Buccaneers’ Offense/Defense Gets Cooking vs Bears


In a game where injuries essentially left the Bears with two practice squad safeties, the Buccaneers were able to take advantage of some shoddy play from Chicago and come away with a Week 2 victory, and advance to 2-0 on the season.

While the score was probably closer than it should have been, the Bucs managed to overcome some red zone woes due to some stellar defensive play across the board, a really good day running the ball, and Mike Evans putting up Randy Moss numbers.

Let’s start with that defense. Joe Tryon-Shoyinka came away with two sacks, contributing to a team total of six for the day. Shaq Barrett had one of his own, but his big-time play came in the fourth quarter, where he managed to come away with a pick-six inside Chicago’s own 10. Undrafted rookie slot corner Christian Izien also came away with an interception in the fourth quarter, his second of the season.

The Buccaneers defense looked just as good this week as it did last Sunday, and while it faced offenses that looked really questionable in both play calling and execution, the defense still took care of business and did their thing.

As for the running game, Rachaad White had a quietly productive game where he was able to make an impact both in the running and passing game, as he punched in a TD and was involved with pretty much all facets of the offense.

The solid and dependable running game of course cleared the way for some excellent play action calls, something that was severely lacking in last season’s offense. Baker Mayfield had another productive day where he took care of the football and managed not to lose the game, but the more impressive story was Mike Evans.

The veteran wideout—who may be gone next year—had a huge game, with six catches for 171 yards and a touchdown. Explosive plays came a fair amount easier for the Buccaneers, and no one had more than Evans, with a first half catch-and-run for 70 yards being the highlight of his fantastic day.

Tampa Bay just looks energized ahead of their next game, a Monday Night Football tilt at home against the Philadelphia Eagles. Whether it’s the infusion of youth with the high number of rookies on the roster, the new mobility that Mayfield brings to the quarterback position (sorry, Tom), or just a couple of weeks playing some very weak teams, the Bucs are 2-0. And I don’t think many of us (myself included) saw that coming.

Fire those cannons. It’s not a Bucs life, it’s Baker time.

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This article originally appeared on CLTAMPA.COM and is used with permission.

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