Tom Brady’s senior second clinched Tampa Bay’s loss to Chicago

Foles and the Bears hung on for a 20-19 triumph over Brady and the Buccaneers on an intriguing “Thursday Night Football” rematch of their Super Bowl quarterbacking duel from nearly three years and a combined several teams ago.

It ended with confusion. Brady threw a fourth-down incompletion with 33 seconds remaining amid so much speculation that he thought he had another down left, given Brady’s four raised fingers and puzzled look.

“Yeah, he knew,” Buccaneers Coach Bruce Arians said in a postgame video news conference, defending his quarterback when asked if Brady had been aware it was fourth down. “He knew.”

Brady, in his own video conference with reporters, said: “You’re up against the clock. … I knew we had to gain a chunk. So I should have been thinking more first down instead of chunk on that down.”

Other observers said they had no doubts that Brady lost track of the downs.

“Old men forget what down it is,” Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin said on the NFL Network’s postgame show.

On the same show, Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner said: “It was amazing to see what happened at the end of the game.”

The same conclusion was reached on the Fox postgame show.

“At the end of the game, that’s something you would never expect to happen with one of the greatest players of all-time,” Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez said. “That’s something they coach up in high school and college. It’s just weird. I would never expect to see Tom Brady lose track of the downs.”

Kicker Cairo Santos’s 38-yard field goal with 1:13 remaining won it for the Bears, who improved to 4-1 with their first victory in Foles’s two starts since taking over for the benched Mitchell Trubisky. Foles floated a pass to running back David Montgomery for a 17-yard gain to set up the winning kick.

Some curious play-calling by the Bears on their final drive left Brady and the Buccaneers with more than a minute to craft a reply. But Brady couldn’t deliver.

“We all have to do a better job,” Brady said. “This isn’t any one position. This isn’t any one player. This isn’t any one thing. We’ve all got to collectively learn each other quickly and make improvements quickly.”

Foles was the star when the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New England Patriots, 41-33, in Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4, 2018 in Minneapolis. Foles was the game’s MVP and his touchdown catch on the famed “Philly Special” gadget play inspired a statue at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field depicting him and Eagles Coach Doug Pederson consulting on the sideline about the play call.

According to the NFL’s research department, this was the first game in league history in which two quarterbacks who started a Super Bowl against each other met again as starters with both players on different teams.

“That was just a fistfight all game,” Foles told Fox after the game. “That was a tough one. Obviously it went down to the wire. It felt good to get a win versus them. That’s a talented team and they’ve been playing some really good ball lately. Obviously it was a great team win. We got great field position at the end and Cairo put it through the uprights to give us a chance. That defense closed the door.”

Brady and Foles didn’t shake hands after their Super Bowl meeting, leading to a mini-controversy. Foles told Fox they didn’t speak Thursday night.

“I didn’t get a chance to say anything to him,” he said. “I’m sure sometime we’ll catch up. But we’re trying to keep our distance.”

Foles threw an interception and had a touchdown pass in a 30-for-42, 243-yard passing performance. The Bears scored two touchdowns, one on tight end Jimmy Graham’s one-handed catch of a pass from Foles in the final two minutes of the first half to give Chicago a 14-13 lead after they had fallen into a 13-0 hole. The two teams traded second-half leads and field goals, and Chicago’s defense made the final stop.

Brady completed 25 of 41 passes for 253 yards. He had a first-half touchdown pass to wide receiver Mike Evans. But the Bucs too often settled for field goals by kicker Ryan Succop, who connected from 39, 35, 46 and 25 yards. Arians opted against a fourth-and-one try from the Chicago 7-yard line on Succop’s final kick. The Bucs dropped to 3-2 in Brady’s first season in Tampa since leaving the Patriots in free agency in March.

“I didn’t have our team ready to play,” Arians said. “It’s obvious.”

