are no stranger to this quarterback Tom Brady's wrath in the playoffs.
The 2018 loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game was a learning experience for head coach Andy Reid and the rest of the team.
What did they learn exactly? Don't let Brady end the game with the ball in his hands.
That was the idea when the Buccaneers and Chiefs met earlier this season. With 4:10 to go in the fourth quarter, Kansas City got the ball leading three points. Instead of passively running the ball and opting to waste time and yardage, Reid called passing plays when Tampa Bay was out of time outs and all the Chiefs needed was a first down.
Following the game, Reid admitted that part of his aggressive playcalling had to do with Brady standing on the other sideline.
"I learned a long time ago you don’t give Tom Brady another shot," Reid said.
Tight end Travis Kelce agreed with that sentiment as he talked about the importance of making the most of their offensive possessions during his media availability on Thursday.
Kelce said they are focused on scoring six points every time they have the ball so they can give themselves a good chance to win the game.
“When you’re going up against a great quarterback like Tom Brady and how legendary he’s been in games like this, you just have to be able to control what you can control and that’s what we do on the offensive side of the ball," Kelce said. "We preach situational football, taking care of the football, winning the turnover battle, things like that are things we can control as an offense. Going up against a high-powered offense like that, that’s the key. You’ve just got to make sure you’re putting up six points more than you’re putting up three. At the end of the day, putting points up on the board so you’re giving yourself a chance in the fourth quarter.”
And Kansas City did just that in Week 12. The Chiefs offense feasted in the first quarter. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill notched seven catches for 203 yards and two touchdowns in the quarter en route to a record-setting 13 catch, 269-yard day.
In addition to Hill's showing, Kelce recorded a relatively quiet — for his standards — eight catches for 82 yards while quarterback Patrick Mahomes put up a vintage performance throwing for 462 yards and three touchdowns. Kansas City's expected winning percentage never dipped below 57.2%, which came in the opening quarter.
Kelce knows that the Buccaneers defense is no slouch though as the unit has improved since their meeting.
He gave credit to Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Todd Bowls and said he and the offense will have to be ready for anything on Sunday.
“I think what [Todd] Bowles does, the defensive coordinator for the Bucs, I think what he does a great job of is mixing up the coverages and hats off to the defense," Kelce said. "The men that they have over there on the defensive side of the ball for being able to understand the intentions of the play caller because they do understand that the defense, knowing variety of coverages that Bowles can dial up. I think that going into this game you just got to be prepared for everything and build those instincts accordingly. Everything that’s on film has been worked on and hopefully we found an answer for everything they think they have an answer for. So, it’s just going out there and playing ball.”