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Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Chicago Bears Pick & Prediction OCT 8TH 2020

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Logo Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Logo Chicago Bears

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Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will go for their fourth win in a row when they visit the Chicago Bears on Thursday night.


The 43-year-old Brady is coming off his best performance since joining the Buccaneers as a free agent during the offseason. He threw for 369 yards and five touchdowns in a win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, which improved Tampa Bay's record to 3-1 to stay atop the NFC South.


Through four games, Brady has thrown for 1,122 yards, 11 touchdowns and four interceptions. He is No. 2 in NFL history in passing yards (75,693) and touchdowns (552), trailing Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints in both categories.


"How can you not believe in him?" Tampa Bay wide receiver Scotty Miller said. "He's the greatest to ever do it. We just needed to go in there and follow his lead. We know he's gonna get the job done, so we've just gotta do what we do and help him out a little bit."


Chicago enters with a 3-1 record, as well, one game back of the Green Bay Packers for the top spot in the NFC North. The Bears opened the season with three straight wins before losing 19-11 against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 4.


In that loss, Bears quarterback Nick Foles threw for 249 yards and one touchdown in his first start since replacing Mitchell Trubisky in the second half one week earlier. Foles remains the starter heading into Thursday's prime-time matchup.


Bears coach Matt Nagy is hoping for a more cohesive performance on offense after an inconsistent start to the season. The Bears are No. 24 in the league in total offense with an average of 343.3 yards per game, and they are No. 25 in scoring with 21.3 points per game.


By contrast, Tampa Bay is No. 16 in offense (371.5 yards) and No. 8 in scoring (30.0 points).


Running back Ronald Jones has emerged to bring balance to the Buccaneers' offense, a mission the Bears have not been able to achieve in 2020.


"It's about being decisive," Brady said of Jones. "There's a lot of things that are happening very quickly and you've got to make good decisions. ... When you play aggressive, you play with your (maximum) ability. If you're not sure (or) you're in between, it's no good. I think being decisive and watching Ro run like he has this year -- and watching Leonard (Fournette) run, watching Ke'Shawn (Vaughn) run -- they can be very decisive because they trust the line, they know when to make their cut, they're in a good position to get downhill in the running game and then be decisive and run through the holes and really attack the defense. Ro's been doing a great job of that all year."


On the defensive side, Tampa Bay is fourth in the league in allowing only 312.0 yards per game, while Chicago is No. 8 in total defense with an average of 345.3 yards allowed.


The Bears' defense is run by Tampa head coach Bruce Arians' former boss in Indy, Chuck Pagano. Arians filled in as Colts head coach on an interim basis when Pagano underwent cancer treatment and today Arians says Pagano is "like my brother from the West Coast. I hate going against friends."


Injuries have hit Tampa Bay more than Chicago through the first quarter of the season.


Veteran tight end O.J. Howard tore his Achilles tendon last week for the Buccaneers and was placed on injured reserve, which could mean a bigger role for Rob Gronkowski going forward.


Four other receivers -- Mike Evans (ankle), Chris Godwin (hamstring), Miller (hip/groin) and Justin Watson (chest) -- are dealing with injuries that kept them out of practice to start the week. Running back Leonard Fournette (ankle) is a question mark after missing Week 4.


As for Chicago, health is less of a concern, although top pass rusher Khalil Mack was listed as a limited participant in practice to start the week because of a sore knee. A pair of defensive backs, Deon Bush and Sherrick McManis, did not participate because of hamstring injuries.


Wideout Allen Robinson said the Bears can't afford to exhale.


"We've got a good team coming in here in Tampa Bay that's playing well right now, that's starting to heat up a little bit," Robinson said. "Again, we have to take on the challenge. We have to come here and play better."


--Field Level Media


Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Chicago Bears

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Chicago Bears

Cairo Santos kicked a 38-yeard field goal with 1:13 remaining, lifting the Chicago Bears to a 20-19 victory over the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night.

Nick Foles completed 30 of 42 passes for 243 yards, one touchdown and one interception for Chicago (4-1). David Montgomery rushed for a touchdown, Jimmy Graham had a receiving score, and Khalil Mack has two sacks for the Bears.

Tom Brady connected on 25 of 41 passes for 253 yards and one touchdown and Ryan Succop kicked four goals for Tampa Bay (3-2), which had a three-game winning streak halted.

Ronald Jones II rushed for 106 yards on 17 carries, Mike Evans caught a touchdown pass and Carlton Davis notched his third interception of the season for the Buccaneers.

Tampa Bay outgained Chicago 339 yards to 243. The Bears had a meager 35 yards on the ground, but wideout Allen Robinson caught 10 passes for 90 yards.

Trailing 19-17, the Bears took over on their own 48-yard line with 2:21 remaining and Foles soon converted a third-and-9 by hitting Anthony Miller for 10 and a first down at the Tampa Bay 41 with 1:50 left. Two plays later, he lofted a 17-yard completion to Montgomery that moved the ball to the 25, setting up Santos' decisive field goal.

Brady and the Buccaneers took over in search of a game-winning field-goal attempt. However, on fourth-and-6 from the Tampa Bay 41, Brady's pass for Cameron Brate was broken up by DeAndre Houston-Carson with 33 seconds left to seal it.

Brady lost track of the downs and was expecting another play before an official explained to him that the club was out of downs. Chicago then ran out of the clock.

Succop kicked a 46-yard field goal with 9:04 left in the third quarter as Tampa Bay took a 16-14 lead. The Bears haven't scored a point in the third quarter this season.

Santos booted a 47-yard field goal to give the Bears a 17-16 lead with 10:34 left in the contest.

Earlier, the Bears scored two touchdowns late in the first half to grab a 14-13 lead.

Montgomery scored from the 3 with 1:48 left for Chicago's first rushing touchdown of the season. The Bears got the ball back when Kyle Fuller's hard hit dislodged the ball from Ke'Shawn Vaughn and Chicago's Robert Quinn recovered at the Tampa Bay 27, setting up Foles' 12-yard touchdown pass to Graham.

Brady threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Evans and Succop kicked field goals of 39 and 35 yards, guiding the Buccaneers to a 13-0 lead in the middle of the second quarter.

--Field Level Media

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