October 8, 2020 at 11:30 PM EDT

Bears go back in front but leave Brady with time

By Mark Maske

The Bears have the lead after kicker Cairo Santos hit a 38-yard field goal. But some curious play-calling by the Bears left Tom Brady with more than a minute to try to respond. (Bears 20, Bucs 19 with 1:13 left in the 4th quarter)

October 8, 2020 at 11:05 PM EDT

Succop’s fourth field goal gives lead back to Bucs

By Mark Maske

It’s the Ryan Succop show. The kicker provided his fourth field goal of the night and the Buccaneers lead once more. Coach Bruce Arians opted against a fourth-and-one try from the Chicago 7-yard line after a 16-yard completion from Tom Brady to tight end Rob Gronkowski on third and 17. Arians turned to Succop, who kicked a 25-yarder. (Bucs 19, Bears 17 with 4:49 left in the 4th quarter)

October 8, 2020 at 10:55 PM EDT

Bears back in front on fourth-quarter field goal

By Mark Maske

The Bears have the lead again in this back-and-forth game. Kicker Cairo Santos provided a 47-yard field goal. (Bears 17, Bucs 16 with 10:34 left in the 4th quarter)

October 8, 2020 at 10:21 PM EDT

Another field goal for Succop, Buccaneers lead again

By Mark Maske

The Bucs are back in front, thanks to the third field goal of the night by kicker Ryan Succop. He connected from 46 yards this time after Tom Brady settled for a 14-yard completion to wide receiver Mike Evans on a third-and-21 play to get Tampa in range. (Bucs 16, Bears 14 with 9:04 left in the 3rd quarter)

October 8, 2020 at 10:06 PM EDT

Nick Foles, somehow, leads Tom Brady at halftime in Chicago

By Mark Maske

Nick Foles beat Tom Brady in the Super Bowl on that memorable February night in Minneapolis in 2018, a few combined teams ago for the two quarterbacks.

And he leads Brady at halftime Thursday night in Chicago. Foles and the Bears scored two touchdowns in the final two minutes of the first half and lead the Buccaneers, 14-13.

Foles looked terrible for much of the half, missing throws and making Patriots fans wonder why Foles hadn’t been that awful for the Eagles against Brady and the Patriots in Super Bowl LII. Brady threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Mike Evans and the Bucs added two field goals by kicker Ryan Succop to build a 13-0 advantage.

But then Foles completed seven straight passes and the Bears got a three-yard touchdown run by tailback David Montgomery. They got the ball back on an instant replay reversal that turned an apparent Buccaneers’ incompletion into a catch and fumble. Tight end Jimmy Graham made a one-handed catch in the end zone on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Foles. (Bears 14, Bucs 13 at halftime)

October 8, 2020 at 9:56 PM EDT

Bears get Foles-to-Graham touchdown after replay reversal

By Mark Maske

That quickly, the Bears have the lead. Nick Foles threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jimmy Graham, who made a spectacular one-handed grab in the end zone. The Bears scored two touchdowns just 72 seconds apart after trailing, 13-0.

This one was set up by an instant replay reversal resulting in a lost fumble by Buccaneers running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn. He absorbed a jarring hit by Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller just after catching a pass from Tom Brady. The on-field officials originally called an incompletion and an illegal hit on Fuller. But they picked up the flag, seemingly correctly, and ruled the hit by Fuller legal. Then the replay booth called the incompletion a catch and fumble. The Bears, who had picked up the loose football, were awarded possession at the Tampa 27-yard line. (Bears 14, Bucs 13 with 36 seconds left in the 2nd quarter)

October 8, 2020 at 9:44 PM EDT

Foles steps it up and Bears get a touchdown

By Mark Maske

This, finally, was the version of Nick Foles that haunts the memories of Patriots fans. He steadied himself and made some very good throws on a 75-yard drive that ended with a three-yard touchdown run by tailback David Montgomery. Foles connected with Montgomery for 12 yards on a third-and-seven play and delivered a perfectly thrown pass to wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson for a 25-yard gain to the Tampa 3-yard line. That gave Foles seven straight completions after a shaky start to the game. (Bucs 13, Bears 7 with 1:48 left in the 2nd quarter)

