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Bears disappoint on a sunny Florida Sunday

It looked like a beautiful day in Tampa Bay as the Bears struggled to protect their quarterback and failed to execute on both sides of the ball.

Chicago Bears v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Things felt like they couldn’t be worse going into this game. Getting embarrassed by the undermanned Packers has to be the low of this season, right? Few of us dared to enter this game with much of an emotional investment. But I think we all wanted to see Fields and DJ Moore and this offense do something a little bit exciting. Even if it’s just like Blake Bortles' 2018 garbage time exciting?

We got a taste. I’ll let you decide if it was enough to keep hope alive.

Box score

Creamsicle looks good in the Florida sun

The Chicago Bears' orange and white uniforms are really popping in the sunshine state this afternoon. They’re going to look real good in the end zone and the Buccaneers backfield.

Jaquan closed his paws a little too briskly on that one

The Bears defense started hot with a TJ Edward run stop and a great breakup by Jaquan Brisker, who briefly held the precious rock in his hands before it slipped to the ground. But that made 3rd and 9, so the Bears defense would be getting off the field anyway, right. Right?

Update: in the second defensive drive, Brisker had to leave the field for injury. This happened week one also, and I hope it doesn’t continue in this direction.

Apparently soft zone coverage on third and long wasn’t just an Alan Williams thing

The Bears dialed this play call up early and often in the game’s first drive, allowing two third and long conversions, both against rookie Tyrique Stevenson. I’m beginning to wonder if this play call isn’t playing to the rookie’s strengths at this point in his career.

New Bear Rasheem Green brings some pressure

The Bears' anemic pass rush will take anything it can get. It was refreshing to see Green, who didn’t flash in the pre-season get an early pressure against Baker Mayfield which forced a dump off for loss.

Update: the new Bear showed up again in special teams, blocking a field goal attempt on the Bucs second drive

Okay, Mr. DJ. Now Pon de Replay

First Bears offensive play was a 32 yard pass to DJ Moore. All the Bears needed to get that idea was a disastrous first game where the new star receiver was shockingly ignored.

Update: Moore’s second target was an out route with huge RAC and a crucial third down conversion into the red zone. This might be a thing.

Update: Moore was quite for the middle of the game but revived in the 4th quarter with a big third and long conversion. Maybe it was too much to ask for the Bears to use him the entire game. We should be grateful to get the bookends and work from there.

I’m beginning to wonder if these 3rd down Tampa false starts are intentional

You want to get 3rd and long so the Bears defense will give you the coverage you’re looking for. A little rude but not a bad idea.

Two bad blocking plays in a row for Kmet

First, he failed to help Darnell Wright on a play that led to instant pressure, then he got pushed back into Velus Jones Jr. killing a sweep run. So far, he hasn’t lived up to his new contract. Maybe it’s just some rust getting knocked off?

Update: Kmet almost had a heroic sideline catch to earn back my good graces but it got knocked out by Antoine Winfield Jr. the safety many of us wanted to draft when the Bears took Kmet in the 2020 draft.

Bears safety depth getting tested

With both Brisker and Jackson on the sideline, UDFA rookie Quindell Johnson looked understandably a little lost on a huge run after catch from Mike Evans. This situation looks like it may put some pressure on the Bears offense to perform...

Bears run game off to a slow start

The strength of the Bears offense last year hasn’t started strong in 2023. There’s been lots of rotation on the offensive line which doesn’t help things, but that was also the case last year. This season so far is giving me unsettling “offense 102” vibes.

Update: after I wrote this, Roschon Johnson broke free wide for 29 yards. You’re welcome.

Are Fields scrambling instincts jumbled?

I’m seeing a lot of scrambling forward into a sack when scrambling to the edge seemed to work better in the past. Obviously, that’s an oversimplification, and I’m probably missing something. Maybe we both are.

The game is tied with 2 minutes left in the half

And I feel like the Bears have been outplayed for the majority of the game. Perhaps I haven’t given them enough credit for their one touchdown drive. It happened so fast and I didn’t trust it. This team is breaking me.

So far, this Tubi Bears catching salmon ad is the highlight of the game

And a nice reminder that things don’t always go smoothly, even for the glorious salmon-catching grizzly wonders of Katmai national park.

Another Bears almost turnover

Jaylon Johnson peanut-punched the ball out for what was almost a tide-turning play in the third quarter! Then Baker Mayfield recovered the fumble, and the Bucs were in the ever-coveted 3rd and long position against the Bears defense. Obviously, that resulted in a Bucs touchdown but it was almost a nice moment!

Khalil Herbert still has fight in him

I may have given up on this season halfway through the Packers game, but this young back got a first down from yards after contact in the third when he looked hopelessly cornered by multiple Buccaneers on a toss run. Good Bear.

Throw with anticipation they said...

Trust your receivers to catch the 50/50 ball they said. Fields listened and through a near-pick when Chase Claypool couldn’t outfight a much smaller Bucs cornerback for the ball. At least the Buccaneer dropped the ball when he hit the ground, possibly (maybe?) thanks to Claypool’s continued efforts to fight for the ball??

Oh hey, Claypool!

Justin wasn’t too discouraged by the failed 3rd down target to Claypool, targeting him in the end zone for the Bears' first passing touchdown of the day.

Why can’t we get meaningless garbage time stats instead of garbage time picks?

C’mon, football gods. We were going to lose anyway. Just give us some pathetic consolation stats.

If the Bears continue to lose the battle on the lines, this is going to be a long season. On paper, the lines are better than last year. In practice, we haven’t seen it. It’s easy to get caught up in the details, but it’s hard to win football games when you’re offense is constantly pressured, and theirs has all the time it needs.

At least we got a taste of what DJ Moore can bring to this offense.