The Bears are massive underdogs against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday. You know this to be true. We know this to be verifiable and correct. Everyone knows and understands why.
The Buccaneers, fresh off a victory in Super Bowl LV, are 5-1 and charging along with the arguable greatest quarterback ever, Tom Brady, still kicking. An injured defense (for now) aside, this is still a squad that will likely be playing deep into January. They are built for playoff football, and most any opposition that plays against them will face long odds. The Bears, in this respect, regardless of their flaws, are not unique.
What makes this matchup tough sledding, in particular, is how Tampa Bay is built in comparison to Chicago. The Bears have a top-10 rushing attack. The Buccaneers have the NFL’s best rushing defense, led by soon-to-be All-Pro Vita Vea. The Bears have a top-10 defense, but Tampa Bay has the league’s third-ranked offense. The Buccaneers have a sieve of a pass defense due to injuries in their secondary, but the Bears are the kind of team that still struggles to get 100 passing yards by the fourth quarter. So does anyone with half a mind intact trust them to take advantage of such a weakness?
I wouldn’t bet on this version of the Bears going on the road into Tampa Bay in a nationally televised game to upset the defending Super Bowl champions. Their style of play and where Justin Fields sits in his ongoing development do not bode well for their chances. This one, genuinely, might be over by halftime if the Bears aren’t careful.
If there’s any hope, the last time the Bears played the Buccaneers, Tom Brady forgot the down and distance, and Chicago did pull out the surprising victory. And if they manage to win this time, it means glorious victory more than likely came on the arm of Fields.
I’ll take solace in such a possibility, even if it doesn’t seem remotely very realistic.
Windy City Gridiron picks Bears-Buccaneers and every other NFL game in Week 7.