WEMBLEY, England (CBS) The Tampa Bay Buccaneers traveled to England not to see the sights, but to face the Chicago Bears in a week seven showdown.
Tampa Bay made an unexpected turnaround in the fourth quarter after trailing 21-5, but ended up losing 24-18 at the annual regular season NFL game at Wembley Stadium. With 76,981 spectators in attendance, some English folks may need to move to Tampa so we can start selling out some home games.
Bears runningback Matt Forte stole the show Sunday afternoon with 145 yards and a touchdown to give the Bears their second straight win. Forte has well over 1,000 all-purpose yards this season, and it’s only week seven.
Josh Freeman and the Bucs are a young team compared to most in the NFL, and it definitely showed yesterday. He finished with 264 yards and two touchdowns, but the positive plays were negated by four costly interceptions.
Opposing quarterback Jay Cutler had a modest performance with 226 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.
Offensively the Bucs could not put up any points early in the game, totaling five points through the first three quarters. Forte and the Bears attacked relentlessly on the ground and scored 21 points heading into the fourth, so by the time Freeman got it going with two touchdowns in the final quarter to close the gap, it was already to late.
Chicago handed Tampa Bay their second loss in three years at Wembley Stadium, and both teams are 4-3 on the year.
To sum everything up, the loss of LeGarrette Blount and a first quarter ankle injury to Earnest Graham placed a lot of pressure on Freeman to put the game on his back and get his passing game in rhythm. He made rookies mistakes, and it cost his team the game.
A bye week for the Bucs is next on the schedule, followed by a rematch with the New Orleans Saints on November 6th.