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Week 4 Game Recap: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10, Chicago Bears 48
What you need to know
Fitzpatrick was benched for Winston after the 1st half. OJ Howard left in the 2nd quarter with a sprained MCL and is expected to miss 2-4 weeks. Ronald Jones was activated for the first time this season.
Everyone was riding high on Tampa Bay and FitzMagic through the first 3 weeks, but it was the Bears who were putting together the better season. It was a blowout from the beginning with Mitchell Trubisky
leading the charge. The second-year quarterback established a new career high with 6 touchdown passes and amassed over 350 yards on 19 completions. The run game was not very effective this week with Trubisky tying the team lead in rush yards on just 3 carries. Tarik Cohen
was the hot hand and Jordan Howard
took a back seat this week. The Bears defense created 3 turnovers (all interceptions) and sacked both Ryan Fitzpatrick
and Jameis Winston
2 times each. This was an all-around dominant performance for a team that could have easily been 4-0 had it not been for a bad second half against Green Bay earlier in the season. The Bears have a Bye next week before traveling to Miami to take on the Dolphins in week 6.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|QB Jameis Winston, 35 offensive snaps, Pass: 16 - 20 - 145 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 1 - 7 - 0|
Winston got the nod in the second half after Fitzpatrick struggled mightily. Winston wasn't much better as Kalil Mack and the Chicago D kept him scrambling for his life on most plays. Winston did complete an impressive 80% of his passes, but his yards per completion were pretty abysmal. Winston completed his first three pass attempts for short gains to Humphries, including a short completion to convert 4th and 1 from midfield. After two more completions to Evans and Humphries, Winston's pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage by Khalil Mack and intercepted by Danny Trevathan. Winston had a nice 7 yard scramble to pick up a 1st down in the 3rd quarter. He found Brate in the end zone early in the 4th quarter, capping a lengthy drive that saw short completions to Evans, Jackson, and Humphries. Winston ended the game on an ugly note, dropping back with less than 2 minutes left and throwing the ball right into the breadbasket of a waiting defender who had dropped back into zone coverage. The Bucs have announced that Winston will start in week 6 after their week 5 bye.
Fitzpatrick was reportedly nearly benched in week 3 after his 3 interceptions on 3 consecutive pass attempts, and Coach Koetter had enough by halftime of week 4, yanking Fitzy for Jameis Winston
. Fitzpatrick struggled to get the ball out as Kalil Mack and the Chicago front 7 applied constant pressure. Fitzpatricks' biggest play was a 48 yard gain in the 1st quarter on a deep crossing route to Desean Jackson. Fitzpatrick found Brate for a touchdown late in the 2nd quarter, but the tight end was flagged for pushing off on his defender on the play. Fitzpatrick tossed an interception on the very next play, telegraphing a curl route to Mike Evans
that was undercut by a defender. Winston managed a touchdown and two interceptions after relieving Fitzpatrick. The Bucs have since announced that Winston will start in week 6 after the week 5 bye.
|RB Ronald Jones II, 20 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 29 - 0, Rec: 1 - -1 - 0 (2 targets)|
Jones entered the game after Peyton Barber
and got less snaps, but he did out-touch the starter 11-8. Neither back had much of a chance as the Bucs fell behind immediately and had to try to throw the ball. Jones managed a team high 29 yards rushing. He secured a check down pass out in the 2nd quarter but was tackled behind the line of scrimmage on his only reception of the day.
|RB Peyton Barber, 31 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 24 - 0, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (2 targets)|
Barber got the start but was out-touched 11-8 by Ronald Jones after the rookie was activated for the first time this season. Barber did out-snap Jones, but managed just 24 yards on his 7 carries. He caught a short checkdown pass from Winston late in the 3rd quarter for a short gain. It looks like Jones may get the start next week.
Rodgers played special teams and limited offensive snaps in relief of Barber and Jones. He did not record any offensive stats but he did recover a Ryan Fitzpatrick
strip-sack fumble in the 2nd quarter.
|WR Mike Evans, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 59 - 0 (9 targets)|
Evans led the team again in targets with 9, but didn't benefit from the Bucs falling behind early. He reeled in a curl route with defenders draped over his back for a short gain in the 1st. Evans had a bad drop on a wide open post route later in the quarter. Evans lined up tight in the slot and caught a short slant from Winston in the 3rd quarter. Evans made nice leaping catch over two defenders on a deep comeback route later in the 3rd. Winston hit him on a skinny post for a 17 yard gain on the next drive, Evans' longest catch of the day. Evans secured two more short catches up the left seam during the Bucs' final drive of the 4th quarter, but Winston just couldn't push the ball downfield to him for any big plays.
