With their playoff hopes flickering as they trailed 10-0, the Bears started the third quarter of Sunday’s game vs. Tampa Bay on a tear.
Their offense, which struggled through the first half, got it together, with quarterback Jay Cutler connecting with wideout Alshon Jeffery on a two-yard TD pass to cut Tampa Bay’s lead to 10-7.
Then, the Bears’ defense made a pair of takeaways. First, defensive end David Bass forced Buccaneers quarterback Josh McCown to fumble, and linebacker Christian Jones made the recovery. One play later, tailback Matt Forte darted in from 13 yards, giving Chicago a 14-10 edge.
And on the Bucs’ next series, their offensive woes deepened, with Bears safety Ryan Mundy picking off a deflected pass. Four plays later, Forte was back in the endzone, scoring a one-yard TD to extend Chicago’s lead to 21-10.
For the Buccaneers, it has been a wicked and surprising turn of fortune after playing very well in the first half. But the third quarter belonged to Chicago.