Week 12 Game Recap: Chicago Bears 13, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10
What you need to know
The Bears came into Sunday as the talk of the league with a chance to improve their record to an impressive eight wins after starting the season very poorly. Their defense is the best in the league and the reason for their winning streak, and it was once again the reason they beat the Buccaneers Sunday. Even though the Buccaneers gained more yards than Chicago, Alex Brown made a big play in the first quarter which led to the Bears only touchdown of the game. Robbie Gould also made the two field goals he attempted while the Buccaneers kicker, Matt Bryant, missed a short field goal in the fourth quarter that would have tied the game. The Bears won another football game where they made little mistakes and created more big plays than the opposing team.
Kyle Orton attempted 21 passes in the first half, completing 11 of them with a few errant passes and an ugly interception thrown directly to Brian Kelly. In the second half, Lovie Smith only allowed Orton to throw seven passes, minimizing the mistakes, and allowing Thomas Jones to keep the clock running while the Bears were able to hold the lead. Thomas Jones may have only averaged a little less than three yards a carry, but he finished the game with 72 yards rushing and three receptions for 50 yards, which led the team.
Muhsin Muhammad and Justin Gage were both targeted eight times and had very similar numbers with four receptions each. Tight end John Gilmore only caught one pass in the game, but he also caught the only Bears’ touchdown in the game, which ended up being a huge reception since the Bears only won the game by three points.
Alex Smith and Adewale Ogunleye both had good games ending the day with two sacks each, while Brown was the one who caused the Chris Simms fumble in the first quarter on the Buccaneers’ one yard line. Both of them were in the face of Simms for the entire game preventing him from finding the end zone or any other receiver besides Joey Galloway. Charles Tillman also had a good game since he led the team with nine tackles.
The Buccaneers were coming off a big win against the Falcons with a chance to beat an impressive Bears team and prove they are a legitimate playoff team. Their Sunday ended with a very disappointing loss on a missed 29 yard field goal by Matt Bryant to tie the game in the fourth quarter. The Buccaneers held the Bears to only 239 total yards, but their inability to make a big play and convert an easy field goal prevented them from winning the game.
Chris Simms did not throw for any touchdowns, but he also did not throw any interceptions. The most critical play in the game actually came on their first drive when Alex Brown stripped the ball out of Simms’ hands, leading to an easy Bears touchdown. Joey Galloway returned as the main receiver on the team reeling in seven passes for 138 yards. He was the only player on the team with more than two receptions and Simms clearly looked his way when the team needed a big play.
Carnell Williams had an unspectacular, but productive day averaging a little over four yards a carry for 84 yards, but he was taken out for goal line situations. Alstott continues his touchdown streak leaping over defenders but is also taking away from possible touchdowns for Carnell Williams.
The disappointing look on John Gruden’s face after the missed field goal in the fourth quarter was a perfect explanation of the entire game for the Buccaneers. Neither team had many penalties, and the time of possession for both teams was almost exact. The Buccaneers ended the game with more total yards than the Bears, but they were still unable to come away with the win. Derrick Brooks, Simeon Rice and Shelton Quarles had big games in a losing effort on the defensive side of the ball.
What you ought to know
|QB Kyle Orton, Pass: 14 - 28 - 134 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 19 - 0|
The Bears let Orton attempt 21 passes in the first half completing 11 of them. Even though he completed over 50 percent of his passes, he threw a horrible interception right to Brian Kelly and a few other passes that should have been intercepted. In the second half he only attempted seven passes and the Bears decided to hand the ball off to Thomas Jones. He did not make any more mistakes, and the Bears went on to win the game.
|RB Thomas Jones, Rush: 25 - 72 - 0, Rec: 3 - 50 - 0 (4 targets)|
Jones averaged a little less than three yards a carry in the game with 72 yards rushing, but he is clearly the main running back and was highly involved in the offense. He was targeted four times and caught three passes for 50 yards, which made him the leading Bears’ receiver for the game. He made some big runs for a first down that led to important field goals in the second and third quarter. The Bears also fed him the ball late in the fourth quarter allowing the team to pick up an important first down, leaving the Buccaneers with no time to mount a game tying or winning drive. His longest run was for 19 yards in the third quarter which was part of the drive leading to the Bears’ final field goal.
Since Cedric Benson is out for a few more weeks, Peterson is seeing some time as the backup to Thomas Jones. He rushed the ball well when he was given the chance, averaging a little over five yards a carry and finished the day with 27 yards.
Gage had very similar numbers to Muhammad catching four passes for 32 yards on the same number of targets. He had two receptions in the second quarter, starting the drive which led to a 25 yard field goal and the Bears second score of the game. His longest catch was for 13 yards in the second quarter on a long drive that eventually led to a punt.
