Matchup Analysis: Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Vegas Prediction

Vegas says: Bears 19, Buccaneers 26

FBG Projections

TeamRushYardsTDCompAttPass YdTDINT

Chicago Bears Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Bears Offense17.0 (-3.2) (20)125 (+32) (8)176 (-44) (21)
Buccaneers Defense0.0 (+0.0) (1)0 (+0) (1)0 (+0) (1)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Buccaneers Offense0.0 (+0.0) (30)0 (+0) (31)0 (+0) (31)
Bears Defense23.0 (+2.8) (23)64 (-28) (13)308 (+87) (29)

Bears Rushing offense

Good matchup vs. the Buccaneers defense.

Tarik Cohen was one of the bright spots in week one as the dynamic running back was used as a receiver and a shifty running back in what was a relative surprise. While it can not be expected that Cohen will average 8.6 yards per touch every week it shows his dynamic ability to change the game each week. Jordan Howard was the most impacted by Cohen’s breakout game as the 2016 second leading rusher saw only 13 carries in this game. This may have been a product of Kyle Long’s injury as the team wanted to run the ball outside the tackles instead of running up the middle with the three-time pro bowl guard.

Despite boasting two tackle-hungry vultures in their front seven, the Buccaneers were routinely gashed by opposing running games in 2016. Of their 16 opponents last year, 12 topped 100 ground yards, so Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen carry a strong Week 2 outlook. Tampa Bay’s front line is built for penetration and pass-rushing and lacks a true nose tackle to control gaps, leaving most of the run-stuffing burden on the linebackers at the second level. It doesn’t help that stud defensive tackle McCoy was slowed late in the preseason by a groin injury. The Bears offensive line may struggle in a vacuum, but even marginal play should create plenty of cutback lanes for Howard to use.

Bears Passing offense

Tough matchup vs. the Buccaneers defense.

The Bears in week one looked better through the air than what we had anticipated going into the season as while Mike Glennon was not great he was a game manager and threw the ball 40 times in this game. The Bears had a tough injury to starting receiver Kevin White which hurts their already thin receiving group. The Bears are going to go with their running backs as their primary receivers it appears as 17 of the 40 targets went to Cohen and Howard in week one and with the White injury expect more of that to continue as with one of the weakest receiving groups in the NFL the Bears are going to have to get creative to get players open as Kendall Wright and Josh Bellamy will likely be the starting wide receivers heading into week two.

Tampa Bay did not play in week one, so we are still working off of 2016 stats for this game. Aside from Derek Carr’s 513-yard Week 8 extravaganza, the Buccaneers performed relatively against the pass in 2016. They ultimately allowed the 11th-most passing yards in football, but that Oakland game skewed the overall rankings a bit. It was encouraging to see that, from Weeks 12-14, they faced Russell Wilson, Philip Rivers, and Drew Brees in succession, yet allowed an average of just 211.0 yards to the trio. With a pass rush on the rise – they registered 38 sacks last seasons and added pocket-pusher Chris Baker to the mix – they could make things chaotic for the Bears offensive line which is currently ranked 22nd without Kyle Long. Tampa Bay also intercepted 17 passes last year, fourth-most in the league. With how weak the wide receivers are for the Bears this should be a prime opportunity for the Buccaneers to have a great game.

Buccaneers Rushing offense

Good matchup vs. the Bears defense.

Presumed lead back Doug Martin will open the year on a three-game suspension, but that doesn’t ding the Tampa Bay running game a bit. The Buccaneers didn’t miss a beat without him in 2016, averaging significantly more yards per game (108.3) and per carry (4.10) without Martin than they did with him (91.0 and 2.98). Jacquizz Rodgers will start the year in his place, and he posted his first whiff of productive running as a Buccaneer fill-in last year. In fact, Rodgers was downright outstanding – over his 7 games of 37 snaps or more, he averaged 92.4 rushing yards. That was more than any featured back in the NFL besides Ezekiel Elliott or LeVeon Bell could boast. He’ll lose much of the passing-game work to Charles Sims, but doesn’t have much competition for rushing duties. The Buccaneers’ offensive line may be a hampering issue, though – our Matt Bitoni ranks them 24th to kick off the season.

The Bears run defense was a significant improvement compared to the 2016 season in week one as this was a group that allowed the sixth most rushing yards per game in 2016 and in week one the Bears were able to hold the prolific rushing attack of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman to just 64 rushing yards in week one. The Bears did have a significant injury as starting linebacker Jerell Freeman was placed on injured reserve after a pectoral injury derailed his season. Replacing Freeman is Christian Jones who has not played regularly since the 2015 season and could be a liability heading into this game. It remains to be seen whether this type of injury will revert the Bears back to the 2016 rushing attack where we saw them as one of the worst in the NFL, or if they will be able to keep up the impressive performance that we saw in week one.

Buccaneers Passing offense

Tough matchup vs. the Bears defense.

