CHICAGO (AP) — Matt Forte and the Bears used a big rally to hand their former coach a loss in his return to Chicago.
Forte rushed for two touchdowns in the third quarter, and the Bears beat Lovie Smith and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21-13 on Sunday.
Jay Cutler threw a 2-yard TD pass to Alshon Jeffery as the Bears (5-6) scored 21 straight points to erase a 10-0 halftime deficit. Forte had a 13-yard run that put Chicago ahead to stay, and then added a 1-yard plunge that made it 21-10.
Smith coached the Bears to three playoff appearances and a trip to the 2007 Super Bowl during his successful nine-year run in Chicago. He was hired by Tampa Bay in January, and his first game back at Soldier Field showed just how far he has to go to get the lowly Bucs (2-9) back on track.
Tampa Bay had three turnovers in the third. Josh McCown, who played for the Bears for the previous three seasons, lost a fumble and threw an interception. Vincent Jackson also lost a fumble at the end of a 24-yard reception that would have resulted in a first-and-goal.
Each of Forte’s touchdowns came after a Buccaneers turnover. McCown also threw an interception in the first quarter that ended another promising drive.