Humphries drew his largest target total of the season but converted 6 of the 7 looks into just 36 yards total. He caught Fitzpatricks' first pass of the day for a loss on a bubble screen. Humphries caught Winston's first three pass attempts of the season after the QB entered the game in the 2nd half, including a short reception to convert 4th and 1. Humphries hauled in another short gain on a crossing route a couple of plays later as Winston worked the short passing game. His longest reception of the day was a bubble screen that gained 11 yards on 3rd and 17 in the 3rd quarter.
Jackson benefited the most from the game script after the Bucs fell behind early in the contest. Jackson was second only to Evans(9) with his 8 targets, and he was the only receiver able to get open for big plays downfield. He hauled in an out route from the slot for a nice gain and a 3rd down conversion in the 1st quarter. Jackson lined up wide left and got all kinds of open on a deep crossing route later in the same drive. Fitzpatrick hit him in stride and Jackson racked up 48 yards with nice run after the catch. Jackson had another huge gain down the left sideline late in the 2nd quarter. Chicago challenged the ruling that he had kept both feet in bounds by securing the catch, but the ruling was upheld. Jackson grabbed another quick slant route late in the 4th quarter from Winston.
|WR Chris Godwin, 31 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 22 - 0 (2 targets)|
Godwin got his usual snaps in the receiver rotation, but didn't draw a target until securing a couple of 11 yard gains from Winston in the 4th quarter, the second one converting 4th and 3 and taking Tampa Bay into the Chicago red zone.
|TE Cameron Brate, 37 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 29 - 1 (4 targets)|
Brate was involved in the passing game before OJ Howard left with an injury, and saw an uptick in targets after his fellow tight end went down. Brate caught a check down pass on a crossing route in the 1st quarter, coming up well short of a long 3rd down marker. Fitzpatrick found him for a touchdown near the end of the 2nd quarter, but Brate was flagged for pushing off on his defender in the end zone. Brate caught a short curl route from Winston in the 3rd quarter. Winston found Brate in the end zone early in the 4th quarter, with the tight end taking a big hit to the back while stretching out for the high pass. Brate held on for the touchdown but had to take a knee for a couple of minutes before popping up and limping off the field. Fellow tight end Howard left in the second quarter with a sprained MCL, and could miss up to 4 weeks, freeing up extra targets and snaps for Brate.
Auclair mixed into the tight end rotation sparingly in the first half, then saw some exrtra snaps in the second after Howard left with a ,nee injury. He caught his only target in the first quarter for a short gain on a curl route.
Fitzpatrick overthrew Howard in the end zone at the end of the 1st quarter. Howard nearly secured a nice gain on a deep post in the 2nd quarter, but Fitzpatrick again overthrew him. Howard left before the second half with a knee injury. He was diagnosed with a sprained MCL and could miss up to four weeks. Brate could see extra targets and red zone looks with Howard out.
|QB Mitchell Trubisky, 59 offensive snaps, Pass: 19 - 26 - 354 - 6 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 53 - 0|
After hearing about nothing but Ryan Fitzpatrick
and the uncertain quarterback situation in Tampa, all Trubisky did was go out and set a career high in touchdown passes. He lit up a Tampa defense that had done a good job hiding its holes to this point. His first touchdown was a 39-yard bomb to Trey Burton
deep down the right sideline. The ball was thrown in a perfect spot for a sliding Burton and it gave no chance for any deep coverage to come over and make a play. Trubisky benefitted from Burton's coverage falling down but at least he saw the wide open tight end this time. The second touchdown was another well-placed ball to Allen Robinson
. After a hard cut in, Robinson ran towards the back corner of the end zone and caught a well thrown fade for 14 yards. The third touchdown was about as easy as they come to Tarik Cohen
. A simple wheel route up the seam was left wide open after the slot receiver cleared the linebacker out on a crossing route. Cohen was never touched on the 9-yard score. The 4th touchdown was a well-placed ball to Josh Bellamy
down the left sideline. Bellamy found the soft spot in the zone and Trubisky put the ball right on him for another easy touchdown. The 5th and 6th touchdowns came to Taylor Gabriel
. The first was a shovel pass to Gabriel in motion and he took it off the corner for the score. The Bears had lined up in a power bunch set and Tampa was caught off guard when the ball went to the outside. The final touchdown was an absolute dart throw to Gabriel on a quick out for the final touchdown. Trubisky also carried the ball and tied for the team lead in rushing yards this week. He had a 26-yard designed run off the edge that helped setup his 5th touchdown pass to Gabriel. With all of the weapons the Bears went out to get for Trubisky he should be able to have games like this. With a Bye week they should be able to put together a solid game plan for the Dolphins in week 6.
