Rapid Reaction: Bears 24, Bucs 18
October, 23, 2011
By Michael C. Wright | ESPN.com
AP Photo/Matt DunhamChris Conte registered his first career interception in the Bears' 24-18 win on Sunday.LONDON -- Here's a quick look Chicago’s 24-18 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium:
What it means: The Bears finished their first seven games in 2010 with a 4-3 record, and ended up advancing all the way to the NFC title game. So in addition to giving themselves an opportunity to potentially gain a game in the divisional standings on Detroit, the Bears surely see this victory as a positive omen of what could come after the bye.
No jet lag: The Bears didn’t necessarily put forth a vintage performance, but the team didn’t appear to show any signs of suffering from jet lag.
The Buccaneers arrived early on Monday to get themselves acclimated to the time difference. The Bears, meanwhile, didn’t show up until Thursday night.
It didn’t matter.
Led by a strong performance from Matt Forte, the Bears built a 14-5 halftime lead. Quarterback Jay Cutler completed 8-of-14 for 95 yards in the first half with a touchdown and an interception.
Strong start for OL: The Bears continued their tactics of shorter drops, tight end help and running backs staying in on passes to chip block, with the team benefiting in the first half.
The Buccaneers significantly pressured Cutler in the first half, but the quarterback used his mobility and throwaways to avoid sacks.
Tampa Bay’s Adrian Clayborn zipped into the backfield in the third quarter to finally sack Cutler for a 2-yard loss. The Bears have allowed just one sack in each of the past two games. The team has also given up only one sack in three of the past four outings.
Unlucky 14th: Kicker Robbie Gould came into Sunday’s game having made all 13 of his field goal attempts on the season, but missed a 41-yard try in the third quarter.
Gould is now 50-of-69 in his career on field goal attempts from distances of 40 to 49 yards.
Williams finds end zone: Bears receiver Roy Williams made up for dropping a ball early in the game when he hauled in a 25-yard pass with 7:49 left to play in the opening half. The touchdown was Williams’ first as a Bear, and broke a lengthy scoring drought for the receiver.
Before the game Sunday, Williams hadn’t caught a touchdown pass in 371 days. Williams last scored a touchdown on Oct. 17, 2010, (as a Dallas Cowboy), when the receiver pulled in two scoring grabs against the Minnesota Vikings.
What’s next: The Bears take the week off and are idle next Sunday before travelling to Philadelphia for a Nov. 7 clash against the Eagles on "Monday Night Football."