For the first time since 2013, the Chicago Bears have won in the month of December, picking up a 26-21 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday afternoon.
Ka'Deem Carey caught a touchdown pass and rushed for another, and Robbie Gould nailed three field goals to lead the Bears to victory.
The Bears' offense got off to a sluggish start after picking up a quick first down, with screen passes failing to deliver results. As a result, the team was forced to punt the ball away after their first drive, and on their second drive they tried to punt again, but this time Pat O'Donnell's kick was knocked down by the Buccaneers, setting themselves up with great field position.
On their very first play from scrimmage on the drive, the Bucs scored, as Doug Martin plowed his way through traffic and dove across the goal line. Video review upheld the call on the field, and as a result the Buccaneers seized a 7-0 lead.
Early in the second quarter, it appeared that things were about to go from bad to worse for the Bears as a Jay Cutler pass was intercepted, but a facemasking penalty negated the interception, and Chicago took full advantage. First downs by Jeremy Langford and Zach Miller helped get the Bears down the field, and a two-yard touchdown plunge from Ka'Deem Carey knotted the game up at 7-7.
Late in the frame, the Bears reeled off a 12-play drive that featured nine runs, with Langford and Matt Forte each getting several big gains, but they were stopped short of the goal line as Cutler was sacked on third and goal. Robbie Gould was able to make the short field goal however, and he put the Bears ahead by a 10-7 margin.
After a three-and-out gave the Bears the ball back in Tampa territory, they marched back down the field and put more points on the board. A Miller catch helped them to get deep into the red zone, but once again mistakes cost the Bears as Kyle Long was whistled for a false start and Eddie Royal dropped a surefire touchdown pass. Gould did knock through another short field goal, and the Bears went up 13-7 at halftime.
That lead didn't last for long as the third quarter got underway, and Tampa waltzed down the field for a touchdown. Charles Sims III made a good catch on a touch pass from Winston, and after Tracy Porter whiffed on the attempted hit, the running back cruised to the end zone to make it a 14-13 game.
After the Bears failed to get anything going on their first drive, Tampa drove down to the goal line, but a key play gave the Bears the ball and the momentum. Winston was under serious pressure from Christian Jones, and his lofted pass was intercepted by Harold Jones-Quartey to put Chicago back in the driver's seat.
Unfortunately for the Bears, they went three and out on their next drive, but Tampa gave them another gift as Martin fumbled the ball away for the second time in the game. This time Chicago was able to start moving the ball, with Zach Miller making a big catch and Langford picking up a first down to set up a first-and-goal play.
Cutler capped off the drive with a perfectly executed play-action pass, and a wide open Carey hauled in the touchdown reception for his second score of the day to put Chicago up 20-14 early in the fourth quarter.