Since the opening week loss to the New Orleans Saints, the Buccaneers have won three straight and sit atop the NFC South at 3-1. Since its inaugural season, the Bucs have won four straight only nine times. In order to achieve this feat, the Buccaneers will have to travel to the windy city and take on the Chicago Bears. Currently, the Buccaneers are a 5.5 favorite on the road.
Let’s take a look at this Week 5 opponent.
Here’s How the Bears Measure Up
In a shocking development, the Chicago Bears are one of the few teams who haven’t been hit hard by the 2020 injury bug. It is not uncommon to see players get a veteran day off or have limited practice. That’s about the worst of it for Chicago heading in to week 5 as far as injuries go.
- Deon Bush – Safety (Did not practice)
- Sherrick McMannis – Safety (Did not practice)
Both players are contributors, but neither are listed as starters on the team depth chart.
Multiple key players such as Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks, and Bobbie Massie were all limited in practice Monday though none are expected to miss any playing time on Thursday. Aside from losing Artie Burns to IR earlier in the year, it is very likely the Bears are 100% healthy come Thursday night’s matchup.
After four weeks, the Bears have the 13th ranked Offense and the 9th ranked defense.
- 14th in Passing Yards / 15th in Rushing Yards
- 6th in Passing TD’s / 32nd in Rushing TD’s (0)
- 8th in Interceptions Thrown / League Best (Tie) for Fumbles Lost (0)
- 11th in Pass Yards Allowed / 16th in Rush Yards Allowed
- League Best (Tie) Pass TD’s Allowed / 17th in Rush TD’s Allowed
- 18th in Interceptions / League Worst (Tie) in Forced Fumbles
What We Might Expect
The impressive offensive line play the Buccaneers gave last week is going to get tested again. Khalil Mack, the 2017 NFL Defensive MVP, is going to give the Bucs rookie tackle Tristan Wirfs some great reps.
If Khalil gets extra attention, that just opens up to guys like Akiem Hicks and Leonard Floyd. It’s going to be tough for the offensive line to provide the same level of protection in Chicago as they did at home against Los Angeles.
On the other side of the ball there was a change in the guard for Chicago in week 3. Matt Nagy made the call to bench Mitch Trubisky for Nick Foles.
In his first start against the Indianapolis Colts, Nick Foles completed 62% of his passes with one touchdown and one Interception. Most of his passes were to stud wide receiver Allen Robinson who posted a 7 catches/110 yards/1 touchdown day against the leagues best pass defense. Carlton Davis is going to have his hands full.
Running the ball is the 2nd year back out of Iowa State. David Montgomery has flashed and shown to be an every down back. Currently, Montgomery has the 29th best yards per carry stat (4.1) and is 25th in rush yards (218). After Tarik Cohen’s injury we have seen his targets increase and overall receiving production spike. Facing a stout Buccaneers rush defense will make his day a painful one.
Looking at both sides of the ball for the Bears, they are set to be a challenge. More specifically against their defense. The Buccaneers are going to have to be mistake free and protect Brady against a slew of talented pass rushers.
It’s not going to be easy, but the Buccaneers have the means and the momentum to get to their 4th straight win.