Jameis Winston is now well-stocked with dynamic weaponry, so the time is now for him to step into the next quarterbacking tier. But it’s anyone’s guess as to whether that pans out. Winston regressed a bit in his second season, dropping just a bit in adjusted yards per attempt and interception rate. And it’s hard to tell just how much DeSean Jackson’s addition will actually boost his deep game. According to Backyard Blitz’s Deep Ball Project, Winston finished 22nd among regular starters in completion rate on passes of 16 yards or more, and 28th when throwing 20+ yards. Winston threw downfield better as a 2015 rookie, and Jackson’s presence will likely boost those numbers. But it’s hard to have much confidence in major impacts beyond Mike Evans. A true target monster who wins downfield battles left and right, Evans always projects to upper-tier volume, and always boasts a strong touchdown outlook. There’s some sneaky appeal in tight ends Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard as well. The Bears were strong in 2016 containing tight ends last year but in week one were prone to the big play as evidenced by Austin Hooper’s 88 yard touchdown. Brate is a touchdown machine with an underrated rapport with Jameis Winston, while Howard showed well in red zone work during the preseason.

The Bears secondary played well in the season opener outside of a broken play to Austin Hooper for 88 yards. The Bears showed that their 2016 pass defense was not a fluke as it rated out as the 7th best pass defense in terms of yards allowed per game, but they were 17th in terms of adjusted DVOA in 2016. Marcus Cooper had a terrific game matching up against Julio Jones for a significant part of week one. Prince Amukamara missed the season opener, and if he were to play in this game it would improve the secondary as Amukamara graded out as an above average corner in 2016.

Buccaneers vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG) (-17.8) (-17.8) (-14.9) (-15.8)

Mike Glennon (FanDuel: $6600, DraftKings: $4600)

1vs ATL6726402131000014.714.712.512.5
2PROJ-Dodds20332211.2114015.315.315.3 (H=34)15.3 (H=49)
2PROJ-Tremblay21332281.1115015.315.315.3 (H=34)15.3 (H=49)
2PROJ-Bloom233721710.711014.314.314.3 (H=30)14.3 (H=43)

Buccaneers vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG) (-17.5) (-23.2) (-20.2) (-23.7)

Jordan Howard (FanDuel: $7400, DraftKings: $5900)

1vs ATL38135215314012.615.614.115.6
2PROJ-Dodds13580.43190.110.713.712.2 (H=20)13.7 (H=31)
2PROJ-Tremblay15660.43240.1121513.5 (H=24)15.0 (H=36)
2PROJ-Bloom14540.42110.19.511.510.5 (H=15)11.5 (H=23)

Tarik Cohen (FanDuel: $5400, DraftKings: $4100)

1vs ATL28566012847117.325.321.325.3
2PROJ-Dodds10370.24350.29.613.611.6 (H=25)13.6 (H=44)
2PROJ-Tremblay6260.25400.291411.5 (H=25)14.0 (H=47)
2PROJ-Bloom6290.16410.39.415.412.4 (H=29)15.4 (H=55)

Buccaneers vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG) (-18.7) (-30.0) (-24.2) (-30.5)

Kendall Wright (FanDuel: $5400, DraftKings: $3900)

1vs ATL39433400003.
2PROJ-Dodds3480.30006.69.68.1 (H=13)9.6 (H=25)
2PROJ-Tremblay3430.20005.58.57.0 (H=10)8.5 (H=20)
2PROJ-Bloom4410.10004.78.76.7 (H=9)8.7 (H=21)

Josh Bellamy (FanDuel: $4600, DraftKings: $3000)

1vs ATL33432700002.
2PROJ-Dodds2240.1000354.0 (H=4)5.0 (H=10)
2PROJ-Tremblay3410.20005.38.36.8 (H=12)8.3 (H=26)
2PROJ-Bloom3320.10003.86.85.3 (H=7)6.8 (H=18)

Deonte Thompson (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

1vs ATL44211500001.
2PROJ-Dodds11200001.22.21.7 (H=1)2.2 (H=2)
2PROJ-Tremblay2260.10003.25.24.2 (H=5)5.2 (H=11)
2PROJ-Bloom34300004.37.35.8 (H=9)7.3 (H=20)

Markus Wheaton (FanDuel: $4700, DraftKings: $3500)

2PROJ-Dodds000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)
2PROJ-Tremblay000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)
2PROJ-Bloom000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Buccaneers vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG) (-6.5) (-10.8) (-8.7) (-10.9)

Zach Miller (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $2900)

1vs ATL40643903.
2PROJ-Dodds3340. (H=11)8.2 (H=26)
2PROJ-Tremblay4430. (H=16)10.1 (H=37)
2PROJ-Bloom3280. (H=6)6.4 (H=17)

Dion Sims (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $2500)

1vs ATL48323103.
2PROJ-Dodds1160. (H=2)3.2 (H=5)
2PROJ-Tremblay2240. (H=6)5.6 (H=15)
2PROJ-Bloom2210. (H=4)4.7 (H=11)

Buccaneers vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG) (-7.0) (-7.0) (-8.0) (+0.0)

Connor Barth (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $--)

1vs ATL1122557.00.0
2PROJ-Dodds1.41.71.926.16.17.1 (H=13)7.1
2PROJ-Tremblay1. (H=12)6.9

