Bears Beat Bucs, Lovie
By Benjy Lipsman in News on Nov 24, 2014 4:30PM
Photo credit: David Banks/Getty Images
On a day where former coach Lovie Smith returned to Chicago, the Bears played a game reminiscent of Lovie's Bears teams. Despite a lack of offense, Chicago used timely turnovers to beat Tampa Bay 21-13 at a rain soaked Soldier Field.
Bears Defense: The Bears defense has been awful for most of the 2014 season. But on this Sunday, the Bears looked like the defense of old. They welcomed their former quarterback Josh McCown back to Soldier Field by sacking him a season-high five times and intercepting him twice. One of the sacks led to a forced fumble. On the afternoon, the Bears caused four turnovers and converted two into quick touchdowns. McCown's fumble, forced by David Bass during his sack and recovered by Christian Jones, resulted in a 13-yard rushing TD by Matt Forte on the first play from scrimmage. When Tampa got the ball pack, McCown's first pass was picked off by Ryan Mundy and again set the Bears up inside the "red zone," eventually turning into Forte's second score in less than two minutes. Chris Conte had an impressive interception, first tipping the ball and then managing to wrangle it in for the pick. Stephen Paea recorded two sacks, improving his season total to six.
Matt Forte: The main catalyst on offense most of the year, Forte again had an impressive game. In addition to his two touchdowns, Forte ran for 89 yards on 23 carries and caught five passes for 23 yards. His 112 total yards accounted for more than half the Bears' total offense on the afternoon.
Bears Offense: Unfortunately, the Bears offense also looked like the offense of old. The team managed just 204 yards of total offense and, as a result was down 10-0 at halftime. It was only when the defense gave them a short field to work with that they found ways to score. On their three third quarter scoring drives, the Bears covered a combined 86 yards. Jay Cutler completed 17 of 27 passes for just 130 yards. He was also sacked three times and lost a fumble.
Bear Fans - We liked Josh McCown, too. We'd have rather seen the Bears keep him as a stopgap until they found a longterm solution at QB rather than throw boatloads of cash at Jay Cutler. But to give him the loudest ovation at the start of the game when he first took the field?
The Bears have a short week, with a Thanksgiving date against Detroit up next. The Bears travel to the Motor City to face their division rival Lions, kicking off at 11:30 a.m. After wins over two last place teams, the Bears get a chance to show their fans whether they can beat a team that's actually decent. But the short week and more injuries on defense, including Lance Briggs and Kyle Fuller, sure won't help. Let's just hope it's not so ugly we lose our appetites before the turkey and fixings are served.