The Tampa Bay Buccaneers entered Thursday night as nearly touchdown favorites over the Chicago Bears, who entered the game 3-1 but were coming off of a loss to the Colts in which they looked dreadful, particularly on offense.
It was far from an offensive exhibition on Thursday night, but the Bears were able to do just enough to pick up a 20-19 win. Offensively, they only rushed for 35 yards and Nick Foles threw for just 243 with one touchdown and one interception, but a timely turnover forced by the Chicago defense late in the first half allowed them to take a 14-13 lead into halftime.
In the second half, it was a battle of field goals and defenses, with both teams kicking a pair of field goals, with Chicago taking that one-point advantage with just over a minute to play. While the Bucs didn’t have timeouts, it seemed like more than enough time for Tom Brady to guide his team into field goal range for a chance at the game-winner. The problem was, after the Bucs found themselves in a 4th-and-6 situation, Brady fired a pass downfield into coverage that was tipped and fell harmlessly to the turf, because he seemingly thought it was still third down and he’d have another play.
It was a bizarre sequence, and nothing about the previous three plays should have made Brady feel like it was third down — they didn’t spike the ball to burn a down or anything, he had just thrown two incompletions and a check-down to the running back. As Brady stood there dumbfounded by the fact that he didn’t have one more play, the Bears celebrated and came onto the field to take a knee and closeout a narrow, rather ugly win, but one that moved them to 4-1 nonetheless.
For Tampa Bay, they dropped to 3-2 on the season as Brady has continued to look a bit shaky at times in both losses. He struggled to create big plays, particularly in the red zone, on Thursday as the Bucs kicked four field goals, and that’s after a dismal Week 1 performance in which he threw two back-breaking interceptions. There’s still time for him to get in rhythm with this Bucs team, but for a squad with championship aspirations, it’s been a rather pedestrian start to the year.