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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Becht Breaks Down TB-CHI

It was a tale of two halves for the Buccaneers on Sunday as they fell to the Bears 21-13.

In the first half, the Bucs defense shut down Chicago's offense by holding them to 68 total yards. The offense overcame a first series interception and put a few drives together to take a 10-0 lead into halftime. The second half was the reason the Buccaneers lost. This is what the tape showed.*

Josh McCown threw for a season-high 341 yards and completed 24-of-48 passes. That's right, 48 passes were thrown. Last week vs. Washington when McCown went 15-for-23, we saw the success of the passing, looking back to this Sunday's game I think that the QB was asked to do too much. For McCown, or any quarterback, to throw the ball that many times increases the probability for mistakes. Those mistakes, two interceptions and a fumble, were made and proved costly. The two strengths of McCown's game coming into the season were his ability to take care of the football and use his legs. On Sunday, he failed to do either and ultimately the defense was placed in situations too tough to overcome. With five games left on the season, McCown needs to find that balance of pass-to-run ratio for this offense to be successful.*

It has been the Achilles heel of this football team since Week One of the season. When three different running backs each fail to gain at least 30 yards, I can only look to one place, an offensive line that has struggled every game this season. Again this week, they did not set the tone at the line of scrimmage. These five guys are giving their best effort every week, but at the end of the day its just not proving to be good enough. I remember one year when I played for the Bucs that our run game hit the wall. The following week, we installed only four run plays, as opposed to 15-20, and we ran them over and over again until one worked. Something has to be done to solve this issue. Until this Bucs team finds a run game, this Buccaneers offense will continue to have pitfalls relying on the pass.*

What can I say about this Buccaneers defense against the Bears? Every level came to play on Sunday. The defensive line was tremendous. McCoy, McDonald, and Jacquies Smith all showed up in a big way. They dominated the Bears offensive line, causing three sacks and a forced fumble. The linebackers were short their best player in Lavonte David, yet they all played solid, mistake-free football. They understood their assignments and didn't try to play above their means without David. Whether it was poor throws by Cutler or passes defended, the secondary didn't give up the killer explosive plays vs. the Bears offense. It was a tall order against the trio of Marshall, Jeffery, and Bennett, but they answered the challenge. The secondary's only miscue that stood out to me was their tackling throughout. However, they still played tough and aggressive against one of the NFL's best receiving groups.*

Special teams should never be a phase of your football team that hurts you. But, week-to-week, the Bucs special teams unit hasn't been able to show the consistency that is needed to win football games. Each week a different element has reared its ugly head and set this team back. The issues must be cleared up so this unit can provide some spark for a team that desperately needs something from this phase.

After another week, surprisingly, the Buccaneers still find themselves just two games out of the division lead with five left to play. That statement isn't referencing anything to the point that the Bucs are a contending team right now, but it does show what could have been if they found some way to play some better ball.

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