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A Preview of Week 7

When Chicago is throwing:
You have to wonder if something is up with the turf at Soldier Field that helps the Bears this season. They scored 30, 34, 17, and 39 at home but just 13 each both times on the road. This is a phenomenal defensive backfield that Chicago is facing. Edge: Tampa Bay.
When Chicago is running: At Soldier Field, the Bears have run for 224, 13, 88, 119 and 3TDs. On the road, they’ve run for 60, 122 and 0 TDs. The Bucs struggled against Adrian Peterson and Frank Gore but none of their other four opponents got four yards-per-carry. Edge: even.
When Tampa Bay is throwing: Let me be honest with you. This secondary is small. It’s not all that fast and – outside of Charles Tillman –  it’s not very good. Preston Parker has caught some big passes. This will finally be the breakout game for Mike Williams. Edge: Tampa Bay, strongly.
When Tampa Bay is running: The Bears run defense is bad. That said, I’ve seen the Bears claw a clutch performance on defense in the past. The difference is, I don’t think the leaders – Peppers, Briggs and Urlacher – will have that impact in the pass defense in a game in 2011. Edge: even.

PREDICTION: Two Tampa-2 disciples who don’t run Tampa-2 very much anymore – but still ask a lot of their corners and especially their safeties – collide across the pond. Cutler can do more and is more accurate than Freeman but Freeman’s O-line is better and he can “schoolyard” even better than Cutler. The NFL finally got a huge game for London. Both of these teams must win: the Bucs must to stay in the lead, the Bears must to stay in the Wild Card hunt. I am going to give up on this year’s Bucs as a serious contender if they lose this game decisively or via mistakes. They are the more talented team, but that didn’t stop them from losing to the Lions. Buccaneers 28, Bears 21.

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One Response to “A Preview of Week 7”

  1. TampaToo says:

    What’s up with the lack of comments? This is a damn good blog, one of the three or four on my beloved Bucs I’ve found most informative this season.

    That being said, I tend to agree with you that this game will be very revealing. Decent teams can overcome adversity. Serious contenders, however, can build on success – more of a question of having the steady psychology of winners than of raw talent. We have the talent. Not sure about the mentality, though my fears stem from noticing that we seem to picture ourselves as eternal underdogs.

    One of the things that always struck me about the first Belichick (sp?) – Patriots Super Bowl team was that, contrary to all reason, they played like they were the top dogs, like there was no reason for them to be cowed by anyone. They were a good team, but not as good as they played near the end. What took them beyond themselves was their pride, which in a way was self-fulfilling.

    What worries me about this Bucs team is that we appear to be cultivating the mentality of perennial upstarts. I understand that we’re the youngest team in the league, but the emphasis should still be on excellence. Excellence is timeless; this youngry business will expire by next year, if not earlier. At some point, we have to make the transition to the mindset of excellence period (not young excellence, not erratic excellence, just excellence).

    So to come back to this upcoming game, it is huge for just this reason. The 49ers nearly robbed us of any notion of excellence; the Saints game re-ignited the possibility. If we beat the Bears, we set ourselves on that path definitively, and begin to get off the “upstart,” underdog path. We’ll see if Raheem can manage the transition to the better path.

    (Pardon the length; but seeing as there were no other comments, I took the liberty of being expansive).

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