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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Rapid Reaction: Bears 20, Buccaneers 19

The Buccaneers drop their first primetime contest as the Bears prove too much in Chicago. 

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Chicago won the toss to start the primetime matchup and elected to defer. It meant the Buccaneer offense would get the first shot of the night to put some points on the board. They'd span the field behind a well-balanced drive where quarterback Tom Brady completed passes to wide receivers Tyler Johnson and Jaydon Mickens along with tight end Rob Gronkowski. Mix in a couple good runs by running back Ronald Jones and they reached the 25-yard line before the Bears stopped them up. They'd settle for a 39-yard field goal by kicker Ryan Succop and were on the board with a 3-0 lead.

The Bears would gain one first down before the Bucs' defense shut them down. They'd punt without putting any points on the board and the Tampa Bay offense would go back to work.

The two teams would end up trading punts as the Bears' defense served the Bucs' offense a three-and-out.

Chicago would move into Buccaneers territory for the first time on the night but would be cut off by an interception. Cornerback Carlton Davis tipped and intercepted a pass from quarterback Nick Foles intended for tight end Cole Kmet. It was Davis' third interception of the year, tying for the league lead.

The Bucs capitalized yet again on a defensive takeaway. After a play that was initially ruled an incomplete pass, Head Coach Bruce Arians challenged it. The referee overturned the call, ruling that Jones completed the pass right at the two-yard line. Brady would punch it in on the next play on a throw to wide receiver Mike Evans in the end zone. The Bucs went up 10-0 as the fist quarter expired.

The Bears wouldn't get very far on their next drive and were forced to punt again. The Chicago defense brought up fourth down and one at the Bucs' 18-yard line but Tampa Bay decided to go for it. Brady kept it to pick up the yard and the drive continued. The Bucs were set back by two false starts but then helped by a defensive pass interference on Bears rookie cornerback Jaylon Johnson. It got them to the Chicago 20 but they were stopped on third down and would settle for a 35-yard field goal attempt. The kick was good and the Bucs went up 13-0 with 7:03 left in the second quarter.

Chicago took their time on the next drive and ended up spanning the field, despite the defense forcing them into a third-and-12 situation. It became third-and-seven after outside linebacker Shaq Barrett was called for a neutral zone infraction and the Bears converted on a screen to running back David Montgomery. They got a first down at the three-yard-line right at the two-minute warning. It took two tries, but Montgomery punched it in on a three-yard run to cut the Bucs' lead to 13-7. It gave the Bucs' offense 1:48 to work with before halftime.

And unfortunately, the drive would end in a fumble after Vaughn was absolutely rocked by cornerback Kyle Fuller on third down. The ball popped out and the Bears took over at the Bucs' 27-yard line. Foles then hit tight end Jimmy Graham in the end zone and the Bears took a 14-13 lead with 36 seconds to go before the half. Tampa Bay didn't do anything with those 36 seconds and went into the locker room trailing by one point, after being up 13-0 at one point, at halftime.

The Bears came up empty on their first drive of the second half thanks to a couple good tackles and Chicago getting hit with a holding penalty that pushed them back.

The Bucs' next drive was aided by a big 37-yard run from Jones and a 14-yard completion by Evans. It got Tampa Bay close enough to attempt a 47-yard field goal, which was good. The Bucs re-took the lead, 17-14 with 9:04 left in the third quarter.

Tampa Bay's defense wouldn't let up on the next drive as Foles got sacked by defensive lineman Vita Vea for his first sack of the season and the Bucs' first sack of the night. It brought up third and 18 when Chicago then got hit with a holding penalty, resulting in a fourth and 18. The Bears then got hit with another penalty on the punt and the Bucs would start their next drive at midfield.

A mess of flags and another sack by outside linebacker Khalil Mack on Brady set up the Bucs way behind the chains. They had a third and 27 in their own territory behind where they started the drive and wouldn't convert. Punter Bradley Pinion would pin the Bears on their own 12 on the ensuing punt.

The Bears did enough to get into field goal range, helped by a defensive pass interference call on the Bucs' Davis, before Foles got sacked by outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul and fumbled the ball. It was recovered by the Bears, who were then hit with multiple penalties to back them up even further. They settled for a 47-yard field goal from former Buccaneer kicker Cairo Santos and took the lead back, 17-16, with 10:34 to go in the game.

The camera caught Brady pretty fired up on the bench after the Bucs' last drive so this time, they moved down the field with help from a defensive pass interference call on the Bears and then a 23-yard catch and run by tight end Rob Gronkowski. Jones also got over 100 yards on the night during the drive. Gronkowski got it as close as he could but after Brady was sacked by Mack again, they'd have to settle for a 26-yard chip shot. It was enough to re-take the lead, 19-17 with 4:49 to go.

The next series should have ended abruptly by a William Gholston sack, but instead the Bucs were called on a very questionable roughing the passer call. They'd manage to get off the field anyway after defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh tipped a pass on third down. Unfortunately, the Bucs would trade a punt right back on their next offensive possession, giving the Bears 2:32 to work with while only up by two points.

Chicago got to stat from their own 47-yard line after an uncharacteristically short punt by Bradley Pinion. The Bears were held to a field goal but it was enough as Santos booted the 38-yarder to put the Bears up 20-19 with 1:13 left in the game.

Brady then went to work. He got a quick first down on a completion to Evans but couldn't muster anything else. On fourth down and six, he went to Brate but he wasn't able to hold on. The Bucs turned it over on downs and the score remained 20-19 in favor of the home team.

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