In this series, we’ll break down different scenarios that could, should, and will happen before the Tampa Bay Bucs get a chance to play them out.
The Bucs are 1-0. A position the majority of NFL observers, pundits, and fans didn’t expect to see them in. One week into the season there is a small buzz growing around Todd Bowles’ young team and the franchise’s new quarterback. Next up for that young team and new quarterback— The Chicago Bears.
The Bucs will grab their pirate garb and get ready to hunt some bears, this Sunday, trying to get to 2-0 on the season. Let’s take a look at some things that could, should, and will play out this week.
The Bucs could bully the Bears.
One thing the Tom Brady era of Bucs’ football was good for was the domination of teams that weren’t on Tampa’s level. In the post Brady era, the Bucs are clearly not the same caliber of team, however, good teams beat the teams they are supposed to beat. The Chicago Bears may represent one of the only teams on the Bucs’ schedule that is significantly inferior.
Chicago doesn’t have a good passing game, is led by a quarterback who should struggle mightily against the intricate blitz package of Todd Bowles, and brings a defense that just surrendered 38 points to start the season. This ‘could’ be a blowout victory for the Bucs where their defense tacks on a couple more turnovers and their offense explodes.
The Bucs should win this game. Staying in the vein of what could happen, the Bucs have no business losing this week. It may no longer be the Brady era, so perhaps a trouncing is too much to expect, but a victory is not. Chicago represents a team that should not be on the Bucs’ level. The Bucs have enough veteran players, who have been a part of good teams, to understand that you need to handle your business when you play teams that are beneath you.
Tampa Bay will need to bring Justin Fields down.
The Bucs will get to Justin Fields in this game. The Green Bay Packers sacked the Bears passer four times last week and the Bucs showed their pass rush prowess, keeping constant pressure on Kirk Cousins. The key will be finishing. For Tampa Bay’s pass rush it won’t be good enough to get pressure on Fields because pressure will only open him up to do what he does best. Tampa’s front needs to stay disciplined in their rush lanes, then when the pass rush gets home it needs to wrap up and finish the play.
The fastest way Chicago can move the ball down the field is a long Justin Fields scramble, where he gets outside the pocket, tucks the ball under his arm, and takes off— leaving a pile of missed tackles on the statsheet.
The last time Tampa Bay played Chicago, Justin Fields tossed three interceptions, was sacked four times, and the Bears (as a whole) converted just 2/11 third downs. The Bucs won 38-3, that was smack dab in the middle of the Tom Brady era. What will this matchup look like in Tampa’s Baker Mayfield era?
Those are some things that could happen, should happen, and will happen. With that being said we’d like to hear from you. Do you agree with our list? Do you disagree? What are some things you foresee playing out this week?
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