Good morning. We’re on to Tampa Bay.
The last time these two faced off, Nick Foles had taken the starter’s role from Mitch Trubisky, Tom Brady forgot how many downs there were, and the Bears walked off with the win that pushed them to 4-1, in a game the Bears’ offense mostly controlled, as odd as that is to say.
Obviously, we were hoping for more games in which the Bears’ offense dictated more games... well, technically, they have, just not in the way we had in mind. Through week 6 the Bears’ offense sits at 30th in points scored, 32nd in total yards, 32nd in passing yards, 32nd in Net Yards per Attempt, 27th in first downs, and 28th in scoring percentage, as well as 31st in yards per drive and 29th in points per drive.
The Bears do have three offensive categories they’re top-10 in - third in time of possession per drive (3:05), third-fewest turnovers (5), and 7th in rushing yards.
Then you flip over to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Pro Football Reference page. At least they’re twelfth in time of possession per drive (2:53), 28th in rushing yards, and 10th-fewest turnovers (6).
Then of course there’s the whole Mike Evans/Antonio Brown/Chris Godwin thing - the three all have 100 more receiving yards than the Bears’ yardage leader, Darnell Mooney. There’s the league-leading rushing defense anchored by Vita Vea in the middle of the line. The secondary can be vulnerable, but a questionable secondary in the back of a top-10 defense is still a top-10 defense.
Oh, did we mention Tom Brady and the fact these are the defending Super Bowl champions?
It’s a tall order and a huge test for Justin Fields and the Bears, since if any team on the schedule stands to give the Bears’ running game trouble, the Bucs stand as good a chance as any. The Navy and Orange will need the offensive line to give Kahlil Herbert and Fields a chance to make plays, and the passing game will need to chip in more than they have.
But if you’re looking for tests and live reps and game situations for Fields to develop, there are worse situations than a top tier defense with a coordinator in Todd Bowles that will throw a lot of looks at him.
And if the Bears can pull it off, Sunday will be a lot more fun.
To 4-3. Bear Down, my friends.
The WCG Sunday Livestream is just kind of over last Sunday, and we have enough crazy stuff to talk about this week. Topics such as Jaylon Johnson getting fined for being late, Eddie Jackson attempting to call out Lance Briggs over his comments on Jackson’s missed tackles, how to pick up a first down despite losing a yard, when offsides/neutral zone infraction is and isn’t called, and how two teams play a nine overtime period game and still don’t add up to 40 points.
Of course, there are the usual assortment of ways to get a hold of us:
- Here. These comments. The comments still work, right?
- Over in the Twitch chat at Steven’s Twitch channel
- And over on our Twitter accounts: Steven, Sam and Jeff.
As per usual, we’ll go live around 9:30 AM CT and talk with you for a couple hours. See you then!