Justin Fields

4 Takeaways from the Chicago Bears’ 27-17 loss to Buccaneers

The Chicago Bears lost Week 2’s game to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 27-17, in another uninspiring performance by the offense and a defense that surrendered over 300 passing yards to Tampa Bay quarterback Baker Mayfield.

In some ways, Sunday’s loss was worse than Week 1’s horrendous showing against the Green Bay Packers. At least there were some built-in excuses, like rust in the opener. That wasn’t the case against the Buccaneers, but the results were similar.

The Bears drop to 0-2 with Sunday’s loss and are staring down the barrel of a Week 3 game against the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. It’s safe to assume Chicago will be a massive underdog in that one.

So, what now for the Bears? The season feels like it’s already come off the rails, and more questions than answers have arisen after two games.

Here are the five biggest takeaways from Week 2’s loss to the Buccaneers.

Justin FieldsThe Bears’ offensive line is horrendous

The Chicago Bears’ offensive line is one of the most disappointing storylines that’s developed after two games.

Braxton Jones is playing more like a fifth-rounder this year than he did as a rookie in 2022, and Darnell Wright continues to struggle with speed rushers. With Teven Jenkins and Nate Davis out of the lineup Sunday, the pressure on Justin Fields was relentless.

Tampa Bay recorded six sacks in what was another game that Bears fans were left hoping that Fields simply wouldn’t get hurt.

Justin FieldsJustin Fields ran hot and cold

Justin Fields was inconsistent on Sunday, which may be the nicest way to describe his game. When he was decisive and confident with his throws, he threw darts to DJ Moore and Chase Claypool. But when there was any hesitation in his processing or a pass rush in his face, his passes were erratic and, at times, dangerous.

Fields finished the game 16-of-29 for 211 yards, one touchdown, and an interception. He only ran the ball four times for three yards.

A complete review of Fields’ game can’t be done until the All-22 is studied, but on first look, he didn’t have the performance Bears fans hoped for. There were plenty of head-scratching calls by offensive coordinator Luke Getsy again, but Fields didn’t do his part to elevate the offense. It’s becoming a problem.

Chicago BearsMatt Eberflus didn’t fix the Bears’ defense

Matt Eberflus was in charge of the defense on Sunday while defensive coordinator Alan Williams remains away from the team dealing with a personal matter. There was hope that with Eberflus calling plays, the pass rush would come alive. It didn’t happen.

The Chicago Bears didn’t record a sack on Baker Mayfield, who threw for 318 yards and one touchdown.

The lack of pass rush had a negative trickle-down effect on the secondary. Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans had six catches for 171 yards and a touchdown.

There doesn’t appear to be an answer to the Bears’ pass rush problem. Chicago has one sack through two games. Embarrassing.

Justin FieldsWhat’s the Chicago Bears’ identity?

One of the worst things about this Bears’ team, and the Bears teams in recent years, is that there doesn’t seem to be an identity on either side of the ball. It was a problem under Matt Nagy, and it’s a problem now under Matt Eberflus.

Chicago doesn’t commit to an aggressive passing game. They don’t commit to a physical ground game. There’s no commitment to an assault on the quarterback with blitz packages, and there aren’t any enforcers or heavy hitters on defense. 

It’s a team without a personality, and that usually starts at the top with the coaching staff. I’ve been an avid supporter of Eberflus since his hire; I believe in coaches who are good teachers with a high football IQ. But he’s beginning to lose the benefit of the doubt that every new hire has. 

The Chicago Bears need to unleash Justin Fields as a runner or downfield passer. And if they don’t, they need to establish a between-the-tackles running game and stick with it. 

It’s time to give Bears fans something they can rally around and count on every week. 


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