DOM­I­NATE TURNOVER MAR­GIN

Tampa Bay Times - - Bucs -

The Bucs de­fense forced four turnovers in the Bears’ first six drives last year. Safety Chris Conte’s pick-six re­sulted in the game’s first points, and an­other take­away came when Chicago was at the Bucs 4-yard line.

De­fen­sive take­aways might be where th­ese two teams were most dif­fer­ent last year. The Bears matched an NFL record low with only 11 take­aways in 2016, while the Bucs had the third-high­est to­tal in the league with 29. Chicago also had 31 give­aways, so its mi­nus-20 turnover mar­gin matched the Jets for the NFL’s worst.

Turnovers can make other things triv­ial. Chicago had out­gained the Bucs 215-164 in the first half last year (50 yards on a last-se­cond des­per­a­tion touch­down throw) but trailed 14-10 be­cause the Bucs dom­i­nated with take­aways.

LOREN EL­LIOTT | Times (2016)

Bears strong safety Harold Jones-Quartey stiff-arms Bucs quar­ter­back Jameis Win­ston after in­ter­cept­ing a pass in the first quar­ter last sea­son. Chicago was un­able to cap­i­tal­ize, hand­ing the ball back on a fum­ble at the Tampa Bay 4.

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