Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Chicago Bears NFL Score, Recap, News and Notes
Andrew’s Week 12 NFL Breakdown and Analysis
November 23, 2014
Mixed in with the Week 12 Sunday NFL slate was an intriguing matchup between the Buccaneers and the Bears. Tampa Bay was coming off a 20-point win over the Redskins, while Chicago took care of the Vikings in Week 11. This was also an interesting game since it marked Bucs coach Lovie Smith’s and QB Josh McCown’s returns to Solider Field. The Bears weren't in the mood for a happy homecoming, however.
Let’s take a moment to check out some of the notable players and storylines from this game so that we can figure out why things played out the way they did. Afterward we’ll check out what’s coming in Week 13.
What Happened: Tampa Bay seemed to have a handle on this game early, but then lost it after halftime, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
The first quarter started out pretty uneventfully, unless you count turnovers and offensive futility as excitement.
In the second, Tampa got on the board early with a 19-yard Mike Evans TD from Josh McCown. Late in the period after much wheels-spinning from both offenses, Patrick Murray made a 32-yard field goal for a 10-0 Bucs lead at the half.
After the break, Tampa Bay couldn’t hold onto the ball (or do anything else right), and it led to a Bears onslaught. It started with Alshon Jeffery’s 2-yard TD catch from Jay Cutler. Chicago took the lead later in the quarter on a 13-yard Matt Forte rush TD, then after another Bucs turnover he did it again from one yard out. After three it was 21-10 Bears.
In the fourth, Tampa got close to the end zone but the offense stalled out and they had to settle for a 39-yard field goal to get within a score.
After a three-and-out and an ugly 20-yard punt, the Bucs had a chance to tie things up. The Bears defense held strong on the next two possessions, however, and Chicago was able to secure a 21-13 win.
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The Stars: Forte carried the offense here, accounting for 89 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries, while adding another 23 on six grabs. The Chicago defense was also solid here, coming up with five sacks and four turnovers.
On the other side, Vincent Jackson was the leading receiver, with 117 yards on five catches, while Louis Murphy also added 113 on six of his own.
The Goats: Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. Tampa looked lost in the second half and couldn’t get anything going on offense. The two picks and two fumbles certainly didn’t help. Also, the team had no running game to speak of, logging just 66 yards as a team (and that includes 12 yards from McCown).
The Bears aren’t totally blameless, either. Cutler accounted for just 130 passing yards, with his leading receiver (Martellus Bennett) having just 37. It truly was a Forte afternoon. The team was also just 4-16 on third downs.
Injuries: The Bears lost a couple of defensive contributors early in this one. During the second, linebacker Lance Briggs exited with a groin injury, and rookie CB Kyle Fuller left due to a knee injury as well.
Outlook: Looking ahead to Week 13, the Bears have an important Thanksgiving Day matchup ahead versus the Lions (Nov. 27; 12:30 PM ET on CBS).
As for the Buccaneers, they’ll play Sunday at home against the Bengals (Nov. 30; 1:00 PM ET on CBS).
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