Staff Picks – Bears @ Bucs – Week 7

Image by Zachary Rosenbaum –

Mike Page 2-4

I’ve noticed a pattern in my Staff Picks entries: analogies to things outside of football. I’ve paralleled parts of this Bears team to literature, soccer, chess, and the Jon Lester acquisition among others. To stay true to form, this game is a David vs. Goliath scenario…in Goliath’s back yard. The only question for most out there is if the Bears will cover the 12.5 point spread because poor little David is going to get curb stomped. Well I say forget them and forget the spread because the Bears are winning for no other reason than this…

Shout out to my guy, Buck, for hitting the nail on the head. David with the slingshot….

Bears 24 – Bucs 23

Ryan Dengel 4-2

Sometimes in the NFL you lose games to inferior teams and sometimes you win games you shouldn’t. On any given Sunday, or Thursday or Monday, you can win or lose. The Bears always have a chance. With that being said, the Bears are going to get spanked by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tom Brady and co. are cruising right now. After playing their third game in 12 days, the Bucs gave up only 99 yards through three quarters to the Eagles’ offense. Eventually they got tired. The Bucs will have been off for 10 days going into a home game against the Bears, they won’t be tired this week. The Bears offense is putrid. This has a making of a slaughter by half-time. 

I love the Chicago Bears, but lately I have been asking myself, why? The organization is dysfunctional and over the last 20+ years, hasn’t done a whole lot to earn our fandom. Last week’s loss to the Packers highlighted the fact that the Bears are a mid-tier organization; good enough to keep people employed, but bad enough to never really go anywhere. Frankly, I’m starting to side with the people that want to see the Bears lose out to hopefully get a fresh start. However, it’s the same organization that hired Marc Trestman, John Fox and Matt Nagy. Woof.  

Bucs 31 – Bears 13

Zachary Rosenbaum 2-4

Last year the Bears beat Tom Brady for the first time ever in team history thanks to Khalil Mack scaring the ever loving crap out of him. The Bears actually kept last week’s game against the Packers close, so I could see them keeping this game competitive. One huge improvement to the Bears seems to be Sean Desai actually calling blitzes and using his all-pro defensive linemen to their highest abilities. A big boost from Chuck Pagano who had the most bullcrap “bend, don’t break” schemes for the D-Line. The D-Linemen have been able to keep the Bears in games, and they’ll need another big performance if they want to stop Tom Brady. If they can rattle him around a bit, they might be able to get out of this one alive. But if Tom can make those throws to get his receivers past the homeless people Ryan Pace has filling out the secondary, The Bucs will probably win. For me, I’m putting my money on the Bucs winning this one. I think the Bears will put up a fight however, and keep things interesting, but I think ultimately they will fail to win.

Fire Jeremy Colliton.

Bucs 32 – Bears 24

Jack Wright 4-2

The Bucs average just over 32 points per game. Meanwhile, the Bears average 16.3 points per game. The Bears offense cannot score points. The Bears will not beat the Tampa Tom’s unless they score more than 20 points (even then a Bear’s victory is unlikely.) So, the Bears will lose – by a lot. It is the easiest week to pick in the history of all picks. Our only hope is that Brady gets confused about 3rd and 4th Down THE ENTIRE GAME. 

I remain in perpetual anticipation of an era in which the Bears sit at the big boy table along with perennially powerful teams. (See also: Ryan’s predictions – 2nd paragraph.)

Bucs 35  –  Bears 16.3

Nick Henderson 4-2

This is an extremely tough week. I’m excited to see Justin go up against the GOAT, but I’m also not excited to see our defense up against that type of weaponry. Our defense has been playing very “bend but eventually break” lately, and I see no reason why that won’t continue. Tom will be Tom, and his new favorite number 1 receiver Antonio Brown will probably have between 70 and 100 yards. I honestly don’t know what to expect from the Bears offense this week. I don’t know who the offensive play caller will be, and I don’t know if that matters. Of course I want to see fireworks from our offense, but it has yet to happen. I do expect our backfield to combine for over 100 yards. One of the few things I appreciate about what I’m seeing this season is the run game. Tom Brady just congratulated Aaron Rodgers on being a shareholder of the Chicago Bears;  He will have to stand behind that type of blatant trash talk, and unfortunately I think he will. I got the Bucs this week 

Bucs 27Bears 17

Mike Oosterwyk 5-1

It’s been a big week off the field for the Bears, with COVID protocols and ill-considered social media posts.

Whilst a fine might be a tad harsh for turning up a minute late to a meeting, however I am actually in Matt Nagy’s corner on this one. The Bears are facing an offensive beast this week and Jaylon Johnson can’t turn up on time?? I mean seriously. As much as it pains me to quote anything Green Bay, Vince Lombardi said it best with his famous “If you are five minutes early, you are already ten minutes late” quote.

It’s high time that this organization stood up for something and held its players (and staff) accountable, and to the standards that it sets.

Always remember the “6 P’s” Jaylon:

Prior planning prevents p**s poor performance.

You’re a talented dude with a bright future. Put this one behind you and show us what you are made of.

