Chicago Bears vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Five players to watch

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /
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Which players will stand out when the Chicago Bears meet the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday?

All in all, the Chicago Bears actually played pretty well as a team last week despite their 23-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

On one hand, they limited the Falcons’ explosive offense for much of the game, aside from two bad plays. Akiem Hicks and Co. helped neutralize talented running back Devonta Freeman to just 37 yards and sacked Matt Ryan four times. And the secondary did a surprisingly good job of keeping everyone not named Austin Hooper in check.

And offensively, the Chicago Bears may have a star in the electric rookie Tarik Cohen, who put together a dazzling NFL debut. Okay…I guess the offense needs a little work.

Sunday, the Bears will face off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, an early dark horse playoff favorite from the NFC South. Led by Jameis Winston, the man who took Mike Glennon‘s job, this young team could make a ton of noise after a big offseason. They’ll be looking to kick things off in grand fashion in their season opener at home.

If the Chicago Bears want to cancel the party, they’re going to need to make a couple extra plays they didn’t make last week. And they’re going to have to limit a few more big playmakers on the other side.

Here are a few players that bear watching in this Sunday’s game.

Honorable Mentions: Nick Kwiatkowski, Kendall Wright

With Jerrell Freeman possibly lost for the season, Kwiatkowski must fill in at inside linebacker alongside Danny Trevathan. So far, the second-year linebacker has looked improved in pass coverage as well as bringing his trademark blows in the run game. With the Buccaneers figuring to stretch the field, Kwiatkowski must be up to the challenge.

Wright essentially becomes the Bears’ top receiver by default with Kevin White and Cameron Meredith out. He only posted three catches for 34 yards with Glennon struggling early, but look for him to have a bigger role this weekend. Someone has to catch passes for the Bears, right?