Matchup #4) Mike Evans and Chris Godwin vs. the Bears' secondary
Baker Mayfield threw for only 174 yards against the Vikings, but the Bucs' star receivers, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, still made their presence known. The two combined for 11 catches and 117 yards on 16 targets, with the biggest play being a 28-yard touchdown that Evans brought down just before halftime.
With Brady no longer on the team, Evans and Godwin have become overlooked, but they are still one of the top wide receiver tandems in the league. Jaylon Johnson figures to draw Evans for most of the day, and he should have help over the top from safeties Eddie Jackson and Jaquan Brisker.
Godwin operates more underneath than Evans, but after the Bears' dismal performance on third down last week, stopping Godwin will be essential to forcing Tampa into punting situations. With Kyler Gordon expected to miss multiple weeks with a hand injury, Tyrique Stevenson will again need to step up, but as with Evans, stopping Godwin will need to be a group effort. Josh Blackwell will be the nickel corner if Gordon is out as expected, and T.J. Edwards will need to do a much better job in covering the middle of the field than he did against Aaron Jones in Week 1.
Outside of Evans and Godwin, there's nobody on the Bucs roster that inspires fear as a pass catcher, but of course the same could have been said about the Packers without Christian Watson, and we know how that turned out.
The Chicago defensive line could make their secondary's job much easier by getting some pressure on Mayfield. Jordan Love had time to make a grilled cheese every time he dropped back last week, which put Johnson and Tyrique Stevenson in impossible situations. If Yannick Ngakoue and company can get in Mayfield's face, he's shown in the past that he's fully capable of turning the ball over.
If there's one positive the Bears can take from their Week 1 debacle, it's that they know that vast improvement is necessary to compete this year. How the team responds to such a demoralizing opener will tell us a lot about everyone in Halas Hall, from the coaching staff to the players. Here's hoping Bears fans like what they see.