Chicago Bears GameDay: 4 Keys to victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Chicago Bears, Eddie Jackson
Chicago Bears, Eddie Jackson / Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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Sunday, the 0-1 Chicago Bears will look to earn their first win of the season on the road in a showdown versus the 1-0 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Last week, the Buccaneers earned a road win of their own, defeating the Minnesota Vikings 20-17. The Bears have a chance to rebound off a disappointing showing in Week 1, but if Chicago is to be victorious, they will have to accomplish these four keys to success.

The Chicago Bears need to expand Justin Fields' role in the offense

There were clearly some questions about the offensive game plan following the loss to the Green Bay Packers, and it is easy to see what the offense was trying to do. Taking short completions in space in order to provide your skill position players an opportunity to make plays with the ball in their hand is a good concept to have in the offense, but the Bears made it a problem by running screens too frequently and refusing to adjust throughout the course of the game.

Of Justin Fields' 37 passing attempts on Sunday, 26 of them were within five yards of the line of scrimmage. These passes were a mix of designed screens and impromptu check-downs (the latter of which is not a bad sign for a developing quarterback), but it seemed throughout the game that the team refused to let Fields test his weapons down the field. Only two of his passes traveled further than 20 yards, and he completed both, one of which went for a touchdown to Darnell Mooney.

At every level of play, Fields has shown an ability to throw the ball down the field successfully, but the Bears seemed timid to let him stretch the field vertically. Some of this might be a lack of trust up front, but with a revamped receiving core, it seems a waste to feed a player like D.J. Moore only twice throughout the game. The Buccaneers have a solid defensive back unit (although starting cornerback Carlton Davis is not expected to play on Sunday), but the Bears need to have a clearer focus on scheming up more vertical looks to generate big plays from the passing game.

The offense also needs to feature Fields more as a rusher. Last season, the Ohio State product showcased how dangerous he is on the ground, and while it might not be a good idea to have him surpass his 1,143 rushing yards from a year prior, he needs to remain a presence in the team's rushing attack.

Fields ran the ball nine times on Sunday, with only two attempts coming on designed QB runs. He still used his legs to scramble out of pressure, and he finished the game with a team-leading 59 rushing yards, but if the offense continues to struggle, reminding defenses how punishing Fields can be in open space is paramount.

Chicago Bears, Justin Fields
Chicago Bears, Justin Fields / Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Against the Buccaneers, Fields needs to help generate more explosive plays, both in the air and on the ground. If that can be accomplished, the run game, the screen game, and even the play-action game will develop into more dangerous parts of the offense. The goal should be to carry a diverse offense that gives the defense a lot of different looks and a lot of different concepts to think about, but that was not accomplished versus Green Bay.