What We Saw: Week 7

Bears @ Buccaneers

Final Score: Buccaneers 38, Bears 3

Writer: Mike Miklius (@SIRL0INofBEEF on Twitter)


Sometimes, a game plays out exactly as you expected it to. After a 21-point first quarter for the Buccaneers, the announcers couldn’t help but joke about how ‘over’ this game was. The tensest moment was whether or not Tom Brady would get his 600th touchdown pass–which Mike Evans mistakenly gave to a fan–back or not. Spoiler: he did get the ball back. Tampa Bay put up another 14 points in the second quarter, carrying a 35-3 lead into halftime. The final tally was 38-3 and then it was on to the next week. Tampa Bay heads to New Orleans next week to take on the Saints while the Bears host the San Francisco 49ers.




Tampa Bay Buccaneers




Tom Brady: 20/36, 211 yards, 4 TD


Tom Brady was his usual self today. He didn’t have to throw too much, because everything his offense tried worked. Honestly, everything Tampa Bay tried worked on both sides of the ball. The running backs averaged six yards per carry. The defense forced three interceptions and four fumbles. This was a game where Tom could relax and calmly pick Chicago apart. And he did just that. I would say Brady’s best two throws both went to Chris Godwin, though his day looked good all around. There were a few off-target passes, including a red zone look at Cameron Brate that could have given him a touchdown. It all worked out, though, and Brady will ‘settle’ for four touchdowns and no sacks. Blaine Gabbert came in to finish the back half of the fourth quarter.



Running Back


Leonard Fournette: 15 carries, 81 yards, TD | 4 targets, 2 receptions, 9 yards

Ronald Jones: 10 carries, 63 yards


Today was a fun one for the Buccaneers’ running backs. Leonard Fournette started the game, and he was receiving the work early on. By my count, he took every carry on the first three drives. He is the back I want here based on the early workload, and he ran well with the ball. Tampa Bay’s offensive line did a great job creating holes–as well as pushing back the Bears’ defense–and Fournette capitalized on an early touchdown run from three yards out.



Fournette was also the highest-targeted back on the team today. I don’t find Fournette to be the most compelling talent on the team, but he has the trust.

Ronald Jones was clearly the backup today, but I thought he was the best runner on the field for the Bucs. Jones has speed and pop in his running that I just don’t see in Fournette. That being said, Jones always seems to fumble away the lead spot when he’s had the chance. Though I find Jones to be the better runner, I have no faith in him ever becoming a workhorse. The moment he does, he’ll blow a pass protection assignment or literally fumble it away.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Mike Evans: 10 targets, 6 receptions, 76 yards, 3 TD

Chris Godwin: 11 targets, 8 receptions, 111 yards, TD

Cameron Brate: 4 targets

OJ Howard: 3 targets, 1 reception, 9 yards


Mike Evans messed up a route he was running early that caused an incompletion. There, that was everything bad I saw from Mike Evans today. Evans was dominant, catching six of his other nine targets, and three of them going for touchdowns. Evans’ most impressive catch came on a deep ball where he was tackled just short of the endzone. Evans got past his defender, and kept half a step on him as he streaked towards the endzone. He caught the ball–despite the tight coverage–and held on while being tackled. He got up and pulled in a touchdown on the very next play. Evans now has seven touchdowns on the year, all coming in multi-touchdown games.



Chris Godwin was the most impressive Bucs receiver today, making two catches that made me rewind and re-watch. The first was a 21-yard grab deep against tight coverage. The throw and the catch were both excellent. Godwin ended that drive with another nifty grab against a defender playing him well.

Cameron Brate could have had a touchdown, but Tom Brady missed him on a shot in the endzone. The pass was thrown behind and fell to the turf. Brate is clearly the favorite tight end here in the absence of Rob Gronkowski, so Brate has some value. He just needs a little bit better luck.


Chicago Bears



Justin Fields: 22/32, 182 yards, 3 INT, 4 sacks, 3 fumbles (2 Lost) | 8 carries, 38 yards, 3 fumbles


Woof. I have been a pretty staunch Justin Fields defender, but even I can’t sell this as a promising showing. Fields was harassed early and often by the Buccaneers’ pass rush, and he made poor decisions to counter them. Fields was hit early on the blindside, losing the ball in the process. Luckily, Khalil Herbert recovered it. He would go on to fumble two more times and lose both of them. So how about the interceptions? On the first, Fields threw deep and Allen Robinson slipped before the ball arrived. The ball looked underthrown, but there was no chance once Robinson went down. On the second, the ball bounced off of Darnell Mooney’s hands to a defender behind him. I put this one 100% on Mooney, who should have made the catch. The last interception was another deep shot to Robinson–who was open and ready this time–that was just underthrown. This one was completely on Fields.  There was some good, but it was not anywhere close to enough. We have now seen five starts from Fields, and I have yet to see him play well enough to win his team a game. Don’t get me wrong: he’s shown talent and promise. He just hasn’t put forth that ‘woah’ game yet. I’m optimistic it will happen at some point though.



Running Back


Khalil Herbert: 18 carries, 100 yards | 5 targets, 5 receptions, 33 yards

Damien Williams: 3 carries, 5 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 3 yards


Do you hear that? It’s the sound of David Montgomery’s stock plummeting in every fantasy football format. Khalil Herbert put up another great outing today, looking like a veteran star rather than someone making just his second start in the league. Herbert once again looked fast, shifty, and he started big. On the first play of the second drive, Herbert blasted forward for 29 yards. He ran right past the first tackle attempt, and then hit more contact hard as he pushed a defender back on his feet. Herbert also saw five targets, catching all of them. Herbert bobbled the first pass thrown his way, but looked comfortable after that and is proving to be an excellent weapon for this struggling team. I am honestly worried about what this means for David Montgomery, as he has never shown me what Herbert already has. The Bears always liked to split Montgomery’s workload, and now he has a young back behind him capable of running better than him. Sell Montgomery if you still can.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Darnell Mooney: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 39 yards

Allen Robinson: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 16 yards

Cole Kmet: 6 targets, 5 receptions, 43 yards

Marquise Goodwin: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 16 yards

Jesse James: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 20 yards


You know the drill here by now: there just isn’t enough volume to make this passing game go vroom. Darnell Mooney continues to be the top weapon, despite a drop that led to a Fields pick. I still think this offense can become deep-ball friendly if the pass protection can be figured out, and Mooney is the premier deep threat here.

Allen Robinson saw some good looks and could have had a big day if not for a Fields underthrow. Robinson should be on the trade block so that Chicago can get something for him before he departs in free agency this offseason. It’s fair to wonder if he has already put up his last 100-yard game for Chicago.

Cole Kmet was the top target on the day, and his one miss was a drop that would have been a first down. Kmet was otherwise solid, giving Fields a safety blanket against the fast pass rush. Given the lack of volume and the lack of scoring, Kmet is not useful in fantasy right now. We need a Fields breakout before we can ever consider it.


— Mike Miklius (@SIRL0INofBEEF on Twitter)

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