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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