Trailing 20-17 with two minutes remaining, the Bears faced first-and-11 from their 6-yard line — following a brutal penalty that backed them up six yards. Quarterback Justin Fields, who had just thrown a beautiful touchdown to receiver Chase Claypool, had a chance to pull this team back from an 0-2 hole.
But what started as a flash of hope quickly turned into disaster as quarterback Justin Fields threw a pick-six that sealed the win for Tampa Bay. Buccaneers linebacker Shaquil Barrett intercepted a Fields screen pass intended for running back Khalil Herbert. Barrett then returned it four yards into the end zone for the touchdown.
Turns out, the Buccaneers read it the whole way.
“They called a screen,” Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David told reporters after the game, via Fox Sports writer Greg Auman. “It was the same formation. Everybody knew what was coming. He read it out.
“He just made the big play. Playmakers make plays.”
More locker room video from Sunday: Lavonte David says “everybody knew what was coming” from Bears on Shaq Barrett’s game-clinching pick-six: pic.twitter.com/F3tdDsjGy4
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) September 18, 2023
It’s an indictment on playcaller Luke Getsy, who has leaned heavily on what’s been an unsuccessful screen game through these first two games. It was something the Buccaneers noticed on film, and it’s something that helped them make a play when they needed it most.