It’s hard to pinpoint the reason why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were handed such a drubbing against the Chicago Bears (48-10) on Sunday, but here are the major factors contributing to the loss. If the Bucs don’t do something soon with the bye week, head coach Dirk Koetter will be punching his ticket out of here.
Penalties became the biggest drive killers. They’ve been a problem that’s plagued the team in recent years and a key factor in their two losses this season. Penalties from the second drive on dashed any momentum the offense was looking to build up.
Since the Bears’ opening scoring drive, the Bucs had two opportunities to respond before an offensive holding from tight end OJ Howard extended a 2nd and 5 to a 2nd and 15. It went downhill as the Bears scored a TD on the next six consecutive possessions. Not to place sole blame on Howard, but in a game of inches and momentum, the Bears never let their foot off the Bucs’ throat from there on out.
Bears Continuously Attacked the Bucs Weak Secondary
When the Bucs began the season, they struck early and often. The Bears’ offensive line gave quarterback Mitch Trubisky plenty of time to throw and provided enough blocking to trample the defense in the air and through the ground.
Trubisky, who before today never threw for more than two TDs a game, threw a career high six TDs, almost breaking the NFL record for TD passes in a game, and for 354 yards against a heavily depleted Bucs secondary. He also accounted for 397 of the 483 total yards of offense. Running back Tarik Cohen and wide receiver Taylor Gabriel caught for a combined 225 receiving yards and 3 TDs, often burning a grossly mismatched secondary.
Despite amassing a combined 131 yards on the ground from Tribusky, Cohen, and RB Jordan Howard, they didn’t score a running TD. The Bucs’ defense only managed to sack Tribusky once and hit him 3 times, only missing seven passes.
Bears’ Defense was Relentless
The Bears’ defense, led by Khalil Mack, regularly teed off of both Bucs QBs Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston during the second half, accounting for four sacks and seven hits. Tipped balls and errant throws resulted in three interceptions. Desperation from not letting the game get out of hand naturally forced the Bucs to remain one-dimensional.
The only person who had a salvageable day was Bucs WR DeSean Jackson, who had 5 catches for 112 yards but zero TDs. The Bears’ defense also bottled up second rounder RB’s Ronald Jones and starter Peyton Barber, holding them to a paltry 53 yards. Winston and Fitzpatrick were held to 251 yards passing combined.