Dhruv Koul shares his in-game reactions, thoughts and observations from the Bears-Buccaneers game at Raymond James Stadium. Follow him on Twitter @DhruvKoul to continue the conversation.
TAMPA, Fla. — The Chicago Bears suffered complete humiliation — yet again — in Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers. After an offseason full of hope, optimism and expectations, the Bears put out some of the worst film since the Marc Trestman days. Between the non-existent pass rush, the shaky OL interior, Justin Fields, Chase Claypool, and others, the film review … the entire viewing experience was a nightmare.
For Chicago, a trip to Tampa in Week 2 initially looked like a “get right” game. But with so many things to fix — and a couple of key members not playing in Kyler Gordon (broken hand) and Nate Davis (unfortunate death in the family) — the Bears had their work cut out for them. Our thoughts are with Davis and his family.
In the end, Justin Fields slammed the door shut on his Bears, and likely NFL, future as a starter, playing a disgusting game. The Bears lost in awful fashion to the Bucs.
I shared my in-game reactions, thoughts and observations from the game below. Follow me on Twitter (or X, I guess) @DhruvKoul to continue the conversation!
Thoughts and Observations
1. The Bears’ defense continues to be a problem. Matt Eberflus is calling the plays in place of Alan Williams, who didn’t travel to Tampa for personal reasons — and from an approach standpoint, there are some wrinkles. Bears have brought some pressure at times. The problem? It hasn’t hit home, and Baker Mayfield has picked them apart. Defensive line is getting worked yet again. To add injury to insult, Jaquan Brisker and Eddie Jackson both left the game in the first quarter with injuries… it’s going to be a long afternoon if things don’t improve.
2. The good news is on the Bears’ first offensive possession, the offense looked different. Justin Fields found DJ Moore twice for long gains, including a third down pickup. Todd Bowles blitzed Fields each time, and they had an answer thankfully, capped by a nice bootleg TD run for Fields. Huge improvement from last week.
3. Another game, another absolutely inexcusable sack for Justin Fields to take. He holds onto the ball FOREVER and in Year 3 just doesn’t understand that NFL open is not the same as college open. This is not something that just develops easily, either.
Meanwhile, the Bears were hosed on a missed OPI on Mike Evans that saw Baker Mayfield’s missile go 70 yards inside the red zone. The Bucs finally broke through with a touchdown. But honestly, this defense is terrible. It’s bad news that Jaquan Brisker and Eddie Jackson have left the game with injuries, but even before that, they were being worked. Matt Eberflus’ calling card just isn’t working 5.5 quarters into the season.
4. If I’m Ryan Poles, I’m watching this game and basically confirming to myself that Justin Fields is not the answer. He’s taken three horrendous sacks — where the protection held up well, AND he had options to either throw or run. He’s been absolutely awful today in the first half. The Bucs lead 13-10 at halftime, but Fields is not showing any sort of processing development. He’s the exact same guy as he was in college.
It’s that bad.
5. It’s time to make Roschon Johnson RB1. The guy does it all — he’s a complete back. Luke Getsy should have more faith in him going forward. Clearly, they saw something where they made D’onta Foreman inactive today. Johnson is doing his part.
6. Braxton Jones with a brutal series to open the second half. A false start, getting blown past for a no-fault sack on Fields… bad. He’s had an overall fine game again, but the penalties especially are bad.
Meanwhile, the Bears had a 3rd and 14 on the Bucs and Tyrique Stevenson lost Mike Evans, and Baker Mayfield found him for what feels like a back-breaking touchdown. 20-10 Bucs late in the third quarter. This team just isn’t competitive.
7. It really feels like there’s nothing left to learn with this team and with Justin Fields… truly a “dead men walking” season. Certainly feel bad for Fields, but this is just not acceptable QB play.
8. Justin Fields with a chance to win the game after an actually impressive drive and corresponding defensive stop. And he throws a pick-six to lose the game.
9. Like I said.
10. The Bears now head back on the road to Kansas City, with their season already over and a locker room that seems ripe for the implosion. After what Baker Mayfield did to them, I’m interested to see what Patrick Mahomes does.
Early prediction: Chiefs 29, Bears 3.