60 Minutes From Franchise History

October 22nd, 2021

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To say the Chicago Bears are saddled with a pedestrian offense is simply unfair … to pedestrians.

With scoring up all over the National Football League, Tampa Bay’s upcoming opponent is still trying to figure out how to move the football. Somehow, the Bears are 3-3 despite ranking last in total offense. What’s worse, the City of Broad Shoulders has been dealing with this issue for a generation.

The Bears have exactly one Top 10 finish in total offense in the past 21 seasons. Matt Nagy, who learned his trade under Andy Reid in Kansas City, was expected to spruce up Chicago’s attack when he was named head coach in 2018.

It hasn’t happened — and things could get a lot worse Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.

Chicago’s ground game is decent, but nobody runs on the Bucs. Most teams don’t even try, but Nagy may have no choice because Justin Fields isn’t doing much damage through the air.

The Bears average only 16.3 points per game, which is half of Tampa Bay’s average scoring rate. They’ve topped the 20-point mark only once in six games and Chicago is particularly lousy on third down, converting only one-third of the time.

“I think we’re working through all that right now,” Nagy says. “We’re not scoring enough. You need to score more, we understand that. How we get to that, we’re going through that identity.”

The Bucs played stout defense in Philadelphia before losing their focus and allowing Jalen Hurts and the Eagles to make things uncomfortably close. Here comes another young quarterback with superior mobility and a suspect arm.

A Numbers Story

Fields is completing only 53.5 percent of his pass attempts. That’s an astonishingly low success rate and there’s no reason Todd Bowles should implement soft coverages to protect an injury-riddled secondary.

You know how many touchdown passes the Bears have as a team?


Besides his imprecise throws, Fields is a human sack machine. He can hurt you with his legs, but Fields has been sacked 18 times in 99 pass attempts. Tom Brady has been dropped nine times in 267 throws.

“Now it’s like, within that identity, what else do we need to do to complement that, and how are we going to get to that point?” Nagy says. “We’re working through all that. And now we’ve got a big challenge ahead of us in Tampa Bay.”

Chicago’s quest for reliability under center has reached absurd proportions. Since Jim McMahon was traded to the Chargers in 1989, here’s the rogue’s gallery of starting quarterbacks for an iconic franchise:

Mike Tomczak, Jim Harbaugh, Steve Walsh, Erik Kramer, Dave Krieg, Shane Matthews, Cade McNown, Jim Miller, Kordell Stewart, Chad Hutchinson, Kyle Orton, Rex Grossman, Brian Griese, Jay Cutler, Matt Barkley, Mike Glennon, Mitch Trubisky and Fields.

You can’t make this stuff up.

The Bucs are favored by 12 1/2 points and there’s no reason the Bears should score more than 14. Their best running back, David Montgomery, is out with a sprained knee.

Brady, who approaches every matchup like it’s the Super Bowl, enters with extra motivation because he lost track of downs in last year’s sloppy setback at Chicago.

The Bucs were undisciplined that night at Soldier Field and they currently lead the NFL in penalty yardage. Ten of Tampa Bay’s 47 flags are for pass interference, which also tops the league. The Eagles benefited from a pair of DPI flags against the Bucs last week, totaling 95 yards.

Given the sad state of Chicago’s offense, the Bears will need every break they can get Sunday. If Tampa Bay doesn’t provide short fields, penalties and giveaways, Mr. Fields should endure a long day.

And the first 6-1 start in franchise history will be in the books.

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13 Responses to “60 Minutes From Franchise History”

  1. Bird Says:

    If bucs can put up 30 on bears thats a good day. Only the rams have scored 30 or more on them this year

    If quinn is out And banged up mack , we may have a chance
    Cause their pass defense is ranked second in nfl

  2. geno711 Says:

    How many times in their history has Tampa Bay been favored by 12.5.


  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    W will be up by 12 and take a knee at the 5…..

  4. Bucs Win Says:

    31-9 Bucs.

  5. DoooshLaRue Says:

    That all sounds great Ira, but you’ve been a Bucs fan far too long to really think that we will dominate.

    I predict a Bucs’ win but I also predict Fields doubling his TD season total.
    The D lost focus last week, right?

    What makes you think they’ll go in hungry and focused after hearing how much better we are than the Bears.

  6. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Tom Brady is an expert on motivating himself.
    Tom played for Michigan, and the Bears QB Justin Fields is from Ohio State.
    Michigan vs Ohio State is one of the best and oldest rivalries in College Football.
    Honestly, I am surprised Justin Fields is not doing better in the NFL.
    He was an awesome QB when he was at Ohio State who brought his team back from certain defeat many times. I was really surprised he fell so far in the Draft.
    Many in Chicago think Matt Nagy is the problem, and this will probably be his last year.

  7. D-Rome Says:

    You forgot Nick Foles in your forgettable Bears QB list.

    Never mind QBs, have the Bears ever had a bona fide super star at Wide Receiver? Alshon Jeffrey might be the best WR in Bears history.

  8. Cannon Says:

    At this point, the opposition’s best option is to just chuck air ball’s down the field and hope for PI’s against our secondary. Almost worked for Philly…

  9. '79 Defense Says:

    Ira, don’t forget the great Moses Moreno who started a game for the Bears against the Bucs at Soldier Field in 1998.

    I remember the cameras showing a guy in the stands dressed as Moses– not the QB Moses but the one from thousands of years ago– and praying to the heavens for a victory.

  10. R.O. Says:

    I think it’s been divulged that the 2 Down makers were not synched one said it was 3rd down the other 4th down. I would have done the same thing whether i actually knew what down it was or not. Regardless tired of hearing about this.

  11. PSL Bob Says:

    The coaches have go to get that killer instinct. Don’t put your backups in until your up 4 scores. And don’t take a knee on 3 straight downs when you’re sitting near the goal line. Who cares if the opposing team gets mad for running up the score? Score until they can stop you! Let’s go!

  12. Player 1 Says:

    “DoooshLaRue Says:
    October 22nd, 2021 at 10:03 am

    That all sounds great Ira, but you’ve been a Bucs fan far too long to really think that we will dominate.”

    Isn’t Ira a Chiefs fan?

  13. #1bucsfan Says:

    Haha some how the Bucs make back up QBs look like future hall of famers. I hope that’s not the case with this game but IRA you must have started drinking early if you think that the bears offense isn’t going to move the ball against our terrible pass defense.