More from Chicago Bears News
- Franchise tag and transition tag windows open for Chicago Bears and NFL
- How the Chicago Bears can control the running back market in 2023
- The Chicago Bears can own the city of Chicago moving forward
- Chicago Bears NFL Combine Preview: Quarterback
- 7 best free agent tackle options for Chicago Bears
After going toe-to-toe with the NFC champion Atlanta Falcons last week, the Chicago Bears took a major step back in their Week 2, 29-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Things didn’t look right at all from the start for the Bears (0-2), and only got worse as the game progressed. The team shot themselves in the foot with eight penalties, a number of dropped passes, and a slew of bonehead turnovers that led to 20 Tampa Bay points. All three phases failed to pull their weight, and now fans in the Windy City are wondering if they will have to endure another playoff-less season once again. There probably is no need to do so, but let’s take a look at Chicago’s grades for Week 2.
Don’t let Mike Glennon’s 301 passing yards deceive you. The three turnovers the Bears’ quarterback committed came at crucial points in the first half, and were major in preventing Chicago from making this game competitive. Glennon actually had the offense in position to get at least a field goal on their first drive of the game, but threw an interception into double coverage. Later, the five-year veteran lost a fumble, then ended his turnover hat trick with a pick-six. Glennon was too conservative with the ball, especially on third downs when he threw passes way short of the first-down marker. He also stared down his receivers, and didn’t read his progressions. If this keeps up, there may be a Mitchell Trubisky sighting in the very near future.
Granted, Jordan Howard and rookie Tarik Cohen combined for only 16 carries, but to total only 20 yards on the ground is just pathetic. Howard was listed as questionable prior to the game with a shoulder injury, and one can only wonder if that had an ill effect on his performance. Cohen did add eight catches for 55 yards to his stat line, but when rushing found himself running backwards and doing too much at times trying to make a big play.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Kendall Wright led the Bears’ wide receivers and tight ends with seven receptions for 69 yards. Unfortunately, Wright, and many of the other receivers, had a number of dropped passes. With Chicago running thin with pass catchers, no one proved to be worthy of being the offense’s No. 1 target against the Bucs.
The Bucs’ defense recorded only one sack, but it resulted in one of the four turnovers committed by the Bears in the first half. For the rest of the afternoon, Chicago’s offensive line had trouble keeping Tampa Bay out of the Glennon’s face. Oh yeah, there was also that measly 20 yards the offense gained on the ground.
Not much penetration was made at the line of scrimmage by the defensive line. Tampa Bay’s offensive front was able to open up enough lanes for their running backs to rush for a combined 116 yards and a touchdown, helping the Bucs win the time of possession battle.
In the first half, Danny Trevathan was flagged for two holding penalties, while Willie Young was called for one hold of his own. All three of the penalties negated stops on third downs, keeping Tampa Bay’s drives alive and resulted in points being put on the board. And it’s never a good sign when your starting secondary leads the defense in tackles for the game.
Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston didn’t have a 300-yard passing day like he did in the two previous games against the Bears, but he was efficient enough to move the ball on this secondary. Mike Evans appeared to be too much for Chicago’s cornerbacks, hauling in seven balls for 93 yards and a touchdown. There were times when Tampa Bay’s receivers did get behind the defense, but the last line of defense lucked out with overthrown passes.
Obviously, the one thing that killed the performance of the special teams on Sunday was the turnover caused by Cohen. His decision to try to pick up a punt and run while Bucs defenders surrounded him resulted in a lost fumble. This put the defense in at tight position, and Tampa Bay scored a touchdown on the ensuing play. The rookie pretty much killed all momentum in the game for the Bears.
The eight penalties committed by the Bears is definitely a reflection of the discipline (or lack thereof) that’s being taught by the Bears’ coaching staff. There’s still the question of the offensive play calling, and reasoning for not having Glennon be more aggressive in the passing game. You also have to wonder why in a situation where your team is losing late in the game, why Trubisky wasn’t put in to get some regular-season experience.