Despite the Bucs clawing back from an early deficit against the Chiefs in Week 12, narrowly falling in a 27-24 contest, the 17-0 hole that Tampa Bay found themselves in by the end of the first quarter proved to be an obstacle too large to overcome.
The Chiefs’ early double-digit lead largely came from an otherworldly first 15 minutes from All-Pro receiver Tyreek Hill, amassing 203 yards and two touchdowns on seven receptions before the start of the second quarter. Taking the lion’s share of Hill’s damage that Sunday was cornerback Carlton Davis, who allowed nine receptions on nine targets for 211 yards and three touchdowns to Hill in coverage, per Pro Football Focus.
“I play defensive back in the NFL so you’re going to have your share of losses,” Davis said on Tuesday. “It doesn’t change who I am or what I do or how I approach the game. I’m going to continue to be a dog and go out there and give it my all every time.”
Despite his performance, and the performance as a whole from Tampa Bay’s secondary against the Chiefs the first time around, Davis ensured that his mentality hasn’t changed and won’t change heading into the Super Bowl as he once again prepares to line up against one of the league’s most explosive offenses. And he’s confident that the Bucs will bounce back with a better game plan.
“I’m going to bring the same mentality, I’m going to always be myself,” Davis said. “It didn’t work out the first game as far as what we did and our game plan but we’ve corrected it. We’ve got a great game plan going in but I’m going in with the same mentality and that’s to dominate, so just look out Sunday.”
Davis added that even though the Bucs’ first game against the Chiefs didn’t fall in their favor, there are lessons to take away.
“I guess you can call it an advantage,” Davis said about going up against all of the speed that Kansas City has at wide receiver once already. “Seeing a guy on film and seeing him in person is totally different and the fact that we’ve played against them already definitely gives us a good look of what we’re going up against so that does have an advantage of its own.”
And it’s all about staying focused within their own locker room according to Davis, making sure that the Bucs stay focused on their own game while not letting the focus shift to far toward the team that they’ll be playing.
“We’re just going to go out there and do what we do,” Davis said. “It’s not about them, it’s always about us. It’s never about your opponent and the more you make it about them the more it becomes about them so it’s always about us, it’s always about how we execute, about how we carry out our game plan and our mentality to be physical and smart.”