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National Football League
Preview
Tampa Bay at Chicago
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, November 23, 2014
Where: Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois


Lovie Smith is highly respected as an NFL coach, but neither his current nor former team has had much for which to smile this season. That said, both Smith's Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Chicago Bears bounced back with a victory last week and they'll try to make it two wins in a row Sunday when the teams meet at Soldier Field. Smith coached Chicago for nine years, leading the team to one Super Bowl appearance, three division titles and 81 victories before joining Tampa Bay on Jan. 2.

"I have tremendous respect for him as a person in all areas," Bears coach Marc Trestman said via the Chicago Tribune. "That's the only thing I can speak of at this point, and I truly mean that." Trestman's team had lost three straight games - the last two in ugly fashion - before posting a 21-13 home victory against Minnesota last Sunday. Tampa Bay, which is led by former Bears quarterback Josh McCown, snapped a five-game skid last week with a 27-7 rout at Washington.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Bears -5.5. O/U: 46

ABOUT THE BUCCANEERS (2-8): McCown took over for an injured Cutler midway through last season and passed for 13 touchdowns (and only one interception) en route to earning a two-year, $10 million deal with Tampa Bay. The 35-year-old quarterback passed for two TDs for the second straight week last Sunday and did not throw an interception for the first time this year. His primary target was rookie Mike Evans, who caught both of McCown's TD passes and racked up 209 receiving yards - his fourth straight week setting a career high - as the Bucs posted their first win since Sept. 28.

ABOUT THE BEARS (4-6): Chicago only gave up 13 points last week after yielding a total of 133 during its three-game skid, while Jay Cutler threw three touchdowns - two to Brandon Marshall - in the victory. Matt Forte has gone over 100 yards rushing in two of his last three games after surpassing the century mark just once in the first seven contests. One of the biggest concerns for the Bears entering Sunday's game has to be their 25th-ranked pass defense, particularly in the wake of Evans' breakout performance last week.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Forte did not have a carry for more than 19 yards all season before notching runs of 30 and 32 yards last weekend.

2. Marshall has 12 receiving touchdowns in his last 12 home games.

3. Both of Tampa Bay's wins have come on the road and the Bucs also took the Saints to overtime in New Orleans earlier this season.

PREDICTION: Bears 23, Buccaneers 20
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
Tampa Bay 2-8 W1 19.4 27.9 0-5 2-3 2-6 0-2 0-2 0-4 1-6
Chicago 4-6 W1 21.5 29.0 1-3 3-3 2-5 2-1 0-1 1-2 3-3
Last Meeting
Tampa Bay Chicago
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
10/23/11 CHI 24 TB 18 280 30 250 395 177 218
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Tampa Bay J. Freeman 56.9 264 2 4
Chicago J. Cutler 53.1 226 1 2
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Tampa Bay K. Lumpkin 8 15 1.9 0
Chicago M. Forte 25 145 5.8 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Tampa Bay M. Williams 6 75 12.5 0
Chicago R. Williams 4 59 14.8 1
Touchdowns Player TD
Tampa Bay D. Briscoe 1
Chicago M. Barber 1
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Tampa Bay M. Glennon 57.6 1417 10 6
Chicago J. Cutler 67.0 2695 21 12
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Tampa Bay B. Rainey 92 392 4.3 1
Chicago M. Forte 173 733 4.2 3
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Tampa Bay M. Evans 46 794 17.3 7
Chicago A. Jeffery 55 761 13.8 4
Touchdowns Player TD
Tampa Bay M. Evans 7
Chicago B. Marshall 8