The Bucs defense was the big story in their 38-3 throttling of the Chicago Bears. Five turnovers by the defense, along with four sacks, put the Bears offense in hibernation. The game proved to be a turning point for penalties and mental mistakes for the team. Zero turnovers and only one penalty helped propel the Bucs to a convincing win.
Tom Brady threw for four touchdowns on the day, on 20-36 and 211 yards. Brady’s 4-touchdown performance was the 37th of his career, tying Drew Brees for most all-time. Chris Godwin led all receivers with eight grabs for 111 yards and a score. While Mike Evans had six receptions for 76 yards and three touchdowns. The running game, led by Leonard Fournette’s 81 yards, went for 182 yards.
Injuries struck the Bucs secondary once again. Cornerback Dee Delaney left in the early in the second half and wouldn’t return with an ankle injury. While Jamel Dean left in the fourth with a shoulder injury.
The Bears received the ball first and the Bucs defense got to Justin Fields right away. Antoine Winfield Jr made his presence felt in his return with a strip sack. Chicago recovered, but punted on the drive. Jaelon Darden took the return 43 yards to set the Bucs up at the Bears 32-yard line. Three plays later, Fournette pounded it in from the 2-yard line for the early score.
After an exchange of punts, Dee Delaney came up with a huge third down interception off Fields with pressure closing in. A big gain on the drive by Godwin was rewarded by Brady when the quarterback found him in the end zone from four yards out.
The Bucs defense got right back to work against the Bears. Shaq Barrett’s strip-sack of Fields was recovered by Vita Vea at the Chicago 35-yard line. With another short field, the Bucs scored yet again. Brady delivered a strike to Evans from nine yards out for his 600th career touchdown pass and a 21-0 lead.
After another pair of punts, the Bucs defense got home again. This time Jason Pierre-Paul with the strip sack, setting the Bucs up at the Bears 25-yard line. The Bucs couldn’t capitalize on the turnover, and three straight incompletions led to a missed field goal by Ryan Succop. The Bears capitalized on the turnover on downs, marching 57 yards for a Cairo Santos field goal.
Brady and the offense answered quickly with a score of their own. After a 46-yard gain by Mike Evans, Brady went right back to him for a 2-yard touchdown. A fourth-down sack by JPP gave Brady the ball back with under 2 minutes in the half. That was too much time for Brady, who found Evans for his third touchdown of the day. Bucs went into the half with a 35-3 lead.
Brady would remain in the game to start the second half, but the Bears forced a punt. Chicago marched into the red zone, but a diving interception by Jordan Whitehead ended the drive. The Bucs attempted just three pass on the ensuing drive. Using a combination of Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette on the ground the Bucs got to the goal line, but were stopped on fourth down.
Pierre Desir came away with a pick to open the fourth quarter, giving Brady yet another short field. After a big gain by Godwin to the one-yard line the Bucs couldn’t punch it in and settled for a Succop field goal. Blaine Gabbert entered for Brady, wrapping up a 38-3 win.
J.C. Allen is one of PewterReport.com’s newest beat writers. As a New England transplant, he has closely followed Tom Brady’s entire career and first fell in love with the game during the Patriots 1996 Super Bowl run. J.C. is in his second year covering the team after spending a year with Bucs Report as a writer, producer and show host. Some of his other interests include barbecuing, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends. His favorite Buccaneer of all time is Simeon Rice and believes he deserves a spot in Canton. Follow J.C. Allen on Twitter @JCAllenNFL.
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