Last Chance to Beat Brady's Bunch: BEARS vs. BUCCANEERS - October 8, 2020

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Last Chance to Beat Brady’s Bunch: BEARS vs. BUCCANEERS – October 8, 2020

Chicago Bears

One of my least favorite “fun” facts about football is that the Chicago Bears have never beaten Tom Brady.

Brady’s numbers against Chicago are exactly what you’d expect from someone considered to be the Greatest of All Time: 70.4% completion rate, 319 yards per game, 14 TD, 4 INT, 109.2 passer rating, 5-0 record.

And in an alternate universe, the Bears wouldn’t get another opportunity to put one in the win column against Brady.

Another timeline exists in which Brady becomes the Bears’ QB1 for the 2020 season. Chicago pursued Brady and were reportedly a finalist to sign him in free agency. It turns out the Bears actually made Brady an offer. But because he didn’t want to spend another winter playing in the cold, Brady ultimately spurned the Bears’ advances and picked Tampa Bay.

That’s right. The best to ever do it considered doing it for a franchise that is so quarterback starved, we’re already looking at draft options. Just our luck. Instead, Bears fans will rally around Nick Foles tonight in hopes he can re-capture the Super Bowl LII magic in what might be the last chance to beat Brady.

“Never Tell Me The Odds”

The DraftKings SportsBook lists the Bears (3-1) as 3.5-point underdogs against the Buccaneers (3-1). Over/under: 44.

Series History:

The Bears lead the all-time series 39-20. Remember, this happened the last time they played:

Game Time, Broadcast Info, Officiating Crew:

Location: Soldier Field

Broadcast Info: Thursday, October 8 at 7:20 p.m. CT on FOX-TV and NFL Network (Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews, Kristina Pink), Amazon Prime (Hannah Storm, Andrea Kremer), WBBM-AM 780 and WCFS-FM 105.9 (Jeff Joniak, Tom Thayer, Mark Grote), Westwood One (Kevin Harlan, Tony Boselli)

Referee: Alex Kemp

Expected Starters and Lineups:

Bears Expected Starters:

Offense

•   QB Nick Foles
•   RB David Montgomery
•   WRs Allen Robinson II, Ted Ginn Jr.
•   TE Jimmy Graham, Demetrius Harris
•   LT Charles Leno Jr., LG James Daniels, C Cody Whitehair, RG Germain Ifedi, RT Bobby Massie

Defense

•   DT Akiem Hicks, NT Bilal Nichols, DE Roy Robertson-Harris
•   OLBs Khalil Mack, Robert Quinn
•   ILBs Roquan Smith, Danny Trevathan
•   CBs Kyle Fuller, Jaylon Johnson
•   FS Eddie Jackson
•   SS Tashaun Gipson Sr.

Specialists

•   Cairo Santos (kicker), Pat O’Donnell (punter, holder), Patrick Sales (long snapper), Cordarrelle Patterson (kick returns), Ted Ginn Jr. (punt returns)

Buccaneers Expected Starters:

Offense

•   QB Tom Brady
•   RB Ronald Jones II
•   WRs Mike Evans, Scotty Miller
•   TEs Rob Gronkowski, Cameron Brate
•   LT Donovan Smith, LG Ali Marpet, C Ryan Jensen, RG Alex Cappa, RT Tristan Wirfs

Defense

•   DE Ndamukong Suh, NT Vita Vea, DE William Gholston Justin Houston
•   OLBs Shaquil Barrett, Jason Pierre-Paul
•   ILBs Devin White, Lavonte David
•   CBs Carlton Davis, Sean Murphy-Bunting
•   Ss Antoine Winfield Jr., Jordan Whitehead

Specialists

•   Ryan Succop (kicker), Bradley Pinion (punter, holder), Zach Triner (long snapper), Jaydon Mickens (kick and punt returns)

Three Bears …

Brent Urban owns the fourth best run-defense grade among interior defenders, according to Pro Football Focus. That’s surprising and impressive. Perhaps the Bears should utilize him on more than just 26.9 percent of the defense’s snaps. Urban has just 76 defensive plays under his belt, but he has made the most of them. Time to bump that work-load and stop Ronald Jones II.

Darnell Mooney is on the cusp of a huge opportunity. With Allen Robinson figuring to get extra attention from the Buccaneers secondary, Mooney is well-positioned to get one-on-one matchups on the other side of the field. Anthony Miller was getting these chances earlier, but the inconsistencies in his game haven’t smoothed out just yet. And if the Bears stick with two-receiver sets, Mooney might out-snap Miller. If that happens, it’ll be the rookie from Tulane in line to be a playmaker on the outside.

David Montgomery has a tough task in gaining traction against a rush defense that is as good (if not better) than the one he faced last week. But just because something is hard doesn’t mean the Bears should go away from him. In fact, as analyst Tom Thayer explains, Montgomery being a real threat out of the backfield opens up opportunities for others:


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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.