DEFENSIVE LINE: B
Bears rookie running back Jordan Howard came into Week 10 with three 100-yard rushing games and got his fourth of the year with 15 carries for exactly 100-yards and a 6.7 yards per carry average.
What he didn’t get however, was a touchdown or a consistent stream of running space.
In fact, save for a few large chunks of yards, Howard was pretty well bottled up by the Bucs’ defensive unit lead by Robert Ayers who had six tackles on the day including one for a loss.
Clinton McDonald returned to action for the first time since Week 4, and provided one tackle, one for a loss and one sack for his efforts.
There were plenty of good plays made up front in this one, but the play of the game came from rookie Noah Spence who got a strip sack on Jay Cutler at the Buccaneers’ 10-yard line when the Bears were looking to take the lead on the road.
The sack was Spence’s fourth of his rookie season and his third in the last four games coming in as a pass-rush specialist. It’s also his second forced fumble in the last three games, as the once troubled collegiate athlete has definitely flashed the potential which made him the Buccaneers first second-round selection in this year’s draft.
In total, the Bucs defensive line got to Cutler four times, and hit the Chicago quarterback seven times.
These efforts ensured the Bears gunslinger had zero time to throw, zero chances to find rhythm and kept him uncomfortable all day.