Yet, with a 27-17 final score, it wasn’t the bounce-back game the Bears fans had in mind. Chicago had some bright moments but couldn’t keep up with the Buccaneers.
Let’s dive into the details following the Bears’ demoralizing Week 2 loss to the Buccaneers:
Offense: Ups and Downs
Chicago’s hopes were pinned on their young quarterback, Justin Fields. He had some moments to remember, especially a 20-yard touchdown pass to Chase Claypool. However, there were also plays he’d likely want to forget. Fields, despite his potential, threw two interceptions. One of them, a pick-six towards the end, really hurt the Bears’ chances.
The big question remains: Is the challenge with Fields, or is it the offensive line not helping him? Throughout the game, it was clear that Tampa Bay’s defense was too much for Chicago’s offensive line. Fields was sacked six times, and that kind of pressure can shake any quarterback.
Defense: Struggles Continue
Defense was once Chicago’s strong point, but that hasn’t the case in a few years. Despite having a head coach like Matt Eberflus, known for his defensive skills, the Bears couldn’t hold off the Buccaneers. They let Tampa Bay rush more than they should have and didn’t pressure Bucs quarterback Baker Mayfield enough. As a result, Mayfield confidently completed most of his passes.
Buccaneers wide receivers Chris Godwin and Mike Evans made a strong impression, combining for 11 catches for 229 yards. Injuries also didn’t help Chicago. Both safeties Eddie Jackson and Jaquan Brisker had to leave the game. While Brisker came back, Jackson’s foot injury kept him out. Now, fans are left wondering who’ll step up in their place.
Looking Forward: Despair? Hope? Both?
Things are tough in Chicago for fans and players alike. This was the Bears’ 12th straight loss dating back to last year. But the best part (and worst part) about football? There’s always next week. So, the Bears need to shake this off and gear up for the next game against the Kansas City Chiefs (1-1).
Injuries: When it Rains, it Pours
Injuries tested the Bears in this game. After cornerback Kyler Gordon landed on injured reserve with a broken hand, safeties Eddie Jackson and Jaquan Brisker also faced setbacks. Brisker was sidelined with what appeared to be a heat-related illness and eventually returned. But Jackson’s foot injury is most concerning and sidelined him for the game. His status in the future is uncertain.