The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lead the Chicago Bears 10-0 at halftime, in large part thanks to a dominant defensive effort. Three sacks, a forced turnover, 0 points given up and seven third-down stops -- that's the kind of defense the Bucs expected to have from the start of the season, but we've only seen it the past couple of games.
Of course, the Bucs offense didn't do all that much more than the Chicago offense, but they did enough. While Josh McCown was inaccurate and under pressure for most of the game, he had just enough very good throws to lead Tampa Bay to some crucial points.
After a scoreless first quarter dominated by the Bucs' defense, but ruined by their offense and special teams play, Josh McCown decided to compensate for his earlier interception by throwing a 19-yard touchdown strike to Mike Evans. The rookie receiver got a penalty for taunting on that play, but with six touchdowns in the past four games that's not the worst thing in the world.
Still, that penalty had a bit of a ripple effect: it led to a solid return for the Bears, who then punted the ball to pin the Bucs back inside their own five-yard line. The Bucs' defense continued to play well, but there's only so much adversity you can deal with. Having stopped the Bears after a turnover, a dumb special teams penalty, and a dumb taunting penalty, they finally looked to give up some points -- but Robbie Gould's 54-yarder clunked off the crossbar.
Most of the rest of the half consisted of both teams trading punts, but the Bucs got something going in the two-minute warning. A terrific catch-and-run by Louis Murphy was marred by a facemask penalty, and subsequent false starts and blocks-in-the-back set the Bucs up with a near-unmanageable third-and-23. But Josh McCown threw a perfect ball to Vincent Jackson in the Cover 2 hole, in front of the safety, behind the cornerback. That saved a field goal and gave the Bucs a 10-0 lead heading into the half.
Which is where we're at now. Bucs 10, Bears 0.