Buccaneers vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG) (-7.4) (-7.4) (-8.6) (-8.6)

Chicago Bears (FanDuel: $4200, DraftKings: $2200)

1vs ATL23.0037220000222.02.0
2PROJ-Dodds24.803772.310.500. (H=14)7.2 (H=27)
2PROJ-Tremblay25.503892.310.600. (H=14)7.2 (H=27)

Bears vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)21 (+3.3)21 (+3.3)20 (+3.0)25 (+5.1)
1Matt Ryan59213032110311021.221.217.920.9

Jameis Winston (FanDuel: $7800, DraftKings: $6300)

2PROJ-Dodds25362731.80.93120.121.721.721.7 (H=52)21.7 (H=65)
2PROJ-Tremblay22362621.813120. (H=50)21.1 (H=62)
2PROJ-Bloom23332591.71.33100. (H=46)20.1 (H=57)

Bears vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)17 (-1.8)17 (-1.5)18 (-1.5)16 (-2.0)
1Devonta Freeman361237122209.911.910.911.9
1Tevin Coleman248160644205.

Jacquizz Rodgers (FanDuel: $6600, DraftKings: $4400)

2PROJ-Dodds15700.5212011.213.212.2 (H=23)13.2 (H=39)
2PROJ-Tremblay13560.321408.810.89.8 (H=15)10.8 (H=28)
2PROJ-Bloom19700.4212010.612.611.6 (H=21)12.6 (H=36)

Charles Sims (FanDuel: $5600, DraftKings: $3900)

2PROJ-Dodds8290.23210. (H=13)9.8 (H=26)
2PROJ-Tremblay8370.3190.1787.5 (H=11)8.0 (H=18)
2PROJ-Bloom3140.14250. (H=10)9.1 (H=23)

Peyton Barber (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

2PROJ-Dodds3120.11602.43.42.9 (H=2)3.4 (H=5)
2PROJ-Tremblay5210.11703.44.43.9 (H=4)4.4 (H=8)

Bears vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)12 (-3.8)14 (-2.1)15 (-2.8)14 (-2.6)
1Julio Jones48546600006.610.68.610.6
1Mohamed Sanu48964700004.710.77.710.7

Mike Evans (FanDuel: $8500, DraftKings: $7700)

2PROJ-Dodds6800.600011.617.614.6 (H=24)17.6 (H=37)
2PROJ-Tremblay6790.600011.517.514.5 (H=24)17.5 (H=36)
2PROJ-Bloom5640.50009.414.411.9 (H=17)14.4 (H=26)

DeSean Jackson (FanDuel: $6700, DraftKings: $4900)

2PROJ-Dodds4560.400081210.0 (H=16)12.0 (H=30)
2PROJ-Tremblay4640.30008.212.210.2 (H=16)12.2 (H=31)
2PROJ-Bloom4600.40008.412.410.4 (H=17)12.4 (H=31)

Adam Humphries (FanDuel: $4900, DraftKings: $3600)

2PROJ-Dodds2220.10002.84.83.8 (H=4)4.8 (H=8)
2PROJ-Tremblay2230.1010354.0 (H=4)5.0 (H=9)
2PROJ-Bloom3310.20004.37.35.8 (H=8)7.3 (H=17)

Chris Godwin (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

2PROJ-Dodds1140.1000232.5 (H=2)3.0 (H=4)
2PROJ-Tremblay1130.10001.92.92.4 (H=2)2.9 (H=4)
2PROJ-Bloom11100001.12.11.6 (H=1)2.1 (H=2)

Bears vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)30 (+12.3)29 (+10.0)30 (+11.1)30 (+12.9)
1Austin Hooper4722128118.820.819.823.8

Cameron Brate (FanDuel: $5300, DraftKings: $3000)

2PROJ-Dodds3310. (H=9)7.9 (H=23)
2PROJ-Tremblay3320.3586.5 (H=9)8.0 (H=24)
2PROJ-Bloom4380. (H=12)9.6 (H=33)

O.J. Howard (FanDuel: $5300, DraftKings: $2900)

2PROJ-Dodds2210. (H=4)5.3 (H=12)
2PROJ-Tremblay2200. (H=4)5.2 (H=11)
2PROJ-Bloom2180.2354.0 (H=4)5.0 (H=11)

Bears vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)23T (+4.0)23T (+4.0)22T (+4.0) (+0.0)
1Matt Bryant3322111112.00.0

Nick Folk (FanDuel: $4600, DraftKings: $--)

2PROJ-Dodds1.722. (H=18)8.8
2PROJ-Tremblay1. (H=22)9.7

Bears vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)13T (-3.4)13T (-3.4)15T (-3.6)15T (-3.6)
1Atlanta Falcons1730140000445.05.0

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3200)

2PROJ-Dodds18.103412.41.10.800.410.310.310.3 (H=25)10.3 (H=35)
2PROJ-Tremblay18.503572.41.10.800.510.810.810.8 (H=27)10.8 (H=38)