To say that last night’s NFL game had a surprise ending would be an understatement. The final score was not what anyone would have expected, and there will forever be questions about the intentions of a certain quarterback who allegedly got confused on which down he was playing.
Still, Thursday Night Football was anything but disappointing, and shows, once again, that this season is going to be one of the most interesting in recent football history.
The Bears Put Up A Fight
This game was expected to be a defensive battle that would keep the score low. The Chicago Bears offensive, however, did an awesome job against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Nick Foles was solid for most of the game. He threw for 243 yards, tacking on one touchdown and one interception along the way. It was the first time he won as the starting QB for the Bears, a team that has continuously shown promise against the Bucs.
Bears running back David Montgomery scores a touchdown, the first rushing score for the team this season, and ended the night with just 29 yards on ten carries. He also brought down seven aerial shots for another 30 yards, but the Bucs defense made it difficult for him, or any other Bears player, to find an opening. However, Chicago found a few holes it could exploit and took full advantage of them.
At one point, the Bucs were up by 13 points, but this didn’t discourage the Bears. They rallied, scraped, and fought to put points on the board, while the defense stayed strong and kept the Bucs from being able to make any significant plays. Throughout the game, it seemed like the defense was playing mental games with Brady, and the strategy had awesome results.
The Brady Blooper
The outcome of the game may have been a lot different if it hadn’t been for the Bears defense causing Brady to become somewhat unglued. The Bucs were down 20-19 with just over a minute left in the game, and Brady had done a great job pushing the offense down the field. With just 30 seconds left, Tampa was on a third-and-six when Brady failed to connect on a pass to tight end Rob Gronkowski. Now, at four-and-six, the usually strong clutch quarterback missed again when he tried to sail one over to tight end Cameron Brate.
Here is where things get interesting. Apparently, if you believe the accepted excuse, Brady hadn’t realized that he was going for Brate on fourth down – he thought it was third down, and that he still had one more shot. As a result of the blooper, the Bucs had to turn over the ball to the Browns, who held onto their 20-19 victory.
The cameras show Brady signaling to the sideline that he was ready for the fourth-down play; however, Bucs head coach Bruce Arians, when asked after the game if the quarterback’s head was in the right place, said that Brady definitely knew what down it was. In addition, it’s hard to imagine a 20-year NFL veteran not knowing exactly what is going on at every minute. This would have conspiracy theorists asserting one of two things – either he is no longer capable of being on the field, or he, for some reason, decided to throw the game. It’s hard to imagine either scenario being legitimate.
This game had been expected to see a lot of field goals, and it was one of these that ultimately allowed the Bears to claim the victory. Cairo Santos booted a 38-yard field goal for the game-winning score, and the Bears defense did their job to keep the Bucs away from the end zone. While the result may have shocked a lot of football fans, they have to be happy with the constant battle that was waged from the opening drive.