Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Game Awards: Buccaneers vs. Bears

Who got this week's Game Ball?


Pictures from the Buccaneers' Week 2 matchup with the Bears.

Game Ball:** Mike Evans was as good as ever and Jacquizz Rodgers ran hard and scored a touchdown, but the game ball has to go to somebody on defense when it pitches a shutout. Take your pick: Kwon Alexander started the four-turnover rush with an interception, Robert McClain had a pick-six and Noah Spence forced a fumble with a sack. We'll go instead with linebacker Lavonte David, who appeared to be in midseason form as he made plays all over the field. David's final stat line - nine tackles, a tackle for loss and a fumble recovery – isn't overwhelming, but this was a full-team effort on defense and David was in the middle of a lot of it. If you wanted to mint up about 15 game balls and give them to everyone on defense, we probably wouldn't argue.


Play of the Game:** The Buccaneers moved the ball well to start the game but settled for a field goal, and the Bears' were well on their way to at least answering those three points on the ensuing drive. However, after getting his team into scoring range, Chicago QB Mike Glennon tried to fit a pass through traffic to TE Dion Sims and Kwon Alexander was there to pick it off. The Buccaneers didn't score on the following possession, but they kept the game's momentum and made it 10-0 minutes later after a fumbled punt return by Tarik Cohen.


Turning Point:** Given that the Buccaneers scored on their opening possession and never trailed, one could make the argument that there was no real turning point. However, the game could have been a lot closer if the Bucs hadn't gone on a sustained takeaway binge. Alexander's interception kept the Bucs ahead, 3-0, but the turnover that really started the onslaught was Cohen's fumble. It was probably a poor decision by the Bears rookie to try to field a bouncing punt in traffic, but it was still a fine play by CB Ryan Smith to rip it away. LB Cameron Lynch pounced on the loose ball and Evans scored one play later on a 13-yard reception.

It Was Over When: McClain jumped an out pass and returned his interception 47 yards for his first NFL touchdown. The Bucs already had a 17-0 lead in the second quarter, but it was McClain's pick-six that put the game out of reach.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.