The Buccaneers dominated the Bears en route to a 29-7 victory, what were some of the key plays from the victory?
A key play can be anywhere from a turnover to a touchdown and even a critical third-down stop. The Buccaneers had several key plays in the first half that allowed them to pull away and never look back.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the plays in chronological order that sprung the Bucs to 1-0.
Kwon Alexander Interception: 2:42 left in Q1
It was the second drive of the game and the Bears were deep in Tampa Bay territory. Mike Glennon attempted to go short right to Dion Sims but Kwon Alexander read it, intercepted it and would return it 22 yards.
This was a key play because it halted a dangerous Bears drive. His return also set up the Bucs with solid field position. Kwon would leave the game early due to injury but he left his mark on the game.
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Ryan Smith Forced Fumble on Punt: 0:28 left in Q1
The Bucs were punting after the Kwon Alexander INT. Bryan Anger attempted to pin them inside the 20 and had done so successfully. However, as Tampa was getting ready to down it Tarik Cohen in a boneheaded move attempted to pick it up and run. Cohen was promptly stopped and Ryan Smith forced a fumble in the process.
This was a key play because it set up the Bucs deep in Bears territory. Almost guaranteeing a score barring a turnover. Smith has continued his excellent play as a special teamer and it is encouraging to see.
Mike Evans Touchdown: 0:04 left in Q1
Following the FF on the punt, the Bucs struck quickly. Jameis Winston hit who other than Mike Evans for a brilliant toe-tapping touchdown. Tampa was able to extend their lead to 10-0 in the last seconds of the first quarter.
This was a key play because not to be captain obvious, but touchdowns are always big plays. This one, in particular, was a little flashy and you may see it on #SCTop10. The first touchdown is one that we hope will see several more times.
Noah Spence Forced Fumble: 11:37 in 2Q
Noah Spence is primed for a breakout season and he got off to a good start on Sunday. Spence blew by the linemen sacking Glennon and forcing him to fumble in the process.
This was a key play because the pressure was finally able to get to Glennon and turn the ball over to the offense as well. The Bucs also received good field position in the process.
Jacquizz Rodgers 1 Yard Touchdown Run: 7:30 left in 2Q
The Bucs made good use of their advantageous field position by scoring another TD. This time with a Jacquizz Rodgers rushing TD. Rodgers was running well throughout the drive and it was only right to allow him to finish off the drive.
This was a key play because it extended the lead for the Bucs to 3 possessions. This TD signaled the beginning of the end for the Bears.
Robert McClain Pick Six: 4:09 left in Q2
The Buccaneers forced a turnover on the first three drives for the Bears. This time it went for a touchdown. Robert McClain jumped a pass and never looked back, returning it 47 yards for a touchdown. The defense that was a force in creating turnovers picked up right where they left off with 3 first half turnovers.
This was a key play because it effectively sucked the life out of the Bears. Following this pick-six the Bears looked lifeless and ready to move on to the next week. The Bucs were up 26-0 at half an absolutely incredible feat.
As you can see, these key plays came in the first half. In the second half the Bucs pretty much took their foot off the pedal even allowing the second stringers to come in.
The only disappointment is that the shutout wasn’t preserved, but I’d be ecstatic if that were the most disappointing thing every week. I know I am getting ahead of myself, but it is going to be an exciting year. On to Minnesota!