Week 5 Preview: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Chicago Bearsby jordanspurgeon October 8, 2020 1 comment
This showdown is a rematch between the two quarterbacks who played in Super Bowl LII. Now they’re playing for new teams, with Nick Foles starting for the Chicago Bears (3-1) and Tom Brady now playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1). Foles got the better of Brady in that Super Bowl between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots.
The Buccaneers are coming off a 38-31 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers. Brady had his best performance last week as he threw for five touchdowns and 369 yards for a 117 passer rating. That was without wide receiver Chris Godwin (hamstring) who has also been ruled out of this game. The Buccaneers will also be without wide receiver Justin Watson (chest) and running back LeSean McCoy (ankle). Top target Mike Evans didn’t participate in practice on Wednesday because of a recurring ankle injury.
While the offense is banged up, the defense is healthy. The pass rush and rushing defense have been the highlight so far for the Buccaneers. They’re currently tied for No. 1 in yards per carry (2.7) and tied for No. 3 in sacks (14). The secondary was torched a few times by Justin Herbert last week, but they are tied for No. 3 in the league in interceptions (5).
The Bears started the season 3-0 but still made a switch at quarterback from Mitchell Trubisky to Foles in the third quarter of their Week 3 game. In Foles’ first start, they lost 19-11 to the Indianapolis Colts. Foles finished with a 76 rating and struggled to move the ball consistently. One of the bright spots on offense this season has been Allen Robinson, who has 25 catches for 331 yards and two touchdowns.
The Bears defense is allowing 20.3 points per game. Opposing quarterbacks have struggled to move the ball through the air against them because they’re only allowing a league-best 56.1 percent completion rate. The rush defense has struggled, allowing 4.2 yards per carry. They will be without safety Deon Bush (hamstring).
Date: Thursday, October 8.
Start Time: 8:20 PM E.T.
Location: Chicago, Illinois.
Stadium: Soldier Field
TV Info: FOX, NFL Network, Amazon Prime
Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook
Point Spread: TB -3.5 (-110) | CHI +3.5 (-110)
Moneyline: TB -200 | CHI +160
Over/Under: O 44.5 (-110) | U 44.5 (-110)
The passing defense of the Bears should make it tough for Brady to be as effective as he was against the Chargers last week, especially without many of his best playmakers. They will look to run the ball as much as they can with Ronald Jones and rookie Ke’Shawn Vaughn.
The Buccaneers are multi-faceted on offense, but this will be a tough game to overcome with a depleted receiving core that hasn’t been able to practice much this week. Despite those issues, their defense will be all over Foles and will make it difficult for him to find a rhythm. The key for both teams will be the running game.
Final Score: Buccaneers 27, Bears 21
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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images