The Tampa Bay Buccaneers looked to get back on the winning track after a loss on Monday night, Sunday in Chicago as they took on the Bears at Soldier Field.
The Bears started with the football, and the Bucs defense wasn’t ready yet again. After a big 23-yard carry from Mitchell Trubisky, the Bears quarterback found a wide-open Trey Burton for a 39-yard touchdown. Justin Evans fell down on the play, leaving Burton alone for the grab.
The Buccaneers defense would have an opportunity to redeem themselves quickly, as the offense went 3-and-out, going absolutely nowhere on a wide receiver screen to Adam Humphries, and on a second down run from Peyton Barber. Ryan Fitzpatrick missed Desean Jackson high on third down, and the Bears were headed back on the field up 7-0 mere moments into the game.
The Bears second drive would go much better for the Bucs as Jason Pierre-Paul made a big stop after Will Gholston jumped offsides on first down, and then ended the drive by sacking Trubisky and forcing the 3-and-out.
The Bucs second offensive drive was underwhelming again, and before long the Bears offense was working towards midfield looking to add to their early lead. With just over two minutes remaining in the first quarter, Trubisky found Allen Robinson for a 14-yard touchdown and the Bears were ahead 14-0.
The Bucs offense finally got something going on their next drive as Fitzpatrick connected with Desean Jackson on a big play. Ronald Jones got his first NFL action on the drive, with a nice carry inside the red zone. Unfortunately, he followed it up with a drop of a screen pass on the following play. After Fitzpatrick missed high again on third down, Chandler Catanzaro would give the Bucs their first points, making the score 14-3 on the first play of the second quarter.
The lead would quickly jump again however, as the Bucs defense made a mediocre offense look explosive again. Trubisky found Tarik Cohen on one big play, and eventually over the middle for the touchdown, and the Bears went ahead 21-3.
That wouldn’t last long though, because the Bucs offense continued to do nothing, and Trubisky continued to light the world on fire, and the Bears offense looked explosive on their way to Trubisky’s fourth touchdown pass, this time to Josh Bellamy.
A few minutes later the Bears were ready to score again, and with two quarterbacks in the backfield, Trubisky quickly pitched the ball to Taylor Gabriel for another touchdown, and the Bucs were behind 35-3.
Fitzpatrick started the next drive with a big play to Jackson to put the Bucs in the Bears red zone with some hope to put points on the board again, as if it mattered down 35-3. The drive ended with Fitzpatrick being intercepted while looking for Mike Evans, and the Bucs would again walk away without points.
Despite the big lead, the Bears remained aggressive and moved into Bucs territory, eventually setting up Cody Parkey up for a 50-yard field goal which he connected on to put Chicago up 38-3 at the half, and left me wondering if anyone would notice if I finished this wrap by just saying, “and the final score was.”
Regardless of the fact that it was going to be nearly impossible for the Bucs to come back in the second half, the start of the second half would be notable as Jameis Winston took the field as the quarterback to start the second half.
The Bucs started to move the ball on the drive, and converted a fourth down, but eventually Winston was hit by Khalil Mack while throwing a ball that ended up being intercepted. Moments later the Bucs defense continued to make Trubisky look like a hall of fame quarterback and the Bears went ahead 45-3 as Trubisky found Gabriel for his second touchdown of the game.
The Buccaneers finally found the end zone in the fourth quarter as Winston found Cam Brate in the end zone for a score that cut the lead to 45-10. While Winston clearly has some work to do with regaining timing with his receivers, he played pretty well considering the circumstances.
The Bears weren’t done scoring either, and once again moved the ball down the field on a Bucs defense that looked ready for the bye week, and eventually settled for another Parkey field goal to put Chicago up 48-10 with under seven minutes to play.
The Bucs were driving to potentially put more points on the board with under two minutes to play, but Winston was intercepted to put an end to a miserable day for the Bucs as they got walloped by 38 points in Chicago.