QB controversy renewed? Bucs blow out Chicago Bears 29-7

  • Chicago Bears quarterback Mike Glennon (8) looks to pass the ball, during the second half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Tampa, Fla.

    Chicago Bears quarterback Mike Glennon (8) looks to pass the ball, during the second half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Tampa, Fla.

Updated 9/18/2017 12:23 AM

TAMPA, Fla. -- Chicago Bears coach John Fox was adamant about not placing all the blame for his team's 29-7 loss to the Buccaneers on quarterback Mike Glennon.

"Everybody wants to blame somebody," Fox said. "But it was a team defeat, and we all have our hands in that."


But Glennon's 3 first-half turnovers at steamy Raymond James Stadium were impossible to ignore, as they put the Bears in a hole they never came close to escaping. Now they're in an 0-2 hole with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Packers up next.

Glennon's first-quarter interception, which appeared to be behind tight end Dion Sims, didn't lead directly to any Tampa Bay points. But it happened at the Bucs' 16-yard line, so a Bears scoring opportunity was squandered when it was still a game.

The Bucs had only to drive one play and 13 yards for their first touchdown after Bears rookie running back Tarik Cohen fumbled a punt deep in his own end at the end of the first quarter.

On the Bears' next possession, Glennon's telegraphed pass intended for Josh Bellamy was picked off by Robert McClain, who read the quarterback, jumped the route and scored on a 47-yard return for a 23-0 lead.

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When Glennon fumbled early in the second quarter on Tampa's only sack, the Bucs needed only to go 35 yards to swell their lead to 17-0 halfway through the second quarter.

"Obviously not what I envisioned or hoped," Glennon said of his return to Tampa, where he spent his first four seasons. "Ultimately it shows how precious taking care of the football is. Four turnovers in the first half is not going to win many football games. Three of those fall on me.

"Ultimately I have to do a better job of taking care of the football and giving us a chance to win."

After Nick Folk's 50-yard field goal on the final play of the first half made it 26-0, anyone who was paying attention was thinking about the possibility of rookie Mitch Trubisky replacing Glennon.

But Fox said "not really" when asked if there was any discussion of bringing Trubisky on in relief.

"We moved the ball right down the field a couple times in the hurry-up situation," Fox said, "and it was good experience for everybody. We had a little bit of a makeshift line in there, and Mike commands that pretty well. We at least did that."


Glennon threw for 185 of his 301 yards in the second half, including a cosmetic 14-yard TD pass to Deonte Thompson with 1:43 remaining, but it was too little, too late.

As for starting Trubisky next week, Fox said, "No. I don't think you can pin that on the quarterback."

Glennon moved the ball well at times, especially considering wide receivers Cam Meredith and Kevin White are on injured list. Another wide receiver, Markus Wheaton, still isn't back from a broken finger, which has left the QB without his top targets.

The offensive line, which has been without Pro Bowl guard Kyle Long the first two games, lost left guard Tom Compton to a hip injury late in the second quarter and right guard Josh Sitton to a rib injury in the third quarter.

Glennon and Bellamy did not appear to be on the same page on the pick-6. But Glennon took the high road when asked if his relative unfamiliarity with his wide receivers had anything to do with his struggles.

"That's no excuse at all," he said. "Josh Bellamy's a guy that I've gotten a lot of work with. That is not an excuse at all."

The Bears have lost all eight of their September games in their three seasons under coach John Fox. They've been outscored in those games, 240-115.

A season that began with high hopes for improving on last year's 3-13 mark has so far seemed like more of the same. That includes the injuries that were a big part of last year's team unraveling. In addition to guards Compton and Sitton, inside linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski suffered a chest injury and did not return.

"It was basically," Fox said, "not a good day at the office."

• Follow Bob's Bears reports on Twitter @BobLeGere.


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