Bucs Down Four Starters In Week Seven Against The Bears

October 24, 2021

The Buccaneers are back home riding a three-game winning streak to take on the Chicago Bears and another rookie quarterback in Justin Fields.

The Bucs, for whatever reason, have never fared very well against rookie quarterbacks. Most recently, Mac Jones of the Patriots had the Bucs on the ropes until late in the game. The Patriots had a chance to win the game, but Nick Folk missed a 56-yard field goal, and the Bucs were able to run out the clock.

Tampa will have revenge on their mind Sunday afternoon as they played one of their worst games of the season last year on a Thursday night in Chicago. The Bucs fell to the Bears 20-19 despite four trips inside the red zone.

The Buccaneers settled for four field goals and a touchdown in the loss. This was also the game where Tom Brady lost track of the number of downs, and an internet meme was created with Brady holding up four fingers.

The Buccaneers also committed a season-high 11 penalties in that game.

On paper, this is an easy Buccaneer win. In reality, not so fast.

The Bucs will be missing key players on both sides of the ball. Wide receiver Antonio Brown and tight end Rob Gronkowski will miss the Sunday matchup. Also, linebacker Lavonte David and defensive back Richard Sherman will be out as well.

With Antonio Brown being out, Tyler Johnson has an excellent opportunity to step up and have a big game as the third wide receiver. Johnson was out of shape reporting to training camp and struggled the first few weeks of the season. Currently, he has an opportunity to be a big part of the offense today.

As good as the Bucs have been on offense, Tom Brady thinks there is still much more room for improvement.

I don’t think we’ve reached our potential at all. I think we’ve got to continue to stress the importance of the details every day of what we’re trying to do. We don’t have anything that I feel that I’m out there going man, we’ve really got this nailed. There’s a lot of things we need to do better.

Brady added:

You’ve got to work at it every day. You’ve got to sharpen your skills. Take nothing for granted. You come out here every day with the mindset you’re going to work to improve and get better and gain the trust of your teammates and coaches. You can’t take the foot off the gas at all. You’ve got to put in every day. You’ve got to prove to everybody what you want to become.

The Bears are very good defensively, ranking seventh in yards allowed and eighth in points allowed.

The duo of Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn have combined for 11.5 sacks so far this season. The Bucs offensive line will have to play exceptionally well to keep Tom Brady standing upright.

Brady talked about how good Mack is this week in his weekly media session:

He’s one of the dominant players in the game. He’s got speed, power, quickness. I think the impressive thing is the strip-sacks and how he gets the ball off quarterbacks. It’s one thing to sack the guy. It’s another to knock the ball off the quarterback. You obviously can’t hold the ball too long when those guys are rushing the passer.

We’ve had a few guys we played this year that were dominant, like Aaron Donald and last week Fletcher Cox, but Khalil is second to none.

The Bears are 3-3 on the season and are coming off a 24-14 loss to the hated Green Bay Packers. Furthermore, the Bears have had a fairly tough schedule the first six weeks with games against the Browns, Raiders, Packers, and the LA Rams.

It seems the Bears have settled on the rookie from Ohio State Justin Fields as their starting quarterback. This season, Fields has been up and down, completing 53 percent of his passes with three touchdowns and two interceptions.

This season, the Bears offense has been horrific, ranking 32nd in total offense, 32nd in pass offense, and 30th in scoring offense. The rushing attack of the Bears is ranked seventh in the league, but they may be without their top two backs in David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert against the Bucs.

On paper, this is an easy win for the Bucs. The Buccaneers are favored by 12 against the Bears and should have no problems covering the spread.

A Bucs win against the Bears would get them to 6-1 on the season, which would be the best start ever in Buccaneers history.

I like the Bucs to win this game 32-17 and continue to show improvement defensively. It will be another big day for the offense. Tyler Johnson will finally have his breakout game at wide receiver.