Another One Gets Away From Tampa Bay


Photo R. Matamba

Bailey Adams, Sports Editor

Lovie Smith led the Buccaneers into Chicago on Sunday, where he coached the Bears for nine seasons. It was a happy homecoming for Smith and other ex-Bears through one half of the game as Tampa Bay carried a 10-0 lead into the locker room.

From there, the offense imploded. After Jay Cutler hit Alshon Jeffery for a two-yard touchdown early in the third, the Bears took advantage of Tampa Bay mistakes throughout the rest of the afternoon. They turned two Bucs turnovers into two touchdowns in a span of a minute and forty-nine seconds to take a 21-10 lead.

Tampa Bay’s Patrick Murray connected on a 39-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 21-13 in the fourth quarter but that was all the offense could muster up in a disappointing second-half effort.

Josh McCown threw for 341 yards and a touchdown on the day but also turned the ball over three times. Rookie receiver Mike Evans caught three passes for 47 yards and a touchdown, tying him with Carolina’s Kelvin Benjamin for most touchdown receptions among rookies this season.

Tampa Bay (2-9) hosts the Cincinnati Bengals (7-3-1) next Sunday at 1.