Muhammad pulled in half of the passes thrown his was ending the day with four receptions for 38 yards. He and Justin Gage had the majority of the passes thrown their way, and even though he is not in a high scoring offense, he is a big part of a successful team this year. His biggest catch was for thirteen yards in the first quarter, which led to a 25 yard field goal and the Bears’ second score of the game. He also caught a 14 yard pass late in the fourth quarter to keep a drive going.
Wade was targeted only once and did not catch a pass in the game. He also fumbled the ball on a punt return, but the ball was recovered by the Bears.
Clark only had two receptions for 13 yards and did not have a very big impact on the game.
Gilmore only caught one pass for one yard, but it was for the only Bears’ touchdown and was the difference in the game.
Gould kicked a 25 yard field goal in the second quarter and a 36 yard field goal in the third quarter, one more than the Buccaneers kicker, which essentially led to a Chicago win. He also made the only extra point that he attempted.
The Bears finally allowed a touchdown and it came on a two yard touchdown run by Mike Alstott in the fourth quarter, but that was the only touchdown they gave up and the defense led the team to another win. Carnell Williams ran for 84 yards and averaged a little more than four yards a carry, but he did not have any big runs, and they also kept him out of the end zone. Charles Tillman led the team with nine tackles and Lance Briggs also had a good game with seven tackles.
The Bears did not allow a passing touchdown again and held Simms to only 202 yards passing and no touchdowns. Galloway had a pretty big day receiving with 138 yards, but he never found his way into the end zone. The Bears did not allow any other player on the Buccaneers to catch more than two passes in the game, which prevented Tampa Bay from moving the ball down the field. Alex Brown had a big game with two sacks and a forced fumble in the first quarter on the Buccaneers’ one yard line, which led to the Bears’ only touchdown of the game. Adewale Ogunleye also had two sacks in the game.
|QB Chris Simms, Pass: 19 - 30 - 202 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0, Rec: 1 - -3 - 0 (1 targets)|
Simms had a rough start to the game when Alex Brown stripped the ball away from him on Tampa Bay’s own one yard line, leading to a quick Bears touchdown in the first quarter. Besides the fumble, he continued his unspectacular but effective play, throwing for 202 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. He showed the poise that every team is looking for in a quarterback when he marched the Buccaneers down the field in the fourth quarter completing three of four passes and setting up a game tying 29 yard field goal.
Williams had a quiet but effective day rushing for 84 yards and averaging a little over four yards a carry. His longest run was for 17 yards but he was able to get the small yards when his team really needed them. He had a big eight yard run in the fourth quarter to get the Buccaneers on the Chicago two yard line, but Mike Alstott was once again brought in for the touchdown when they were in a goal line situation.
|RB Mike Alstott, Rush: 3 - 8 - 1, Rec: 2 - 14 - 0 (4 targets)|
Alstott continued his touchdown streak with a two yard leap in the fourth quarter, which put the Buccaneers a field goal away from tying the game. It seems like every time Tampa Bay is in a goal line situation, they just hand the ball to Mike and he jumps over the entire offensive and defensive line for a touchdown. He also had a big nine yard reception in the first quarter to set up an easy field goal for Matt Bryant.
Pittman only caught one pass for six yards but he did run for 16 in the third quarter on his only attempt of the day.
Cook caught the only pass thrown his way for nine yards, but did not see the ball for the rest of the game.
Galloway had no receptions last week, but he made up for his goose egg with seven receptions for 138 yards. He was the only player on the team that caught more than two passes, and he once again looked like the only one that Simms looked for when the Buccaneers needed a big play. His longest catch of the day was in the first quarter for 39 yards, which set up a Buccaneers field goal and their first score of the game. He also made a nice move around his defender for a 30 yard reception in the fourth quarter, which put the Buccaneers close to field goal range when they were down by three points.
Clayton was targeted only once and did not have a reception in the game, even though he was the only wide receiver last week to catch a pass in the game.
Hilliard was only targeted once, but did not have a reception in the game.
Becht was targeted six times but only caught an uninteresting two passes for 12 yards.
Smith had a big first down catch in the fourth quarter for four yards which led to a Mike Alstott touchdown and put the Buccaneers back in the game. His only other catch of the game was for ten yards, and he was a non factor other than his two catches.
Moore only caught one pass for five yards and was a non factor in the rest of the game.
Bryant missed a 29 yard field goal to tie the game at 13 with a little less than three minutes left in the game, which prevented the Buccaneers from sending the game into overtime. He made a 27 yard field goal in the first quarter and made his only extra point attempt.
The Buccaneers held Thomas Jones to 72 yards rushing and less than three yards a carry. Although Jones did break off a few decent runs, Tampa Bay kept him away from big run plays and they kept him out of the end zone. Derrick Brooks and Shelton Quarles both had big games with ten tackles each.
The Buccaneers only gave up one touchdown and it was when the Bears started the drive on the Buccaneers one yard line. Orton only completed three of seven passes in the second half, and the Bears’ passing game was all but shut down. Brian Kelly had an interception in the first half and Simeon Rice had one sack and a forced fumble when he knocked the ball out of Orton’s hand.