Notes, Scribbles, and Things Jotted Down: Week 7, Buccaneers Edition

"No, I want Jay right there - no, not there in the body-shaped divot." (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
  • I don't mean to toot my own horn (who am I, Wiltfong?), but on Saturday, I said Roy Williams would be one of our best weapons against the jam. His touchdown came off a failed jam attempt - Williams just blew right by the jammer. Aside from his token drop (and bobbled catch), Williams actually looked the part of an NFL receiver. Shock and awe has been appropriately expressed.
  • The more I see of Chris Conte, the more I actually like the pickup. His rip-away interception was a very solid play, but I thought his positioning was generally solid and his play on the deep ball near the end was very good as well (granted, on the Morgan Spurlock Trick Play Throw). And this guy only played one year of safety in college? Hitman Harris also looked fairly decent in his return to starting duty. He wasn't overrunning plays like he was earlier in the year.
  • So the big complaint this week was the playcalling in the second half, when up by three scores, Martz finally escaped from whatever closet he was stashed in and started calling pass play after pass play. Third quarter play distribution was 11 passes, 6 runs (after the touchdown, 7 passes, 4 runs). Fourth quarter play distribution was 9 passes, 7 runs, including one stretch of seven straight called pass plays culminating in the sack on third and goal, when Aqib Talib inexplicably forgot his brain on the bench and started poking Williams through his facemask. That means after the Bears went up 21-5, their offensive playcalling was 16 passes and 11 runs. I'm not sure what all the passing was supposed to accomplish in the second half, especially when running the ball was shredding the Bucs' defense in the first half.
  • I can actually understand the playcalling once the game closed to 21-18, to a degree. The Bears could have either tried to sit on the ball for seven minutes (fat chance) or tried to go down the field to add to their lead, which they did. Further, here's the pass distribution - short left to Hester, short left to Forte, short right to Williams, short right to Forte, short left Hester, short middle Forte... Short passes. One of the first tenets of the Martz offense we learned was the short pass is an extension of the running game, so the Bears were attempting to accomplish both goals of killing the clock and scoring.
  • Of course, the goal line calling was another story... I'm not sure what three passes at the 4 are supposed to accomplish (aside from the obvious touchdown... If you miss it, at least with a run you can kill 40 seconds and you still have the lead). And if it weren't for Talib (Thanks again!), the Bucs would have had the 6 point deficit, but an extra minute and a half to work with. I would have loved to see some running there, instead of the next (gifted) set of plays from further back.
  • The safety on Forte was a hell of a play by Ronde Barber - nothing Forte could do. At all. The one time I might say an interception was a bad thing to get (even then, it's half tongue-in-cheek).
  • As a runner, Marion Barber is beast. As a receiver, how do you allow a screen pass to be intercepted?
  • One sack does not do the Bears' defensive line and pass rush justice. They controlled the Bucs' offense for most of the game, and when the Bucs started tightening up protections, they started moving the ball and scoring. Gee, where've we seen that before?
  • Okoye and Peppers both had strong games (despite Okoye's offsides). Actually didn't see Paea getting much of any rush. Quite disappointing.
  • Statistically, Cutler didn't have a good game - I didn't think he was as bad as his stats showed. He was sacked twice, once while trying to step up into the pocket, and the second time at the goal line. He was moving around and making some nice throws, and then he had a couple boneheaded throws like we've grown accustomed to (that awful fourth quarter interception).
  • Pass protection, generally solid - Forte missed a block and Webb got twisted a couple times, but there weren't many moments of "Gawd he's awful get him off the field!" ... Oh wait, Omiyale's still on the bench. Anyway, there was more usage of Spaeth and Davis in protection than in receiving - Davis was only targeted twice - and while there was some pressure on Cutler, it wasn't awful.
  • Well, I guess Gould's not 24-karats after all.
  • Donnie Brasco scored a touchdown? Oh, Dezmon Briscoe. My bad.
  • Kellen Winslow didn't have a good game, thankfully, though he did score a touchdown for the tight end position. I may or may not have called this too. Toot toot!
  • The only reason Josh Freeman should throw 51 times is if the team has no running attack. Kregg Lumpkin is not a "running attack." He had 8 carries for 15 yards, 13 on one play. Receiving, a little better - 6 receptions for 37 yards. 
  • Total playcalling for the game, 34 dropbacks, 33 rushing attempts. Most of the damage done early in the game was running the ball. Forte's touchdown run may have been lots of Forte's ability, but the way he sets up his springing blocks is almost an art form.
  • The Bears' 19 first downs (9 pass, 8 rush, 2 penalties) are the second fewest allowed by Tampa Bay this season.
  • Freeman's 4 INTs push him to 10 on the season, and yes, the most in a game in his career. But because he didn't go after DeAngelo Hall four times, he'll get a pass.
  • Time of possession: CHI 33:12 / TB 26:48
  • Late bullet addition: DJ Moore. Can we just adopt "Right Place Right Time" or "RPRT" as his nickname already? Three interceptions on the season including the sealer yesterday. Love him as the nickel.

That's all I've got. What did you notice in yesterday's game?

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