3. What can the Bears expect from Jameis Winston and the Bucs offense? Can the Bears defense, which limited Julio Jones to just 4 catches for 66 yards, hold Mike Evans down? Who steps up in Doug Martin’s absence?
This is going to be a pass heavy and pass happy offense. Jameis Winston is the first quarterback in history to pass for over 4,000 yards in each of his first two seasons and last year he did it with guys named Russell Shepard, Freddie Martino, Donteea Dye, and Cecil Shorts. Now, he has DeSean Jackson and Chris Godwin to add to Evans and Adam Humphries. Throw in Cam Brate who led the NFL in touchdowns by a tight end and rookie O.J. Howard and the Bears have to answer the same question as every other team on the Bucs’ schedule this year – who do you cover?
It's Hot Take Tuesday! The Chicago Bears lost to the Atlanta Falcons and dropped to 0-1, is it all bad? Plus, Mike Glennon's performance.
Chicago did a great job limiting Julio, there’s no question about it. However, they could focus on Julio more than they’ll be able to key in on Evans. If they double Evans, DeSean gets one-on-one coverage and the deep ball is very much in play. If the safety leans towards DeSean to prevent the deep ball, now Evans has one-on-one coverage. If you dedicate one safety each, Howard can stretch the field and Godwin and Humphries can create havoc across the middle. The other question is, was Julio limited by the Bears defense or are we seeing a little regression in Atlanta with the loss of Kyle Shanahan? Only time will tell with that one, but the Bears’ defense as a whole was impressive in week one.
As for Martin’s absence, familiar face Jacquizz Rodgers will carry the bulk of the load with Charles Sims and Peyton Barber getting some reps. Sims will appear in passing downs while Barber can carry the ball when Quizz needs a breather and is serviceable in the passing game. I don’t expect the running game to be explosive, but Koetter will not veer away from it. He has to establish the run early because Jameis is at his most dangerous when the play-action game is working.