October 8, 2020 at 9:30 PM EDT

Bucs get field goal after fourth-down gamble by Bruce Arians

By Mark Maske

The Bucs continue to add to their lead. Kicker Ryan Succop connected from 35 yards for his second field goal of the night. That ended a 75-yard drive that included a fourth-and-one conversion for the Buccaneers via a quarterback sneak by Tom Brady from their own 19-yard line, quite a gamble by Coach Bruce Arians. With Nick Foles throwing the ball so erratically so far for the Bears, a 13-point lead seems significant. (Bucs 13, Bears 0 with 7:03 left in the 2nd quarter)

October 8, 2020 at 9:09 PM EDT

Brady-to-Evans TD ups Bucs’ lead after Foles throws pick

By Mark Maske

The Bucs cashed in on an interception thrown by Chicago’s Nick Foles with a two-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to wide receiver Mike Evans. Brady zipped a third-and-goal pass to Evans, who was on a slant pattern and made the grab despite defensive pass interference by the Bears.

The Buccaneers should have scored on the previous play when tailback Ronald Jones made a juggling catch and rolled into the end zone without being touched. The on-field officials called the pass incomplete, ruling incorrectly that the football had touched the ground. Buccaneers Coach Bruce Arians issued an instant-replay challenge. The officials revered their call from incomplete to complete but put the ball at the 2-yard line because they’d blown the play dead despite Jones not being touched by a Bears defender, but no matter, as it turned out.

Wide receiver Tyler Johnson had a 35-yard catch and run on the drive, which began at midfield after cornerback Carlton Davis’s tipped-ball interception of a pass thrown by Foles and deflected by Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson. (Bucs 10, Bears 0 with 56 seconds left in the 1st quarter)

October 8, 2020 at 8:43 PM EDT

Bucs have early lead on field goal

By Mark Maske

The Buccaneers have the early lead in Chicago, with kicker Ryan Succop connecting on a 39-yard field goal. Tom Brady completed three of six passes for 41 yards on the drive and tailback Ronald Jones contributed 23 rushing yards. (Bucs 3, Bears 0 with 9:48 left in the 1st quarter)

October 8, 2020 at 7:31 PM EDT

What to watch for during Thursday’s Buccaneers- Bears matchup

By Mark Maske

It’s Tom Brady vs. Nick Foles in a rematch of a memorable Super Bowl quarterbacking duel from nearly three years and a combined several teams ago. Brady’s Buccaneers face Foles’s Bears in an intriguing matchup on “Thursday Night Football” at Chicago’s Soldier Field.

Foles, not Brady, was the star when the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New England Patriots, 41-33, in Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4, 2018 in Minneapolis. Foles was the game’s MVP and his touchdown catch on the famed “Philly Special” trick play is commemorated by a statue at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field.

Foles spent one more season with the Eagles, again taking over for an injured Carson Wentz and leading them to the playoffs, before leaving for Jacksonville and free agent riches. His Jaguars tenure went badly and lasted only one season before he landed in Chicago, and now he makes his second start since being elevated to the starter’s job when Mitchell Trubisky was benched.

He threw a trio of fourth-quarter touchdown passes after relieving Trubisky to pull out a 30-26 triumph at Atlanta in Week 3. Things didn’t go as well for Foles and the Bears in his start Sunday. The Bears didn’t score a touchdown until the game’s final two minutes and lost at home to the Indianapolis Colts, 19-11. They take a 3-1 record into Thursday night’s game.

The Buccaneers likewise are 3-1 after signing Brady in free agency in the offseason. He won one more Super Bowl with the Patriots, beating the Los Angeles Rams for his sixth title, in the season after losing to Foles and the Eagles. He left New England following last season’s first-round playoff ouster. Many fretted that the coronavirus-altered offseason would slow Brady’s adjustment to his new team, offensive system and teammates. And indeed, the Bucs began the season with a defeat at New Orleans.

They haven’t lost since, and Brady is coming off a superb performance in Sunday’s victory over the Los Angeles Chargers in which he amassed 369 passing yards and threw five touchdown passes. Brady’s supporting cast on offense is plagued by injuries for this game. Wide receiver Chris Godwin is out, tailback Leonard Fournette was listed as doubtful on the injury report and wideouts Mike Evans and Scotty Miller are questionable.

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