The Bears may have recorded only one sack of Jameis Winston in Sunday’s 26-21 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but they had the rookie quarterback uncomfortable for much of the game.
Outside linebacker Pernell McPhee sacked Winston for a 10-yard loss late in the first half, but it was the constant pressure of the Bears pass rush that left Winston scrambling and misfiring on several throws. Winston completed just 15 passes on the day for a 51% average.
He did complete two touchdown passes — a 43-yarder and a 50-yarder — but both of those were more the fault of the secondary than the pass rush. On the 50-yard touchdown pass, the defense flushed Winston out of the pocket and he completed a pass to backup running back Charles Sims down the left sideline. Bears cornerback Tracy Porter whiffed on the tackle attempt and Sims was off to the end zone.
The 43-yard touchdown pass was a bit of a Hail Mary on the final drive of the game. The Bears were up by 12 and had all but sewn up the victory. That’s when Winston hurled a bomb into the end zone and 6-foot-5 tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins jumped over the Bears secondary to haul in the touchdown catch.
Arguably the biggest key to winning in the National Football League is being able to get pressure on the opposing quarterback. The Bears showed just a glimpse of what a Vic Fangio defense can do. Now, if they can only get some additional talent on the defensive side of the ball to help push this thing over the edge.