NFC Division Leaders Face-off On Sunday


No, it’s not the Packers and the Eagles or the Rams and the Saints. It’s the Buccaneers and the Bears. Yep, you read that right.

If you are a Bucs fan and been paying attention to the last three games it is not hard for you to understand how the Buccaneers are the NFC South division leaders and for Bears fans, well the fact they are division leaders may come as a bit of a shock.

Both teams are 2-1 and atop a tough NFC division, making Sunday’s game another NFL game of the week.

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And it is…

The Buccaneers high flying passing offense will go up against Chicago’s nasty pass rush making it challenging for the Buccaneers offensive line that had allowed the Steelers’ defense to pressure the hell out of Fitzpatrick. One major worry is Khalil Mack. Mack is tied for first in the NFL with 4 sacks and leads with three forced fumbles. There is no question that Khalil Mack’s presence on the field will not go unnoticed and he certainly has elevated the Chicago Bears’ pass rushing defense.

With Bears cornerbacks Prince Akumura and Marcus Cooper Sr. out, that leaves only Kyle Fuller in the secondary to be a cause for concern. However, I do not think DeSean Jackson is worried one bit. Bears Safety Eddie Jackson has a sack and an interception thus far in the season, but again, I do not think DeSean Jackson is worried. If they decide to double DeSean Jackson, then the Bears secondary have Mike Evans and Chris Godwin to contain. That will be no easy task. As long as the Bucs offensive line holds up, whoever is quarterback should have no problems airing it out.

I’ve said this before and I will say this again, Tampa should walk away with the win, but it could be more of a limp. It will be no easy win by any means as Chicago’s defense will not just allow big plays down the field. But I also have to think, DeSean Jackson will have something to say about that.

A lot of experts also believe that Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky is poised to have a breakout game against Tampa’s secondary and historically, the Buccaneers secondary does allow mediocre quarterbacks appear to be Elite.

It’s been said that the Buccaneers haven’t faced any strong running backs and I’m not sure where those media guys got their information because James Connor and Alvin Kamara quickly come to mind. Sunday the Buccaneers 3rd ranked rushing defense will face Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen, who combine for 286 yards on the season and a quarterback who has 64 yards on the ground.

The Buccaneers running backs face a second-ranked rushing defense in Chicago and the rushing numbers are nowhere near the same. Peyton Barber and Shaun Wilson, and Jacquizz Rodger have struggled to combine for a mere 152 yards, while quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has accumulated 62 yards with his legs. The reason the running backs are not gaining more yards on the ground is likely due to Tampa abandoning the run early in contests.