The Tampa Bay Buccaneers travel to Soldier Field to face the Bears after a disappointing loss on Monday Night. Both the Bucs and the Bears have a 2-1 record, but the path to 2-1 is via two totally different styles of play.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, lead by Ryan Fitzpatrick, have the top ranked passing attack in the league that is currently averaging 410 yards per game. During the first two weeks, Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for over 400 yards and four touchdowns from a clean pocket. He earned back to back NFC player of the week and was heralded as Ryan Fitz-Magic. On Monday night, the Pittsburgh Steelers found ways to pressure Fitzpatrick in the second quarter and turned him back into Fitz-Tragic. He threw three interceptions on consecutive drives, including a pick six that led to the Steelers building a 30-10 halftime lead.
The Bears offense lead by second year quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky is one of the leagues worst. He average less than 200 passing yards a game and only has two passing touchdowns. With that said, the Bears have an elite defense ranked in the top five. Both defenses rank in the top three against the run but the Buccaneers ranked 31st in pass yardage allowed. Good thing Trubisky hasn’t figured out how to carry the offense with his arm yet. Will the Buccaneers get Fitz-Magic or will the Bears defense force him to turn into Fitz-tagic.
Bucs O-line versus Bears front seven
If the Buccaneers want to see the Ryan Fitzpatrick from the first two weeks, they have to find a way to get him comfortable in the pocket. That’s a tall task to ask when facing Kahlil Mack and Bears defense in a hostile environment.
This Bears’ defense put pressure on the quarterback on 58.4% of their drop backs. That pressure has lead to 14 sacks and seven forced fumbles, which both lead the league. The Bucs can’t afford to blow any blocking assignments if they want to prevent the reappearance of Fitz-Tragic.
Ryan Jensen and Ali Marpet going up against Bears’ defensive tackle, Akeem Hicks will definitely be a heavy weight bout. But, the spotlight match-up is right tackle, Demar Dotson versus Kahlil Mack. Through three weeks, Mack already has four sacks, three force fumbles and a pick six. Although, Dotson has always held his own against the elite defensive ends, hopefully he gets all the help the Bucs can give Sunday.
Rod Thurman is a contributor for full press coverage covering his beloved Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Follow him on twitter @BucBoy for everything bucs and anything football.