By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — When Tom Brady left his first and only NFL home for the greener grass of Tampa Bay, he prrrrobably wasn’t dreaming of a 7-5 record and a loosening grip on a wild-card spot on the doorstep of December.

After a Buccaneers comeback bid came up short at home against the Chiefs on Sunday, though, that’s precisely where Brady and his new team find themselves. After looking to be a contender for the top seed in the NFC as recently as Week 8, the Bucs have now lost three of their last four games to hit their bye at 7-5.

He’s still in a better spot than his former team in New England, which improved to 5-6 with a win over Arizona on Sunday. Yet the high-octane Bucs were supposed to be in slightly better position than this as they entered their late bye week. They’re now 2-4 against teams currently in the playoff picture, and one of those wins was a two-point victory over the 4-7 Giants. Their strength of victory is at .410, second-worst among current NFC playoff teams, better only those the aforementioned Giants.

Sunday’s game got ugly in a hurry, as Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill connected for 203 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, as Kansas City opened up a 17-0 lead. Brady’s offense, meanwhile, mustered just 39 total yards in the first four drives of the day.

But things changed a bit with a seven-play, 88-yard touchdown drive, which was highlighted by a 29-yard connection from Brady to Rob Gronkowski.

Brady capped off the drive with a short pass to Ronald Jones, who pulled off some acrobatic moves to make it to the end zone.

When the Chiefs stretched the lead to 27-10 on yet another touchdown to Hill midway through the third quarter, and when Brady followed up that development with an ugly interception …

… the game appeared to be well in hand for Kansas City.

And when Brady threw yet another pick, this time off a bad bounce …

… the game certainly seemed to be a wrap.

But the Chiefs went three-and-out after both picks, giving Brady a remote chance of leading a signature comeback for his new team.

He almost did it, too. First, Brady went 5-for-7 for 69 yards, drawing a rainbow to Mike Evans up the right sideline for a 31-yard touchdown.

The Bucs intercepted Mahomes on the ensuing drive, but that pick was negated by a Jason Pierre-Paul roughing the passer penalty. The Chiefs moved backward after that, though, with two separate holding penalties, leading to another Chiefs punt.

On the following drive, Brady went 7-for-9 for 54 yards on a drive that was aided by two roughing the passer penalties on Frank Clark. Brady capped the drive with another touchdown to Evans, giving the duo 11 touchdown connections on the season.

That touchdown made things awfully interesting in Tampa, as it cut the Chiefs’ lead to three points with a little over four minutes left in the game.

The Chiefs had punted on three consecutive drives, and the Bucs’ defense needed one more stop to give Brady a chance to complete the 17-point second-half comeback.

Alas, Brady never got the ball back. Mahomes scrambled for eight yards to pick up a first down after Bruce Arians called his final timeout, and Hill officially ended the game with an 8-yard reception on a third-and-7, allowing Mahomes to take a knee to kill the remaining clock.

After throwing for 345 yards, three touchdowns, and the two picks, Brady trotted to midfield, congratulated his counterpart (who threw for 462 yards, 3 TDs, and 0 INTs), and headed off to the locker room.

With two weeks to now assess where the 7-5 Buccaneers are and what they’ll be able to do in their final four games of the year, the 43-yard-old Brady is getting a harsh reminder that “the grass isn’t always greener” isn’t just an empty cliche.

You can email Michael Hurley or find him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.