After a disappointing opening week, the Bears look to bounce back in week 2 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, bouncing back against the Buccaneers might be a challenge since they are coming off a victory in week one. That victory gives the Buccaneers momentum heading into this week. Even with momentum on their side, this is still a very winnable game for the Bears. That is why the Bears have to make these three things a focus of their game plan.
Throw to D.J Moore
No one thought that getting D.J. Moore the ball would be a problem coming out of week one. Yet it was after only being targeted twice against the Packers. This issue falls on the shoulders of both offensive coordinator Luke Getsy and quarterback Justin Fields. Getsy needs to call plays that increase the chance of Moore getting open. At the same time, Fields needs to rip the ball to Moore so he can make plays.
The Buccaneers’ secondary did not have a spectacular week one. Allowing 344 passing yards, with 150 of those yards going to Justin Jefferson on 12 targets. While Moore is not as lethal as Jefferson, he can still make big-impact plays. This is especially true if the Buccaneers are down cornerback Carlton Davis, who missed Wednesday and Thursday”s practice with a toe injury. That is why Fields getting the ball in his hands of Moore will be so important. If he does that, the Bears will have a significantly higher chance of beating the Buccaneers.
Double team Vita Vea
The Interior of the Bears offense line was horrific in week one, with no interior linemen grading above a 50 on Pro football focus. That is not a good sign heading into this week, where they have to face Vita Vea. While Vea’s stats may not look elite, with only 18.5 sacks and 23 tackles for loss in five seasons, he is a force in the middle of the Buccaneers’ defensive line.
That is why the Bears must double-team Vea as much as possible. Double-teaming Vea with two linemen is the best option since they give up less weight to him. The double team will mean the Bears must keep an extra player in for protection, but it is worth it. If Vea is not double-teamed by a lineman, he will need to be chipped by a running back. That will have a smaller chance of working since the running backs give up a considerable size to him.
If neither of these techniques work and they struggle to block Vea, then Feilds may face more pressure than he did in week one.
Slow down Mike Evans and Chris Godwin
The Bears’ secondary got scorched by young receivers in week one. That is not good going into a game with the Buccaneers, who have one of the better wide-receiving duos in the league in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. In week one, Evans had 66 receiving yards and a touchdown, and Godwin had 51 receiving yards. While neither player had a huge game last week, they are both able to put up massive numbers. That is why it is important to slow them down.
Thankfully, even a struggling defense can find ways to slow down Evans and Godwin. One way to slow down either of the two is to use double coverage. Godwin is the prime candidate for double coverage since Kyler Gordon will miss this game due to a hand injury. Without double coverage on Godwin, the backup cornerback will be left in one-on-one coverage. That gives Godwin an advantage, which is why Eddie Jackson needs to aid in coverage.
Double-covering Godwin leaves Evans one-on-one with Jaylon Johnson. This will not be an issue since Johnson has locked down number-one receivers before. For Johnson to limit Evans, he must play tight and physical coverage. If he can do that, and the double coverage works on Godwin, then the Bears’ defense will be in a good spot.
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