The Chicago Bears 29-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was frustrating for many reasons.
Quarterback Mike Glennon has received most of the blame for the loss and deservedly so. With an offense already limited by injuries along the offensive line and wide receiver position, the Bears quarterback provides no threat for opposing defenses making the offensive game plan simple to defend against going forward.
In the first half, the Bears turned the ball over four times against the Buccaneers, with three of the turnovers being Glennon’s fault and all three led to or set up Tampa Bay scoring plays.
The first turnover came on the team’s first offensive possession of the game when Glennon threw an interception into triple coverage. It ended what was a promising looking drive that had the Bears into Buccaneers territory. The offense drove 53 yards in 11 plays and converted on two third downs.
With a first and 10 on the Buccaneers 22 yard-line, Glennon tried to hit tight end Dion Sims over the middle but was picked off by Tampa Bay linebacker Kwon Alexander who returned the ball 22-yards. On the replay, Sims was covered by three defenders and needed the throw to be perfect for him to even have a chance of making the play.
The ball was thrown behind him giving him no shot.
Even worse, rookie tight end Adam Shaheen was left wide-open in the flat and would have had a good chance of scoring had Glennon looked his way.
— Draft Dr. Phil (@FulphilO) September 17, 2017
Tampa’s defense was able to sit on the Sims route because throughout the drive, all the Bears passes had gone over the middle and in between the numbers.
Five of the six passes Glennon threw on the drive before the interception were short over the middle passes. With no threat of going deep, or going out towards the sideline, it was easy to see how the defense was able to hone in on Sims’ route and as to why Shaheen was left so wide open.
Rookie Tarik Cohen fumbled a punt as he tried to scoop up the ball between two Buccaneers defenders, a crucial mistake that led to another Tampa Bay touchdown.
The second offensive turnover occurred in the second quarter with the Bears trailing 10-0, on a third and eight, Glennon dropped back to pass but was sacked. He fumbled and linebacker Lavonte David recovered it as Tampa Bay scored soon after to make it 17-0.
On the play, Glennon’s lack of mobility in the pocket was on display, as he did not try to step up or move around to avoid the sack. Through two games, Glennon has yet to register a rushing attempt or to scramble from the pocket.
The inability to maneuver in the pocket, whether by stepping up or leaving the pocket to extend a play makes it so much easier for defenders to stay on routes and stay close to the pocket fearing no threat of a scramble. The Bears haven’t even attempted a bootleg pass or a moving pocket so far this season making it easier to be game planned against.
The final turnover came on another interception, this time late in the second quarter and put the game well out of reach for the Bears from a morale and momentum standpoint.
On third and nine on their own 41-yard line down 17-0, Glennon attempted to hit wide receiver Josh Bellamy on a short out route but it was jumped and intercepted by cornerback Robert McClain who returned it for the touchdown.
Bellamy was lined up in the slot on the play with Deonte Thompson line up out wide to the left of him. Thompson ran a deep route to open up the flat underneath for Bellamy to run to, defensively knowing that Glennon had been throwing short timing routes all day, it was an easy play for McClain to wait and jump the route.
Robert McClain picks off Mike Glennon and takes it 47 yards to the HOUSE! pic.twitter.com/1Jqx6udgYK
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) September 17, 2017
In the second half, the Bears did not turn the ball over but the quarterback play was not any better even with a passing touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
On their last three offensive positions of the game, the Bears drove into Tampa Bay red zone all three times but turned the ball over on downs two of the three times.
Within those two drive inside the red zone, Glennon attempted nine passes with all of them going short of the first down marker and none going into the end zone.
With the game already decided, this has to be the troubling because it shows a quarterback that has no sense of urgency to make a play or willingness to take a risk as well.
Having that on film for future defenses only hinders the offense going forward.
As the team returns to Halas Hall to review Sunday’s film and begin preparations for their next opponent in the Pittsburgh Steelers, the offense has to find some way of becoming less predictable.
The turnovers committed on Sunday weren’t fluke plays or great athletic plays created by the defense, but turnovers were created by studying common traits and weaknesses in an offense.
Lack of creativity and awareness will only get worse with the more game film there is of this Bears offense, and it starts with Mike Glennon fixing his weaknesses at the quarterback position.