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Friday Fun Facts

9 Friday fun facts about Bears-Buccaneers matchup


The Bears will visit the Buccaneers Sunday in Tampa. Here are nine nuggets about the matchup and the all-time series between the teams:

(1) Last season's 20-19 win over the Buccaneers marked the fourth time the Bears defeated the eventual Super Bowl champions. The three previous occasions came with victories over the 2010 Packers 20-17, the 1988 49ers 10-9 and the 1971 Cowboys 23-19. In last year's win over Tampa Bay, the Bears erased a 13-0 deficit.

(2) The Bears opened their 1985 championship season 12-0, but they were nearly 0-1. They trailed the Buccaneers 28-17 at halftime of their season opener at Soldier Field before rallying for a 38-28 victory. Early in the second half, Leslie Frazier intercepted a pass that was deflected by Richard Dent and returned it 29 yards for a touchdown to ignite the comeback.

(3) The Bears will play the Buccaneers for the seventh time in the last eight seasons. Since 2014, the teams have met every year except for 2019, with the Bears winning four of six games during that span.

(4) In the first ever meeting between the teams in 1977, the Bears registered a 10-0 win in Tampa Bay that dropped the Buccaneers' record to 0-12 that season and 0-26 since entering the NFL a year earlier. Tampa Bay snapped the skid in its next game by defeating the Saints 33-14 in New Orleans.

(5) Last season outside linebacker Khalil Mack registered a season-high 2.0 sacks of Tom Brady in the Bears' 20-19 victory over the Buccaneers at Soldier Field.

(6) The Bears' 12-game winning streak over the Buccaneers from 1983-88—when the teams were both in the NFC Central Division—remains their second longest against any NFL team, topped only by a 13-game winning streak over the Steelers from 1934-49. The Bears won 17 of 19 versus Tampa Bay from 1982-92 and lead the all-time series 40-20.

(7) The Bears erased their greatest deficit in franchise history to win a game Oct. 25, 1987 in Tampa. Trailing 20-0 after the first quarter, the Bears rallied for a 27-26 victory over the Buccaneers on Jim McMahon's 6-yard touchdown pass to Neal Anderson with 1:28 remaining.

(8) Former Bears coach Lovie Smith began his NFL career as a linebackers coach with the Buccaneers from 1996-2000 and later served as Tampa Bay's head coach in 2014-15.

(9) Bears kicker Cairo Santos appeared in seven games with the Buccaneers in 2018, making 9 of 12 field-goal attempts. In last year's 20-19 win over Tampa Bay, Santos hit two go-ahead field goals in the fourth quarter, a 47-yarder with 10:34 remaining and a 38-yarder with 1:13 to play.

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