The Chicago Bears might have had plenty of confidence going into Sunday’s game in Tampa Bay. However, that confidence was shattered quickly as the Buccaneers dominated this game at Raymond James Stadium 36-10, something they hardly ever do. In fact, the Bucs had won just 3 of their last 20 home games. The Bears (2-7) couldn’t get out of their own way. I wouldn’t say this game was taken by the Buccaneers (4-5) as much as it was given to them.
- 4 turnovers (#24 Jordan Howard’s lost fumble, #6 Jay Cutler’s 2 interceptions, 1 lost fumble, PLUS the fumble that turned into a safety was basically a 5th turnover)
- 9 penalties (If Chicago made a good play, you could bet your bottom dollar that it would be called back due to penalty)
- Missed sacks (How many times did #3 Jameis Winston evade sure sacks and make incredible throws?)
- 3rd down efficiency (2-11 for Chicago, 8-15 for Tampa)
Did Tampa look like an awesome team to you on Sunday afternoon? I wouldn’t say so. The Bears MADE them look like a young team on the verge of greatness, but if you replayed this matchup next Sunday it might have a completely different outcome. However, Tampa would’ve made Lovie Smith proud with their tenacity in grabbing the football by consistently pressuring Cutler and taking that coveted football away 4 (or 5) times. As usual, we can’t blame only Cutler. He played like garbage but so did everyone else in his huddle. The WR’s can’t get open. The OL can’t block. The playcalling wasn’t too good either. The only bright spot on offense was Howard’s 100 rushing yards on 15 carries. Then he lost a fumble too. Overall, let’s give the entire offense a “Thumbs Down”.
Bears Offense =
K # 4 Connor Barth – Barth connected on his lone FG attempt, this one from 54 yards. I would say I was pleasantly surprised by this kick. He has now made 7 FG’s in a row, upping his season total to 12-15 FG’s. He’s perfect (15-15) on PAT’s too, not an automatic anymore from 33 yards out.
ILB’s #50 Jerrell Freeman & #59 Danny Trevathan – Freeman had 9 tackles while Trevathan had 13 tackles. These two have stabilized the ILB position for Ryan Pace and Vic Fangio. Along with the OLB’s #97 Willie Young, #94 Leonard Floyd, #92 Pernell McPhee, and #49 Sam Acho, the LB position is likely the most improved position on the team since Pace and John Fox took over. I would advise the Bears to look at every other position on the team next offseason before looking at LB. This position is the Bears strength.
The Hail Mary – Hail Mary’s are cool. Having said that, this might have been one of the lamest Hail Mary’s ever completed. It only prolonged the suffering for Bears fans because it made us think Chicago was still in the game. In fact, the deficit was only 17-10 at halftime. It didn’t seem like only a 7 point game but it was. So then you felt like we had a chance. Uhh, no. No chance. Tampa outscored Chicago 12-0 in the 3rd quarter and 19-0 in the 2nd half.
- Injuries continue to dog the Bears. Both RG #75 Kyle Long (probably a serious right ankle) and RT #70 Bobby Massie (I believe a concussion) left the game with injuries, further hurting the OL’s protection.
- DT #91 Eddie Goldman was ok but not a game-changer in his return. He had 4 tackles and 1 sack. For the most part he was invisible.
- WR#19 Eddie Royal played through his injury but had only 1 catch for 24 yards…..on the last play of the game. Where was he all afternoon? Why wasn’t he targeted?
- As good as Cutler played last game, that’s how bad he played at Tampa. In fact, you could make an argument this was his worst performance as a Bear. There is no doubt his days in Chicago are numbered.
- Who else is sick of Fox Sports “Rules Analyst” Mike Pereira? This guy serves no purpose. It’s the same junk every week. “I’m not sure they can OVERTURN this call on the field.” Isn’t he bored of this gig? Move on dude.
- You think the Bears are in a bad state? Look around the division. Green Bay lost 3 in a row…..doh! Minnesota lost 4 in a row…..”the sky is falling”. Detroit is magically in 1st place at 5-4.
Player of the Game – #94 Leonard Floyd
One of the lone bright spots was the continued development of Leonard Floyd. This kid wreaks havoc on opposing offenses. Floyd totaled 5 tackles and 1.5 sacks this week. He indeed needs to get better at finishing. He probably left another two sacks on the field in Tampa. It seems like he gets so excited when he gets close to a sack that he whiffs on the QB. With time, experience, and development of his technique, he will finish these sacks and put up some monster numbers. He can easily get one sack a week. That’s 16 sacks per year which put a OLB into the Pro Bowl. It won’t be long and Floyd will be a premier player in the NFL.
- Bears 30 Buccaneers 22
- “Bears will score their most points in a game this year, upping the 23 scored at Indy.”
- Buccaneers 36 Bears 10 (Could I be more wrong?)
- Bears scored 10 points, 7 points via the Hail Mary. This was simply one of Chicago’s worst offensive games of the season.
- Bears Record : 2-7
- My Record : 3-6
My predictions were God awful. However, I wasn’t the only one predicting a Bears victory. All seven Bears writers in the Chicago Tribune predicted a Bears victory also. Nationally, I think Colin Cowherd reads my Previews. Friday morning on his Fox Sports 1 show “The Herd Colin Cowherd” he predicted Bears 30 Buccaneers 21. He stole my prediction! I’m gonna get you Colin! 😉