If you took the Bears this week at (-3.5), kudos to you.
What was thought to be a very winnable game turned out to be the exact opposite as the Bucs allowed 38 points in the first half on the way to a blowout loss.
It was the second straight week that the defense gave up 30 or more points in the first half, but the story of the day was Mitchell Trubisky. He torched the Bucs, going 19/26 for 354 yards and six touchdowns.
The Bears came out using a lot of misdirection and play-action in order to take advantage of an aggressive Bucs defense. The game couldn’t have gotten off to a better start for Trubisky and the offense as they drove right down the field and scored after Trubisky found a wide open Trey Burton for a 39-yard touchdown to give the Bears their first lead of the game, 7-0.
Mitch Trubisky to a wiiiiiiide open Trey Burton for six! pic.twitter.com/mhwYjvcxqq— uSTADIUM (@uSTADIUM) September 30, 2018
Tampa Bay took the field and went three-and-out on their first offensive possession. The defense was able to sack Trubisky on the Bears’ next offensive drive, but that was basically the only thing they’d do right for the remainder of the game.
An offensive holding penalty on O.J. Howard stalled the Bucs’ next drive and Chicago drove 73 yards in seven plays as Trubisky threw a dime to Allen Robinson II in the back corner of the endzone to increase the Bears’ lead to two touchdowns, 14-0.
Ryan Fitzpatrick finally got the offense rolling when he hit DeSean Jackson over the middle of the field. The 48-yard pass brought the Bucs to the Bears’ 17.
But Tampa Bay’s red zone woes continued and the Bucs had to settle for a field goal to cut the Bears’ lead to 11, 14-3.
Chicago responded right back, except with a left hook rather than a jab. Get ready to hear this a lot - Trubisky found Tarik Cohen six plays later over the middle for a 9-yard touchdown to put the Bears up 21-3 with no intentions of looking back.
And they didn’t. Khalil Mack sacked Fitzpatrick on the next play, killing the Bucs’ chance at an answer. This time, it took Trubisky and co. just five plays to score on the next drive thanks to back-to-back blown coverages by the Bucs.
Josh Bellamy was wide open for a 20-yard touchdown pass and now the Bears led, 28-3.
The explosive plays kept coming for the Bears and there was absolutely nothing the Bucs’ defense could do to stop them. Jason Pierre-Paul and other leaders of the defense were seen on the sidelines visibly upset and frustrated with the lack of effective play.
Their frustrations continued after another Bears touchdown pass from Trubisky - this time to Taylor Gabriel - piled it on, 35-3.
This is why we brought Nagy here. For CREATIVE PLAYCALLING. And this is why we paid $$$ for speedsters like Taylor Gabriel. It's all brand new to us lifer Bears fans... enjoy it! pic.twitter.com/tUiWyoYxSE— '85 Bears Doc 2018 (@85BearsDoc) September 30, 2018
The rout was on as Dirk Koetter watched helplessly from the sidelines. The 2-0 start to the season was now a distant memory and the Bucs’ issues were starting to show through in the worst way.
Just to show that they weren’t done, Cody Parky hit a 50-yard field goal to send the Bears into halftime with a five touchdown lead, 38-3.
The Bears recorded eight plays of 20 yards or more of the first half. Trubisky finished the half with a perfect 158.3 passer rating after completing 14 of 18 passes for 289 yards and five touchdowns.
The second half saw Jameis Winston replacing Ryan Fitzpatrick, but it was to no avail. The smothering Bears defense aka Mack, hit Winston as he was throwing the ball which led to an interception by linebacker Danny Trevathan.
Chicago took advantage of the short field and a defensive pass interference call on Ryan Smith helped take them to the Bucs’ 31. Trubisky had all day to throw on the next play and found Cohen again down the sideline for a 28-yard pass. Gabriel caught his second touchdown pass of the day off of a jet sweep from Trubisky and extended the already insurmountable lead to 45-3.
The Bucs were able to finally get in the endzone in the fourth quarter. Winston found Cameron Brate for his second touchdown in as many weeks and the lead was back to only five touchdowns, 45-10.
Parkey added more insult to injury, nailing his 46-yard attempt late in the fourth quarter as the Bears were running out the clock to make the score 48-10.
The Bucs now head into their bye week at 2-2 on the season. While that would’ve been considered a victory before the season started, it has to be a disappointment considering how the season started out.
Stats from the game:
- The Bucs were bad in the red zone again. It’s becoming one of this team’s staples. They went just 1-3 when inside the 20.
- Every possession - except the final one - that the Bears scored on lasted no longer than three minutes, 34 seconds.
- DeSean Jackson finished with 112 yards on five receptions and now has three 100 yard games on the season.
- Tampa Bay allowed over 450 yards of total offense, exceeding their yearly allowance of 430 yards per game.
- Khalil Mack recorded yet another strip-sack and he now has one in every game this season.