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Quick Hits: Short fields hurt Bears in defeat


The Bears didn't give themselves much of a chance to beat the Buccaneers Sunday in Tampa.

By committing five turnovers and allowing a 43-yard punt return, the Bears gave Tampa Bay short fields throughout the game. The Buccaneers started six of 12 possessions in Chicago territory and scored four touchdowns and a field goal on drives that started at the Bears' 32, 40, 35, 48 and 37.

On the flipside, the Bears began all 13 of their possessions in their own territory.

"When you give Tom Brady and that offense, when they start inside the 40, whatever it was, four or five or six times, that's a lot," said coach Matt Nagy. "It's advantage them and they're going to make you pay for it, and that's ultimately what happened."

Stepping up: Rookie Khalil Herbert provided a bright spot for the Bears, rushing for a career-high 100 yards on 18 carries against the NFL's No. 1-ranked run defense. The Buccaneers entered Sunday's game allowing an average of just 54.8 yards on the ground per game and had not allowed an opposing running back to top 100 yards this season.

"Just the O-line doing their thing," Herbert said. "They do a great job up front making it easy for me; just those guys going out there and pounding."

Since David Montgomery was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury Oct. 9, Herbert has rushed for 272 yards on 55 carries, an average of 90.7 yards per game and 4.9 yards per carry.

Generation gap: Sunday's game marked the largest age gap between starting quarterbacks in NFL history with the Bears' Justin Fields (22) and the Buccaneers' Tom Brady (44).

Under constant pressure, Fields completed 22 of 32 passes for 184 yards with three interceptions, two lost fumbles and a 44.3 passer rating. He also rushed for 38 yards on eight carries.

"Justin is as hard on himself as anybody," Nagy said. "He wears his emotions on his sleeve and he wants to be great and that's what we love about him. There were a lot of ways we can help him out, and early on it's just important with a young rookie quarterback, it's great to get off to a fast start and get some confidence and momentum going and we didn't do that today.

"And then, I don't care who you are, when you get behind like that against Tom Brady and that offense and that defense, when they can pin their ears back, that's not easy."

Fields remained undeterred following the lopsided loss.

"Times likes this, times when you get blown out, you've got two choices: you can either say '[Blank] it, I'm gonna stop working, I'm gonna stop playing,' or you can go the other route and say, 'I'm going to keep working.' And I know, no matter how many picks I throw, no matter how many 'L's we take, I'm going to keep going. That's just the fact. And that's just who I am. Never gonna stop. I'm always going to keep going."

On the shelf: Both teams played without several key players.

For the Bears, defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (groin) and safety Tashaun Gipson Sr. (hip) sat out with injuries; Montgomery (knee), right tackle Germain Ifedi (knee) and safety Deon Bush (quad) are on injured reserve; and tight end Jimmy Graham, right tackle Elijah Wilkinson, outside linebacker Robert Quinn and linebacker Caleb Johnson are on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

The Buccaneers played without receiver Antonio Brown (ankle), tight end Rob Gronkowski (ribs), linebacker Lavonte David (ankle) and cornerback Richard Sherman (hamstring).

Still streaking: Cairo Santos made his only field-goal attempt of the game, a 28-yarder in the second quarter, extending his Bears record to 35 straight field goals, the longest active streak in the NFL.

One-liners: Making the first start in his six seasons with the Bears, safety DeAndre Houston-Carson recorded a career-high 11 tackles and one pass breakup while replacing the injured Gipson … The Bears entered Week 7 tied for the NFL lead in sacks with the Vikings with 21, but they were blanked in Sunday's loss … Sunday's loss was the most lopsided in coach Matt Nagy's four seasons as coach and the worst by the Bears since a 55-14 defeat to the Packers in Green Bay Nov. 9, 2014 … The 21 points the Bears allowed in the first quarter are tied for the second most they've ever permitted in the opening period, topped only by 27 points in a 51-38 road loss to the Baltimore Colts Oct. 4, 1958 … The Buccaneers have now won 14 of their last 15 regular-season and postseason games dating back to last season, including a 31-9 rout of the Chiefs in the Super Bowl.

Take a behind-the-lens look at the Bears' Week 7 game against the Buccaneers through the shots of our field-level photographers inside Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay.

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