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Bears lead 13-7 after early struggles vs. Buccaneers

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears are leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13-7 at the half after a poor start early on.

It's been a curious game so far. The Bucs had a couple of big plays called back thanks to preventable penalties, and Doug Martin fumbled the ball away. On the other hand, they did block a punt to set up their first touchdown. Meanwhile, the Bears offense has stuck almost exclusively with screens and other short passes to complement their running game, leading to Jay Cutler completing 11 of his 12 passes for a measly 72 yards.

The Bucs have struggled to stop the Bears from steadily picking up first downs with those short plays, despite forcing three punts in the first quarter. Meanwhile, the Bucs offense only noteworthy feat so far was Doug Martin's four-yard touchdown after a blocked punt.

If the Bucs lose this game they're in danger of letting this season peter out after such a promising streak in the middle of the season. That would be a terrible blow to all the positive feelings they managed to cultivate, and a poor way to end Jameis Winston's season. They have one half to correct that problem.