Chiefs struggle in 25-0 loss to Buccaneers

KANSAS CITY (AP) — Josh Freeman and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looked like they were ready for the regular season to start Friday night.

The Kansas City Chiefs appeared to forget the lockout is over.

Freeman was smooth and efficient while leading Tampa Bay to points on three of the four series he played, and the third-year quarterback helped the Buccaneers take advantage of every bobble and blunder that the Chiefs made in a 25-0 preseason victory.

Freeman was 9-of-13 for 73 yards while playing for the first time at Arrowhead Stadium, just a few miles from where he grew into a high school star. He also ran five yards for a score.

The game figured to be sloppy after the NFL lockout wiped away the offseason. Teams have only been together for about two weeks, and veteran free agents couldn’t even practice until last Thursday because of new language in the collective bargaining agreement.

Kansas City had barely worked out in pads, and coach Todd Haley decided not to scrimmage during camp, wary that too much hitting too early might result in unnecessary injuries.

It wasn’t much surprise the Chiefs looked unprepared.

Quinten Lawrence made a poor decision to bring the opening kickoff out of the endzone, getting wrestled down at the 8. The Chiefs went three-and-out on their first possession, fumbled on their next two, and watched backup quarterback Tyler Palko get sacked for a safety on another.

Freeman needed only two plays to turn the first fumble into a touchdown, then led Tampa Bay on an eight-play drive that Connor Barth capped with a 25-yard field goal.

Barth added another field goal later in the half before Palko’s safety made it 15-0.

Just about the only positive for the Chiefs was that none of the starters got hurt.

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