CHICAGO (CBS) — The Bears host Tampa tonight at Soldier Field in primetime. Can the Bears beat Tom Brady for the first time ever? Here are Three Things to Watch as the Bears take on the Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football.
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Will the Bears make Brady show his age? Yes, the Bears are 0-5 all-time against Brady, but he’s 43 now. So surely he must be slowing down? Well, he threw five touchdowns in a wild comeback Sunday vs the Chargers, and now has eight touchdown passes and just 1one interception his last two games. The key may be bringing extra pressure. Brady has struggled against the blitz this year, completing just 54 percent of his passes; and all 11 of his touchdowns have come in non-blitz situations. So, let’s watch for Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano to turn his guys loose on Tommy.
Figuring Out Nick FolesREAD MORE: Chicago Weather: Rain Coming As Work Week Begins
Which Nick Foles will show up? Will we get the Foles that was super sharp leading the thrilling comeback against the Falcons or the one that led the Bears to just three points against the Colts until their final drive? Foles and Matt Nagy indicated this week that this is still a work in progress with Foles new to the starting role. A short work week doesn’t give a lot of confidence that things will be better against the Bucs but this Tampa defense did allow a pair of 50-plus yard touchdowns last week.
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Will the Bears special teams be anything close to special? According to Football Outsiders, the Bears special teams ranks 30th in the NFL. The unit is coming off an awful game, with four penalties and a blocked punt allowed. So let’s see if special teams coordinator Chris Tabor’s crew can clean things up against a Bucs special teams also ranked near the bottom of the league. Just don’t look for Cordarrelle Patterson to make an impact on kick returns unless he’s taking it from deep in the end zone. Every non-onside kick by the Bucs’ Bradley Pinion this season has been a touchback.