Bears 14, Buccaneers 5
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The Buccaneers haven’t been able to get anything going today in London against the Bears. Matt Forte has proven too tough to stop thus far and Jay Cutler has made the most of his one mistake as the Bears are proving the Friday arrival means nothing to their ability to focus.
The big story for the Bucs in the first half is the injury to Earnest Graham that has sidelined him for the remainder of the game. The Buccaneers are down to their lone healthy back in Kregg Kumpkin and he has not been a factor at all. If anything the injury to Graham has been trouble for Josh Freeman who is now dealing with unforgiving pressure from the Bears front which has killed any attempts to get a passing attack going.
But with the offense failing the defense is also failing to pick up it’s end of things. It’s a theme we’ve seen before where the offense gets nothing done and the defense struggles with no breathing room. Matt Forte is already over 100 yards on the day and it’s just halftime. Jay Cutler has a throwing touchdown but with his past troubles with interceptions and the Bucs offense getting nowhere, there is no reason why the Bears don’t just run the ball to Forte the rest of the game.
The Bucs need to make some serious adjustments at halftime. They’ve picked off Jay Cutler (but who hasn’t) and they got Forte in the endzone for a safety but that’s the bulk of the Bucs points. They’re faltering against a sub-par Bears team and Earnest Graham’s early exit is no excuse. Josh Freeman is a leader and if he wants to be considered one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL he can’t be reliant and let his game balance on whether the backup running back is in or out.
The defense isn’t as bad as it seems or as I’m making it seem. They’ve only allowed 14 points and none to Devin Hester, but he’s not the X-Factor, Forte is and they need a way to stop him. Cutler isn’t a good quarterback and if he’s forced to throw he will throw it to the Bucs a few times. Tampa needs to tak e Forte and his 100-plus yards out of the game if they want any chance of winning this game.