Offensive woes continue as Bears fall to Bucs
Kim Klement - USA Today Sports

Offensive woes continue as Bears fall to Bucs

by - Senior Writer -

TAMPA BAY - After struggling to get much of anything going against the Green Bay Packers in week 1, the Chicago Bears (0-2) had a chance to redeem themselves against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0) at Raymond James Stadium. Instead, it continued to be more of the same for the Bears and this offense, as they put up just 17 points in the 27-17 loss to Tampa.

Ironically, the running game let the Bears down as Khalil Herbert and his 35 yards led the way for Chicago. On a positive note, Justin Fields continued to show growth as a passer, throwing for 211 yards and two more Interceptions. Once again, the Bears defense let them down as Baker Mayfield torched them for more than 300 yards through the air on 26-34 passing. Any time that happens, you are asking for trouble, and the Bears are struggling to do anything well right now.

The Buccaneers wasted no time grabbing the early lead as Mayfield hooked up with Chris Godwin for a big first down on the opening possession. Mayfield also found Mike Evans for a 20 pickup, with Chase Edmunds starting to pick up yards on the ground, resulting in a Chase McLaughlin FG to give the Bucs a 3-0 lead.

Looking to respond on their first possession, Fields hooked up DJ Moore for 33 yards to help set the offense up in a good spot. Fields played a significant role in the Bear's opening possession as he carried the ball four times, including his one-yard TD rush to put the Bears on top 7-3. With R White getting involved on the ground on the Bucs next possession, it set things up for Mayfield, who found Godwin for another deep pass to help set things up for a McLaughlin FG. Fortunately for the Bears, their special teams came through in a big way as they blocked the FG to keep them in front 7-3.

After a quick three-and-out by the Bears offense, the Bucs offense got the ball back and went 77 yards on just four plays. A 70-yard hookup to Evans certainly helps as he moved the ball inside the Bears 10. Three plays later, it was White finishing the drive off as his four-yard TD run gave the Bucs a 10-7 lead. Those were the majority of the points in the first half for either side as a 29-yard run by Roschon Johnson helped set up the game-tying Cairo Santos FG before McLaughlin added one right before the half to make things 13-10 Tampa Bay after one half of play.

Chicago opened the second half with the ball and didn't do anything as they punted it away to pin the Bucs deep inside their own 20. Unfortunately, the Bears defense continued to struggle as they allowed Tampa Bay to go 89 yards on 12 plays while taking nearly half the quarter in the process. Allowing Evans to get behind the defense for 36 more yards doesn't help, as he torched the Bears for 171 yards on six catches. That included his lone TD pass to end this drive as Mayfield hooked up with Evans again for 32 yards as the Bears fell behind 20-10.

With the score still sitting at 20-10 and both offenses starting to go quiet, the Bears offense finally got rolling, putting together their longest and best drive of the game. Not only did the Bears go 90 yards, but they did it in less than four minutes, needing just eight plays to get it done. Fields opened the drive with a short hookup to Cole Kmet, with Herbert using his legs to move the chains.

Herbert also played a role in the passing game, picking up a 23-yard gain and other first down before Fields hooked up with Moore again for 22 as he finished the day with six catches and 104 yards. Moore picked up his second first down of the drive to set the Bears up in the red zone before Fields and Chase Claypool hooked up to pull the Bears within 20-17. Those would be the last of the Bears points on offense as the Buccaneers defense continues to play at an elite level this season.

Chicago touched the ball two more times in the fourth quarter, with both of them resulting in a pair of interceptions. One of those was a pick-six from Shaq Barrett as he picked off Fields on the four-yard line and ran it in for the game's final score. Following a big Vita Vea sack to begin the Bears next possession, Fields was looking for Claypool only to have Antoine Winfield come down with an interception to seal the deal as the Bears fall to 0-2 this season.

With the loss, Chicago has lost 12 consecutive games going back to last season as they look worse than they did to finish the season a year ago. While Fields had more than 200 yards passing, the Bucs defense held him to just three yards on the ground as the Bears rushed for 67 yards in the game. That is not a recipe for success for Chicago, as they depend on the running game to get going. Things won't get any easier for Chicago next week as they head to Arrowhead to take on the defending Superbowl champs, the Kansas City Chiefs, at 3:25.

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