|RB Tarik Cohen, 29 offensive snaps, Rush: 13 - 53 - 0, Rec: 7 - 121 - 1 (8 targets)|
has been the work horse for the Bears, but Cohen had the hot hand today and the Bears rode him to victory. Cohen led the team in total touches and yards this week with most of the damage coming through the passing game. His longest rush was 19 yards and helped setup the game's second touchdown. Cohen took the ball off the right end and was pushed out of bounds before he could cut back in for more yards. The rushing split between Cohen and Howard (13 to 11) was very close, but Cohen really set himself apart in the passing game. He hauled in a 9-yard touchdown right in the middle of the field. He ran a wheel route out of the back field and the coverage picked up the wrong inside man and the outside corner was late getting over in coverage. It was an easy pitch and catch for the touchdown and Cohen was not even touched before crossing the goal line. He caught 7 of his 8 targets and had another big play of 35 yards to set the Bears up with a 1st and goal from the 4-yard line. After a false start pushed them back 5 yards, he was rewarded on the next play with his 9-yard touchdown catch. Howard is going to end the season with more rushing attempts, but Cohen clearly established himself as the passing down back this week.
|RB Jordan Howard, 33 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 25 - 0 (1 targets)|
With this game turning to a blowout very quickly, you would think the game flow would work in favor of Howard. However, the Bears kept their foot on the gas the entire game and gave carries to Tarik Cohen
who was having the better game. Howard's power running style is normally great to chew up time, but they went with the quicker Cohen this week. Howard was out touched 20 to 11 by Cohen this week and had 149 fewer yards. He had 1 rush of 11 yards right up the gut but could not find any room to run outside of that. Howard was targeted in the passing game just once and was unable to haul in that target. This was a very down week for Howard, but he should see his usage increase over the course of the season. He has been a workhorse during his tenure in Chicago and one good game from Cohen is not going to change that.
|WR Taylor Gabriel, 48 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 10 - 0, Rec: 7 - 104 - 2 (7 targets)|
After a very modest start to the season, Gabriel broke out in a big way this week against Tampa. He hauled in 2 separate 3-yard touchdown catches and had big catches of 30 and 33 yards. Gabriel caught all 7 of his targets this week and played a bigger role in the offense than he has in any other game this season. His 33-yard reception was a pass deep down the right sideline. The play prior he had run the same route and his corner was called for defensive holding. The Bears must have seen something they liked as they went back to the same play for the big gain. They ran a similar play for his 33-yard catch and again targeted Tampa deep down the left side. His first touchdown catch came on a shovel pass that he took off the end for an easy touchdown. The Bears lined up in a bunch formation and looked like they were going to try and power the ball up the middle. Gabriel ran across the formation and took the forward pitch from Trubisky for an easy touchdown. His second touchdown was a quick out that Trubisky threw a dart right to his chest. Gabriel's first step created enough separation for Trubisky to fit the ball in and then it was an easy 3-yard sprint into the end zone.
With everyone else in the receiving core having a good game, Robinson had to get in on the action as well. He caught 2 of his 4 targets and did not have anywhere near the same yards as other receivers, but he did walk away with a touchdown. Trubisky threw a fade to Robinson in the corner of the end zone. Robinson made a hard in cut and created just enough separation from his man to catch the ball thrown perfectly out in front of him for 13 yards. This was the second touchdown of the game for the Bears and from there his services were not really needed. Robinson is still the top receiving option for the Bears, but with the success for Cohen and Gabriel this week he was not really needed.
|WR Josh Bellamy, 9 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 20 - 1 (1 targets)|
There is no fantasy relevance to Bellamy long term this season, but he did manage to make 1 big play this week. He had a 20-yard touchdown catch to put the Bears up 28-3 early in the second quarter. The Bears went play action despite not having much success running the ball and Bellamy found himself wide open down the left sideline. He slipped right into the void in Tampa's zone coverage. Trubisky evaded the pass rush and threw a high arcing ball right to Bellamy who walked into the end zone untouched. The Bears brought in an entirely new receiving core for Trubisky, but Bellamy does not figure to play a big role in that.
|TE Trey Burton, 45 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 86 - 1 (4 targets)|
It is not very often that you see a tight end making 40+ yard catches, but Burton hauled in a 47-yard and 39-yard catch this week. He was playing with a lights out Mitchell Trubisky
and took his 39 yarder in for a touchdown on the game's first drive. Trubisky took the ball 26 yards off the right end and then on the very next play launched a deep pass to a sliding Burton down the right sideline. Burton ran a wheel route and his defender fell in coverage, leaving him wide open down the side line. It was a beautifully thrown ball that only Burton could make a play on. Had Trubisky thrown it any higher or further out in front of Burton, the safety could have come over and made a play. The 47-yard pass helped to setup the 20-yard Bellamy touchdown and was a long catch and run by Burton. He found the opening in the zone and had he kept running down the sideline rather than cut it inside he could have gained more yards and possibly scored. Burton is thriving as the top receiving option at tight end in Chicago after playing behind Zach Ertz