Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Bucs in London Game Preview

| October 20th, 2011

Oh when the Yanks come marching in…


  • I always like the Chicago Bears.
  • First off, I have no idea what the tone of the building is going to be but I assume there will be more Bears fans at Wembley than Bucs fans.  (Unless the Manchester United faithful will venture across the nation to cheer on their ownership group.)  Needless to say this should be the least road-like road game the Bears play all season long.  If the Bucs had a fan base, they’d be angry.
  • Jay Cutler is hot right now, having played arguably his finest back-to-back ballgames as Bears quarterback without gaudy numbers.  He barked about playcalling last week and the coaching staff obliged.  He responded by showing them how good he can be with a few seconds in the pocket.  I think it continues.
  • The Bucs should be without LeGarrett Blount this week and I don’t see the Bears allowing Ernest Graham to rush for 100 yards.  (Side note: Anybody else notice the Saints have totally mailed it in defensively other than the week they faced us?  No exotic blitz schemes.  Nothing.  Just crap defense against everybody else.)  If the Bears can bottle up Adrian Peterson, they best bottle up Graham.
  • Devin Hester has never returned a kick for a touchdown on British soil.  You think he’ll pass up that chance?
  • Josh Freeman is an accurate quarterback and a solid leader.  He is more than capable of finding open receivers in the Bears zones and can take off and run when the play breaks down.  He’s an easy player to like and if this is your first time watching him, enjoy.
  • Freeman’s top target is Kellen Winslow.  Kellen Winslow is a tight end.  The Bears don’t cover tight ends.  I believe this is the transitive property of the Lovie Deuce.
  • The Bucs also have a couple receivers capable of having ten-catch afternoons, though I don’t see either beating the Bears deep.  Both Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn have good size and good hands.  They are definitive threats on third down.
  • This is a game where the Bears need to be disciplined on defense.  They can’t allow big cutback runs and they can’t allow Freeman to extend drives with his legs.  If they do those two things, Tampa will be kicking a lot of field goals.
  • The Bears are not complicated on offense.  They’re going to get the ball to Matt Forte 20-25 times and let Cutler pick the opponent apart on third-and-manageable.  But it seems Cutler is finding comfort throwing the ball to Roy Williams, Kellen Davis and the Great Dane.  I think he’ll have one more bullet in his gun than Freeman this week.

Chicago Bears 23, Tampa Bay Bucs 16