Welcome back friends! This week the Chicago Bears face a stiff challenge in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as well as their Hurricane Irma ravaged fans. Games like this can be emotional. Think New Orleans Saints on that famous Monday nighter after Hurricane Katrina. Saints won big with all that emotion. Of course, it can go the other way too. Think Houston Oilers (oops, Texans) the other day in their Week 1 disaster after the tragic Hurricane Harvey. The Texans played like their cleats were flooded as they were pounded 29-7 by the……Jacksonville Jaguars. I know, that doesn’t seem right now does it?
So the Bears (0-1) enter Tampa Bay expecting an emotional opponent and crowd. The Buccaneers (0-0) are actually kicking off their first game on Sunday after having their opener at Miami cancelled due to the Hurricane. That may play a factor too. Are the Bucs ready? Are they prepared after possibly practicing very little? Are they stressed about their mansions and their families? They might be a fresh team with no injuries but as you’ve heard countless times throughout the years, a team’s greatest improvement often comes between games 1 and 2. That could play in the Bears favor.
Watch Out For……..
WR #13 Kendall Wright – Now that both WR #81 Cameron Meredith and WR #11 Kevin White are injured, somebody needs to step up to catch all of those tight spirals from QB #8 Mike Glennon. Wright is a slot receiver who has shown promise both in his past with the Tennessee Titans for 5 seasons, and already with the Bears in this young season. Last week, Wright wasn’t involved much but he did catch 3 passes out of 4 targets for 34 yards. This week he will probably earn more targets. I’m guessing upwards of 8. Did you know that Wright had 94 catches for 1,079 yards and 2 TD in 2013, his 2nd year with Tennessee? Not bad.
- The ravenous Bears defense will record at least 2 takeaways on Sunday! It’s hard to fathom but this energetic 3-4 defense only had 11 takeaways all of last year and they recorded zero last week against Matt Ryan and company. This week will be different. They face a QB in Jameis Winston who is entering his 3rd NFL season. Although talented, Winston has already thrown 33 interceptions in his two years, including 18 last year! He’s a risk taker and I’m banking on at least one interception from him and at least two total takeaways for the Bears. “Famous” Jameis better pray that the Bears don’t intercept him, but his prayers will go unanswered on Sunday.
As of Thursday morning, the point spread favors the Buccaneers by 7 points. As Gary “The Gut” would say, “No way Jose!” Chicago will surprise some by recording not only a victory against the spread but they will actually win this game straight up. According to my season preview, this is one of the Bears 9 wins. I’m sticking with it.
- Chicago Bears 21 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17