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Showing posts with label Josh Freeman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Josh Freeman. Show all posts

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Week 7, 2011: Bears vs Bucs by EvenMoney

Chicago Bears vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (At London) is this week’s spotlight game, in a week with not many marquee matchups. Of the two games that pass the test, we chose this one because for the Bears, if they lose, they might as well hibernate for the winter. Though the Bucs’ playoff fate will not be decided for, at least, two more weeks, a loss keeps them questioning whether they will ever take that proverbial step forward.

Courtesy of dclfboy5

In Week 1, we questioned the Bucs’ readiness and they’ve slightly surpassed our expectations, because of last week’s win over the New Orleans Saints. But, at the same time, that blowout loss (48-3) to the San Francisco 49ers two weeks ago has us back to square one. Who are the Bucs and can they surpass our projected win total of 9, for the season? A win this week simply holds us at this projection, and remotely a chance at 10 wins for the season.

A loss and it could mean no playoffs, even though the Bucs have beaten both the other top teams in their division. For this week, let us focus on a Bucs team that loses whenever it gives up more than 20 points in a game. They will be facing a Bears team that only wins when it scores 30+ points or keeps the opponent at 17 points and under.

In a nutshell, one team loves a blowout and the other does not; one has no identity and the other does. On paper, the Bucs defense is in the league’s lower tier, except where it counts: Points Against. On offense, they are mediocre across the board. A lot of their stats – offense and defense - have to do with the San Francisco game, where they did not show up on either side of the ball. This game against the Bears will tell which side of the ball they can count on for the remainder of the season.

The Bears have similar problems, except they are worse offensively and defensively. Their lone advantage is their Special Teams, specifically Returns featuring Devin Hester.

Bucs (+1.5) Over (43.5) – Go with consistency and quality of opponents, and Josh Freeman is playing (slightly) better than Jay Cutler.

10/23 1:00 ET Chicago -1.5 Tampa Bay (At London) 43.5