Ninety minutes before kickoff, Buccaneers.com Senior Writer and Editor Scott Smith shared the Tampa Bay inactives, this week featuring one of the biggest names on the Buccaneers.
The Buccaneers won the toss and deferred, giving the Bears the opening possession. The defense, happy to have starting CB Alterraun Verner back, forced the Bears off the field after a three-and-out.
Josh McCown and the Buccaneers offense took their first possession from the 20-yard line, converting on three consecutive third down plays to keep marching up the field.
However, possession would change on the fourth third-down play of the drive.
The Buccaneers defense again got off the field in just three plays, with Jacquies Smith dropping Jay Cutler on third down.
However, a penalty on the punt would give Chicago the ball back at the 45-yard line with a new set of downs.
The Bucs defense didn't miss a beat, coming up with two more huge plays and getting the offense back on the field!
The Bucs took over with great field position at the Bears' 46-yard line and started driving to the end zone with another third-down conversion taking us to the end of the first quarter.
A penalty on Evans would move the kickoff back 15 yards, giving the Bears good field position to start their drive, but the Bucs defense again forced a punt after just three plays.
The Buccaneers would start from their own two-yard line. Some bad injury news came in after the second-down play.
The Bucs were forced to punt it away and Chicago would take over at midfield. They would manage to get one first down, but be forced into a long field goal try.
Four straight punts would give the Bucs the ball again at their 12-yard line with 1:48 left in the half.
Big penalties would drop the Bucs back to nearly midfield, facing a third-and-23.
Jackson. Vincent Jackson. Third and 23. No problems. First down Bucs. — Rick Brown (@LedgeronBucs) November 23, 2014
McCown found TE Brandon Myers for a first down to move the ball to the 10-yard line and the Buccaneers would tack on three more before going into halftime.
The Bucs took the opening kickoff of the second half, but would be forced to punt after three plays. The Bears then began to put together their first solid drive of the game.
Injury updates for both teams.
And the Bears get on the board.
The teams again trade punts, with the Buccaneers taking over at their own 22-yard line. McCown got a first down on a 10-yard scramble, but would be sacked on the next play and lose the football.
Just one play and the Bears took over the lead.
On the Bucs first play from scrimmage, another turnover and more great field position for the Chicago offense.
From the 15-yard line, the Bears would take four plays before extending their lead to 11.
Back on offense, the Buccaneers started to string together plays for the first time in the second half.
The Buccaneers defense wouldn't allow the Bears to convert that turnover into points, forcing a Chicago punt. The Bucs offense would punt it back on their ensuing drive, but again the defense would stand, forcing a three-and-out.
Down by two scores, the offense took to the air looking to get down field and cut the lead. McCown found Murphy for 17 yards before a huge play by Vincent Jackson on third down.
The Buccaneers would get three points out of the drive, now down by just a touchdown and extra point.
Oh My. Bad punt. Bucs start at Bears 45. 3:04 left after that shank. — Rick Brown (@LedgeronBucs) November 23, 2014
The bad punt set up the Bucs offense. First down: Nine-yard pass to Charles Sims. Second down: Incomplete. Third down: No gain.
The Buccaneers would challenge the spot, but the ruling was upheld. The defense forced another three and out, putting the offense on the field again with just 13 seconds remaining, but it wasn't enough.