The Chicago Bears got eaten alive in the rain forest jungle known as Tampa, Florida on Sunday afternoon. The Buccaneers swamped ’em 29-7. As a Bears fan, it sucked. Let’s get right to the point. It reminded us all of 2016. It stunk.
The Bears had 4 turnovers in the 1st half which led to 20 Bucs points, and that was really the difference in the game. Tampa led at the break 26-0. QB #8 Mike Glennon threw 2 interceptions, including one that was returned all the way for a touchdown. He lost a fumble. He wasn’t good. It wasn’t all his fault of course. The offensive line played like garbage. The receivers (what’s left of them) dropped several catchable passes. Even rookie sensation Tarik Cohen made an ill-advised attempt at fielding a punt. He fumbled it. That was essentially the game.
The Bears defense didn’t play very poorly considering the circumstances. They weren’t good enough though. They had several penalties and couldn’t exactly stop Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston and WR Mike Evans. Those two are quite a combo and are both becoming superstars. The Bears don’t really have any superstars yet. RB #24 Jordan Howard might be the closest thing the Bears have to a star, but he only had 9 carries for 7 yards behind a beaten up, broken blocking unit.
P #16 Pat O’Donnell – He punted 3 times for 168 total yards (56.0 yard gross average), which is excellent. His long was 63 yards. He pinned them once inside the 20 and he had one touchback. Tampa returned one punt for 17 yards. That makes O’Donnell’s net average 50.3 yards. That is tremendous. Great job!
CB #23 Kyle Fuller – Fuller had just 4 tackles but this Game Ball isn’t because of stats. It’s because he provided decent coverage and almost intercepted one or two passes. Honestly, it was the best he’s looked since the San Francisco game from his rookie year.
OLB #97 Willie Young – Chicago didn’t have a fantastic pass rush on Sunday, but Willie Young did reel in Jameis Winston once for a sack. He did his traditional sack dance which I always find enjoyable.
WR #14 Deonte Thompson – He caught 4 passes for 57 yards and the late TD from Glennon on 5 targets. Remember that Thompson probably started the year as the projected #5 receiver. The pecking order was expected to be #1 Cameron Meredith, #2 Kevin White, #3A Kendall Wright, #3B Marcus Wheaton, #5 Deonte Thompson, #6 Josh Bellamy, etc. So basically the Bears are already down to their 3rd or 4th best receiver as the lead option. Thompson and Bellamy were supposed to be mainly special teamers. We’ve only played 2 games and look at this unit. We can blame the Bears management and incompetence all we want but where does bad luck come into play? One more thing, what is GM Ryan Pace supposed to do about it at this point? The NFL is not like MLB. You can’t really go out and make a trade right now. Pace can either search for free agents or bring up somebody from the practice squad like he did with Tanner Gentry. What else can he do? And would it really help anyway?
- The referees headed by Ron Torbert – The Bears have enough problems on their own without the referees helping the opponent win. It almost seemed like the refs, whether it was consciously or subconsciously, were helping Tampa Bay. Obviously they had the home field advantage but it seemed like more than that. It was almost as if Head Referee Ron Torbert’s crew wanted to help “heal” the wounds suffered by Floridians by “helping” the Buccaneers recover from the awful Hurricane Irma damage. Chicago had 8 penalties while Tampa had only 4, and I believe most of the Bucs were toward the end of the game. At one point it was something like 6 Bears fouls compared to 1. AT LEAST one of those defensive holding calls against Bears ILB #59 Danny Trevathan was a joke! C’mon man! What about the time the Buccaneers ran into the Bears punter on a 4th and less than 5? Why didn’t they call “running into the punter”? It would’ve given Chicago an automatic 1st down.
- QB #8 Mike Glennon – His stats were ok but Glennon would admit he didn’t play very well. On one of his interceptions he threw into triple coverage while right near his targeted receiver was a WIDE OPEN tight end, I believe it was #87 Adam Shaheen. Glennon has completed 57 of 85 pass attempts in 2 games which is a 67% completion rate.
- Bears receivers – If you add up the 6 “official” drops he would be at 74%. Everyone gets some drops but 6 drops in 2 games is a conservative calculation. These receivers need to help out too. Collectively, they get a “Thumbs Down” too. C’mon man!
Player of the Game : FS #39 Eddie Jackson – The rookie safety led Chicago with 8 tackles including 1 TFL. At least something promising happened on the roadtrip to Tampa.
- In our Bears/Bucs Preview, we told you to “Watch Out For” WR #13 Kendall Wright. We were right. He caught 7 balls for 69 yards, leading the team in both catches and targets (10). Unfortunately, he also led the team in drops with 2 (officially). That’s why he didn’t earn a Game Ball.
- Another prediction was: “The ravenous Bears defense will record at least 2 takeaways”. We were almost right on this one. OLB #92 Pernell McPhee forced one fumble which was recovered by OLB #94 Leonard Floyd. At least one pass should have been intercepted as well, which would have provided the 2nd takeaway. I think it was Kyle Fuller who dropped that easy interception in the back of the end zone. Oh well, the “Dutch Lion” was close!
- Lastly, as for my game prediction “Chicago Bears 21 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17”, I think I underestimated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for one thing. I probably overestimated this Bears team for another thing. Add it up and I made a bad prediction, ending my 8 game winning streak. Last year I was 3-6 and won the final 7 games for a final record of 10-6. This year I’m now 1-1.
Next up for the Bears, they return home to host the Pittsburgh Steelers in Chicago at Soldier Field. Look for my Preview in a couple of days.