Chicago Bears: Three Biggest Takeaways from 27-17 Loss to Buccaneers
CHICAGO BEARS: THREE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS FROM 27-17 LOSS TO TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS – I will not mince any words here. The Chicago Bears sucked in their Week 1 outing against the Green Bay Packers. The important thing for everyone to remember was not to overact after one game.
Well, it may be time to start panicking a bit after what we witnessed this week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. On a positive note, the Bears marched down the field on a 75-yard drive that helped them jump out in front 7-3. Unfortunately, Chicago was unable to capitalize on its early momentum.
And while they still had an opportunity to come away with a victory on their final possession, the Bears came up a bit short 27-17, dropping them to 0-2 on the season. Here is a look at the three biggest takeaways from this Week 2 loss to the Buccaneers.
DJ Moore’s Production Much Better In Week 2
Before I get into what the Bears failed to do, I believe it is important to bring up a couple of positive points first. Last week, DJ Moore, who the team acquired in an offseason trade with the Carolina Panthers, had just two catches totaling 25 yards in Week 1. Moore exceeded his production on Chicago’s first drive alone, as he had two receptions for 64 yards. He finished with six receptions for 104 yards.
To Say That Chicago’s Defense Struggled Against The Bucs Would Be An Understatement
Now it’s time to unpack some of the not-so-great moments that unfolded in this game. One of the factors that contributed to Chicago’s season-opening loss was the mediocre play of the defense. But for all the Bears fans who were hoping to see an improvement in this area, the team owes you an apology.
The defense allowed 292 yards in the first half alone. It was a miracle that Tampa Bay was winning by just three points going into the break. The offense had its issues as well, which I will touch on momentarily.
The Buccaneers finished the game with a whopping 437 yards of offense compared to just 236 for Chicago. Furthermore, Tampa Bay converted eight of its 15 third downs and was 1-for-1 on fourth down.
As bad as this unit played, they did force a much-needed punt, giving the offense another chance to save the day.
Playcalling Regresses Following Early Touchdown Drive
Chicago scored on its first possession of the game. A drive that took six plays and totaled 75 yards. The only other instance in which the offense showed some signs of life was midway through the fourth quarter.
This time, the Bears marched down the field in nine plays, totaling 90 yards. It concluded with a 20-yard touchdown reception by Chase Claypool, which trimmed the deficit to 20-17.
PHOTO CREDIT PHOTO BY Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images/Getty Images
After the defense forced a punt, the offense was given another opportunity to win or at least tie the game.
And what did Chicago do with this God-given opportunity?
Well, thanks to a pass interference call, the ball was moved back to the six-yard line, but that was not even the worst of it. On the next sequence, Fields attempted a screen pass to Khalil Herbert, but the pass was intercepted by Shaquil Barrett, who returned it for a touchdown, thus sealing the win for the home team.
The jury is still out on both Fields and the offensive line as he was sacked six times. However, Fields deserves some of the blame for that number because there were multiple sequences in which he held the ball way too long. And the ground game – which was a strength for this team in 2022 – continues to be a concern as the Bears produced 67 yards on 16 carries.
Both Fields and the offensive line have failed to make the grade through the first two games. If the team cannot figure out how to improve its deficiencies, this will be another long and painful season.