Chicago Bears horrifically bad in loss to Tampa Bay Buccaneers

(Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears forgot to show up to their game today against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Buccaneers beat random people dressed in Bears’ uniforms 29-7.

My goodness, that was hard to watch.

Saying that the Chicago Bears played badly today doesn’t quite capture it. In fact, the English language might not contain an adjective for how sad this was, particularly from an offensive standpoint.

And that more or less sums up why the Chicago Bears suffered today’s embarrassing loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

But, as you’ll see below, let’s not just pile on the Bears offense for this one. Everyone made sure to share in this stinker.

Let’s just get right into it.

1. Bears sloppy in all aspects

The entire point of hiring John Fox two years ago was to ensure that the Chicago Bears had a professional staff from top to bottom. Players should be well-coached and executing their assignments cleanly and consistently. And the training staff should be keeping them operating at peak health as much as can be.

What we saw today was a complete organizational failure, one which has occurred more often than it should with an experienced coach like Fox.

Five penalties for 34 yards in the first half, including multiple drive-extending holding penalties by the defense. Tanner Gentry even managed to pick up an unnecessary roughness penalty on a touchback. It’s almost like he wants to get cut. Daniel Brown’s holding penalty wiped out Deonte Thompson’s big late kick return.

Throw in a couple of costly holding penalties from linebackers on potential third-down stops, and you just saw a team that didn’t look like they were interested in winning this game.

Then, your game-managing quarterback turned the ball over three times, including two inexcusable interceptions (one a pick-six). But I’ll go in on that in the grades later. That’ll be fun.

Also, how many more people are going to fall to injury before we start wondering why Fox’s training staff can’t keep anyone healthy? I mean…who didn’t get hurt in this game at one point? Add that to how many people are already battling injuries, and you have a huge problem.

Today, everything that could go wrong simply did go wrong. And the Bears did themselves absolutely no favors.

2. Defense suffering due to offensive ineptitude

This doesn’t really require much explanation.

Don’t look at the total yardage or passing stats and think that the offense accomplished much. Those yards, much like last week, came when the game no longer mattered aside for pride. When it mattered, the Bears offense completely laid an egg.

And their inability to sustain drives, plus their turnovers, put the defense in a horrible position in this game.

The over 30 minutes worth of time that the Bears defense was on the field was spent backed up with bad field position. And as they did last week, they fought for everything they were worth. They bent but didn’t break in the face of Tampa’s first drive only to hop back on the field following a Glennon interception.

Then, after they forced a punt in the first quarter, the defense had to march right back out on the field when Cohen fumbled. They gave up a touchdown on the next play, and the game completely flipped in Tamp Bay’s favor.

Mix that in with the lack of long offensive drives after that, and the Bears’ better unit simply couldn’t keep its legs. And the final score reflected that more than it did particularly awful play on their part.

If the Chicago Bears keep this up, they might not have any healthy starters left by the end of the year. The offense has to give them a hand, soon.

3. Cohen shows off rookie learning curve

With Jordan Howard less than 100% today, Cohen saw an expanded role in the Chicago Bears offense today. And regardless of Howard’s health, Cohen certainly appears to have carved out a permanent role as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. His playmaking ability has merited those opportunities.

However, his inexperience and over-eagerness reared its head today as he made a few unfortunate plays.

The most glaring example was his muffed punt in the first quarter, which burned the Bears early.

When Bryan Anger’s punt bounced inside the 20-yard line toward Cohen, one could just see him getting ready to do something foolish. If he had been thinking clearly, he would’ve run far away from that football once it bounced and defenders surrounded it. However, he attempted to field it, muffed the punt and the Buccaneers recovered.

To put it simply:

The Bucs then scored on the very next play via a Jameis Winston touchdown pass to Mike Evans.

On one hand, that partly falls on the coaching point that I mentioned beforehand. You must make sure that your rookie punt returner knows exactly what he has should and should not do.

However, some of that is Cohen trying to make a play that he has no business attempting in the first place. And that’s something coaches can’t fully control.

And that comes with Cohen. As, with that punt, he’s going to force the issue to make big plays when simple ones suffice. The Chicago Bears need to get in his ear to ensure that those mistakes don’t happen regularly.

Stud of the Game: Eddie Jackson

Truthfully, I must note that no one really stood out as having played exceptionally well today.

However, the young safety Jackson continues to look like he absolutely belongs as a starter in the NFL. And aside from the second-half Leonard Floyd, Jackson might have been the best player on this Bears defense today.

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Jameis Winston certainly tested the Bears down the field today, but every time he did, Jackson maintained his positioning and found himself near the football. At no point did he look like he was out of place on the back end, which kept Winston from hitting anything deep down the field. Then again, with the way the Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson killed Chicago Bears corners, it didn’t matter that much.

Plus, Jackson came up with a strong tackle for loss in the third quarter as well. After missing a few tackles last week, the young safety showed surer hands and form against ball carriers today. In general, I would say that Jackson has displayed far more physicality as a tackler than he did in college. And that will only help him stay on the field.

Soon enough, Jackson’s going to get his hands on some footballs in the passing game here soon. He’s getting closer and closer with every game.

Dud of the Game: Glennon

This one isn’t even close.

Last week, we arguably saw the best that Glennon had to offer. He played rather awfully for much of the game but didn’t commit turnovers and brought the Bears to within a few yards of winning against the Atlanta Falcons.

This week, we saw once more what Glennon truly is: a bad starting quarterback whose physical limitations undermine his offense.

I wonder if those who thought Glennon’s experience with Tampa Bay’s defense would somehow help him play well today considered the reverse proposition. Well, the reverse is what happened.

The Buccaneers challenged him to beat them down the field, and he could not/would not do it. Then, after a while, when he kept making his standard short intermediate throws, they started pouncing on them. And when you don’t have enough arm strength or accuracy to get the ball where you need to every time, things like this happen.

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If there’s any justice in the world, the Chicago Bears will strongly consider starting Mitchell Trubisky next week. But, since I know that’s not the case, I won’t hold my breath,