Okay, rant over and back to this week’s game.

The Bucs are currently scoring at an average of 32.5 points per game (3rd in the league), and Brady continues to defy father time and any logical explanation as to how he can still be this good. Sorry folks, this one could turn ugly.

Unfortunately, the only chance the Bears have of winning this week is if Tom Brady has a monumental brain fade as he did last time he faced the Bears when he forgot which down it was.

Don’t “count” on it folks.

Buccaneers 34 – Bears 18

Sean Fox 3-3

As Justin Fields continues to develop, games like this upcoming trip to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers will be a great barometer of his progress. Tampa has had an awful season with regard to the health of their secondary. After losing a couple of starting CBs, Tampa has Safety Antoine Winfield Jr., questionable due to a concussion and lost Richard Sherman for at least this week due to a hamstring injury. In a game that will likely have the Bears playing from behind, Fields will be asked to throw on this porous secondary a lot. If he can rise to the challenge and show more consistency, the Bears may be able to keep it close.

The Bears defense continues to look tough week in and week out, but they’ll be facing their toughest opponent since the LA Rams, Week 1. The Bucs lost Antonio Brown this week and are still unsure of Rob Gronkowski’s availability for this week’s game. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are still stud WRs who will be the most important playmakers the Bears D will have to key on this week. Leonard Fournette has looked pretty good the last few weeks too, so this Bears D will have its hands full on the ground and through the air. Oh yeah, and Tom Brady.

I’d love to see the Bears hang in there and keep this game close. As was the case last year, this could be one of those weird Bears games where they steal one out of nowhere. While I’d love to see that happen, the Bucs are humming along right now and Brady looks as good as ever. On top of that, this game is in Tampa Bay meaning there won’t be any sort of Bears weather advantage like last season. The Bucs are a huge 11.5 favorite in this one, but I feel like the Bears will have enough fight in them to cover.

Bucs 30 – Bears 20

Luke O’Grady 3-3

Bears can’t really roll on offense enough to beat these Bucs and Tom Brady.

Bucs are pretty injured on offense, but I’m still not sure it will be enough to even the playing field.

Bears cover, though. 

Bucs 31 – Bears 21

Corie Walsh 3-3

I will never ever forget the image of Tom Brady holding up his 4 little measly fingers after miscalculating the downs at the end of the Bears win over the Bucs last year. Watching our defense put the hammer down and eking out a win was just plain fun. There’s even a moment in the game where the camera pans to Brady on the sideline and he’s absolutely eviscerating his offensive line for allowing Mack and Co. to penetrate on just about every single down. Unfortunately, I don’t see a confused Brady 2.0 happening on Sunday. Besides the fact that Brady is likely on an absolute mission to make sure he makes up for that game against us, I once again don’t foresee our offense being able to capitalize efficiently enough to outscore the Buccaneer offense. Maybe if the defense can get a pick 6 or two, we’ll be in contention. I’ll be rooting for that in my heart, but my head’s telling a different story. 

Bucs 27 – Bears 20

Logan Bradley 5-1

Hey, look! The Chicago Bears are only the third-largest underdog of the week!

At this point, all you can do is predict the Bears results on feel. You have to sit down and picture the level of disappointment or surprise you’ll feel come gametime. So there I am, sitting down at 3:25 (I’ve already been sitting for 3.5 hours, let’s be honest) after losing four of my five bets during the noon slate. I’ve already been plenty disappointed, so I’d assume my expectations for the Bears will be low. With that in mind, usually the Bears will surprise me just a bit and play well.

Well enough to win? No. As many have mentioned, I’m sure Tom Brady remembers the L he took last year at Soldier Field. Now in Tampa Bay, I have full confidence that, despite a rough secondary, the Bucs are going to be able to take care of Justin Fields and company. However, I think the defense shows up enough to cover this large 13-point spread. I’m feeling a closer game than others.

Buccaneers 34, Bears 24

Brendan Sugrue 6-0

I don’t think Tom Brady ever had an axe to grind with the Bears. I mean, why would he? When he was with the Patriots, he dominated in each game they played every four years. But Brady was embarrassed last year in his first season with the Bucs when he lost to the Bears 20-19. That meme of him holding up four fingers and looking more confused than he has in his entire career has followed him for the last year. Now he gets his chance for revenge and you can be sure he has this game circled.

There’s a lot going against the Bears in this game that goes beyond Brady, though. The Buccaneers have a stout run defense, allowing just 54.8 yards on the ground per game. For a Bears team that has relied on establishing the run early, that’s going to be a major problem. Tampa Bay does have a weakened secondary but brings a lot of pressure to the opposing quarterback. Justin Fields will have to get the ball out quickly to have success, something he’s struggled with so far early in his career.

This is the gauntlet of the Bears’ schedule. We knew this stretch would be tough and they were likely to drop these games against legendary quarterbacks. The issue is, this isn’t going to be as close as the Packers game last week. Brady will have his way against the Bears and probably count to four at some point. The only thing different will be that he’ll have that famous smile to go with it. 

Buccaneers 31 – Bears 17

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