In a battle of the last jet-lagged team standing, the Chicago Bears beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 24-18.
It wasn’t a pretty win.
The Bears jumped on the board first with a touchdown by running back Matt Forte at the 8:42 mark in the first quarter. Four minutes later, Forte got tackled by Ronde Barber in the end zone and Tampa grabbed two points from a safety.
Bears’ wide receiver Roy Williams managed to show up and got his first touchdown wearing blue and orange in the second quarter. He led the team in receiving for the day, going 4 for 59 yards.
After a field goal by the Buccaneers, the Bears entered halftime ahead 14-5.
The second half would be less interesting for the Bears and at the end, a nailbiter.
In the third quarter, the Bears scored with a touchdown by running back Marion Barber. With a 21-5 lead, the Bears were looking good. But not so fast.
Kicker Robbie Gould missed a 41-yarder in the third quarter. Would this come back to bite them?
Many wondered as the wheels started coming off in the fourth quarter for the Bears.
With the Bucs nipping on their heels at the end of the game after scoring two touchdowns and making it a 21-18 game with 7:17 remaining, the Bears desperately needed a touchdown to put the win in the bag.
It wasn’t going to be easy but Gould stepped up and got the Bears ahead by three with 1:55 remaining.
It was a good thing considering the Bears failed six consecutive times to score from inside the red zone, including five plays within the 10-yard line. Once again, the Bears defense stepped up after cornerback D.J. Moore intercepted Tampa Bay’s quarterback Josh Freeman for a fourth time in the game at the 37-second mark.
A sigh of relief could be heard by all.
Once again, Matt Forte had Bears fans–really football fans–wondering why he hasn’t been given a hefty contract extension.
Forte had 25 carries for 145 yards and one touchdown (cha-ching, listen to that cash register).
Prior to Sunday’s game, Forte had a league-high 908 combined yards rushing and receiving and had two catches in Sunday’s game for 38 yards, to increase his overall total to 1,089 yards. With these numbers, it is the first time since 2004 that a player (Priest Holmes and Tiki Barber) after seven games has surpassed 1,000 yards.
Cutler didn’t have a great game going 17 of 32, 226 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He didn’t attribute his poor second-half play to travel; the team arrived in London on Friday.
“You know, the travel and all that had nothing to do with the football game,” Cutler said. “We could have gotten here yesterday. It’s a matter of going out and executing, limiting turnovers. That’s what wins football games, not getting here a week early or three days. It has nothing to do with it.”
Freeman went 29 of 51 for 264 yards with two touchdowns.
On the defensive side, the Bears intercepted Freeman four times and Charles Tillman led the team with 10 tackles.
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Written by Debbie Baratz