The Bears lost their 12th consecutive game on a steamy Sunday afternoon in Tampa Bay. There were brief flashes of competence from Chicago but overall it was another bad performance and the Buccaneers defense sealed the win.
The Bears got off to great start after a Tampa Bay field goal with Justin Fields hooking up twice with D.J. Moore on a 75-yard touchdown drive that the quarterback finished off with a 1-yard run. Chicago’s offense ground to a halt after that, generating almost nothing the next two quarters.
Rachaad White punched in a running touchdown to give the home team a 10-7 advantage early in the second quarter. A blocked Tampa Bay field goal led to a Bears three pointer that tied the score 10-10. The Bucs had a successful kick at the end of the half and lead 13-10 the break.
Tampa Bay were able to score the only points in the third quarter when Baker Mayfield hit Mike Evans for a 32-yard touchdown on a 3rd down and 17. Lightning finally struck for Chicago halfway through the 4th with Fields connecting with Moore a couple times and then threading a pass between two defenders for a 20-yard touchdown to the much-maligned Chase Claypool to make the score 20-17.
The Bears defense held its own despite being ravaged by two more secondary injuries and got their offense the ball back deep in their own territory with just over two minutes remaining. Fields attempted a screen pass in the middle of the field and linebacker Shaquil Barrett read it perfectly, dropping back and intercepting it and running it back 5-yards for the game sealing touchdown. (Box score)
Why the Bears Lost
The offense once again was wildly inconsistent and the pass protection was very bad. The defense just isn’t very talented and they had costly busted coverages on several third down and long situations.
The Bears were so reliant on screen passes Sunday that the Buccaneers defenders were very alert for them. Barrett knew what was coming and made a great play to end the game.
Stats That Matter
- It was the same old story for Fields with flashes of brilliance but overall poor quarterback play. He only threw for 211 yards and even worse he was only able to run for three total yards. Another issue is the fact he tended to hold the ball too long in the pocket which helped contribute to his six sacks on the afternoon.
- Moore had 104 receiving yards almost entirely on the two touchdown drives. He wasn’t even targeted the rest of the game, just another sign of the inconsistent game calling by Luke Getsy.
- The offensive line could create no holes for the running game which produced just 67 yards combined.
- Safety Eddie Jackson injured his foot and was forced to miss most of the game Sunday.
This Bears squad is just not that much of an improvement over the 2022 version Fields is in the same frustrating spot as last season, showing signs of life but just not close to consistent enough. Chicago has almost no depth on either side of the ball and injuries are already exposing it.
It gets much more difficult next Sunday as the Bears head to Kansas City to take on the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs (1-1). The 3:25pm CT kickoff is available on FOX.