Even after their season-opening loss, there is still a glimmer of optimism for the Chicago Bears heading into their Week 2 battle against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bears were only five yards away from upsetting the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons last week, and can possibly come up on the winning end of things against a Bucs team that finished second in the NFC South to Atlanta in 2016.
This will be the third consecutive year that Chicago and Tampa Bay will have squared off, with all three being played at Raymond James Stadium. The Bears won the 2015 meeting by the score of 26-21, then the Bucs returned the favor last year by convincingly beating Chicago 36-10.
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Unlike the Bears, Tampa Bay has yet to play a regular-season game, due to Hurricane Irma. Will facing a team in this position be an advantage or a disadvantage for Chicago? Only time will tell. However, one thing that can possibly have a much bigger impact on both teams is the field conditions. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the Bucs deemed their stadium to be safe for Sunday’s game, after the Tampa Bay Sports Authority and the NFL league office made sure everything was suitable for both players and fans. However, there has been no word on the exact conditions of the field.
The turf in Raymond James Stadium isn’t going to be the only thing worth watching once this game gets underway. Here are five other important focal points.