Keys to Cannon Fire: Bears at Buccaneers

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Last week, the Buccaneers defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 28-22 on Thursday Night Football. This week, they’ll look to continue their win streak against the Chicago Bears. When Tampa Bay played Chicago last year, it was a game that came down to the wire. The infamous image of Tom Brady holding up four fingers (after mistaking a fourth-down play for third down) is one that most Buccaneers fans would rather forget. Let’s take a look at how the team can get revenge in 2021. 

Create Equal Run/Pass Opportunities

Since week one, the Buccaneers have been throwing the ball a lot more than they’ve been running it. Although the ground game has gotten significantly better, it has yet to reach the same level of efficiency as the pass game. Now that Leonard Fournette seems confident again, it would be a good time to give him more carries. Not only does it keep his hot streak going, which originally started in week 4 against New England. This also takes some weight off the shoulders of quarterback Tom Brady. 

Tight End Involvement 

Rob Gronkowski is once again out with a rib injury, meaning Cameron Brate and OJ Howard will need to step up in his place. Both have been decent in the past few games, but will still need to contribute more in order for the offense to be at full strength. Howard in particular should try to catch every pass thrown his way. The fifth-year man out of Alabama is a potential candidate to be moved by the Buccaneers at the trade deadline. 

Sacks and Pressure

Rookies make mistakes, and even someone as talented as Justin Fields is not an exception to this ideology. While the Bucs’ secondary may be thin due to injuries, their front seven continues to be one of the NFL’s best. Chicago appears to have a weakness in their offensive line. This sets up players such as Vita Vea and Ndamukong Suh for a big day. Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul (if he plays) are also names to look out for. Even if they can’t tackle the mobile signal-caller, Fields may be forced to give up the ball quickly if multiple players are in his face. 

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