Bucs face a trap game against Chicago

by Gary Shelton on October 8, 2020

in general

Thursday, 3 a.m.

Every now and then, a team stumbles. Every now and then, it falls on its nose.

Could tonight be one of those off nights for the Tampa Bay Bucs?

Certainly, they seem ripe for it, don't they? They are wounded, and they have to travel to Chicago in an upset week. They had to come from behind to beat the L.A. Chargers and a rookie quarterback last week. Combine them all -- especially the injuries -- and you see a team that might be knocked down a peg.

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Oh, don't get me wrong. The Bears aren't as good as their 3-1 record. They've beaten the Lions, the Giants and the collapsible Falcons. Hey, when a team is 3-0 and changes its starting quarterback (for a non-injury), it's a sign.

But the travel in a short week could be tough for the Bucs to overcome. The receiving corps -- perhaps the strength of this team -- is crippled. And Chicago's defense is talented.

That puts a lot of pressure on the defense, which isn't as good as the team's own 3-1 record would hint. The Bucs gave up almost 300 yards passing to a Chargers' team last week, and they were soft against Carolina , as well. To win this, the Bucs are going to need five sacks and maybe two turnovers. They're going to have to be able to run. And someone is going to have to get deep a time or two.

Look, the separation isn't that great in the NFL. Both defenses are going to try to make the opposing quarterback look old.

This week might not be the Bucs' turn.

Prediction: Chicago 21, Tampa Bay 20.

Other predictions:

USF 17, East Carolina 13

Florida 27, Texas A&M 17

Clemson 30, Miami 14

Notre Dame 24, FSU 13

New England 24, Denver 10

New Orleans 34, L.A. Chargers 16

Pittsburgh 30, Philadelphia 19

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