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Sunday, September 20, 1981 - Chicago Bears vs. BuccaneersFan BUCS helmet Buccaneers vs. Chicago Bears Sunday, September 20, 1981 - BuccaneersFan BUCS classic helmet

Sunday, September 20, 1981 - Away Game

LOSS - Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17 Chicago Bears 28

The Buccaneers took an early lead on Mike Washington's 29-yard interception return for a touchdown, after which he left the game with a pulled stomach muscle. Ricky Bell chipped a shoulder bone on his only play of the game. A Gary Fencik interception set up a Matt Suhey touchdown run that evened the score at 7–7.

The Buccaneers' special teams broke down for the second week in a row. Jeff Fisher's 88-yard punt return touchdown broke the record for the longest punt return by a Tampa Bay opponent, a record that had been set by J. T. Smith just the previous week. A long Theo Bell punt return was called back for a penalty.

The Buccaneers scored again on the first drive of the second half, which ended in a Kevin House touchdown reception. However, the Bears were able to dominate possession of the football for the rest of the game, with Walter Payton moving into fourth-place all-time in NFL rushing yardage. Despite a game plan that Jimmie Giles described as the best he'd seen against the Bears, the Buccaneers found themselves prone to errors at critical moments. They outperformed the Bears in most major offensive categories, compiling 450 yards of offense. Several players blamed mental errors and the lack of a killer instinct for the failure to put away what they felt to be an inferior team, while others noted that the large number of injuries left the team without enough personnel to do the things they wanted to.

The game left all NFC Central teams tied at 1–2.

GAMEDAY BRIEF

  • WEATHER: Sunny - 61°F. - Humidity 52% - Wind S.E. 9 mph Wind Chill 62°F.
  • OFFICALS
    • REFEREE: Jim Tunney
    • UMPIRE: Pat Harder
    • LINE JUDGE: Dick McKenzie
    • HEAD LINESMAN: Sid Semon
    • BACK JUDGE: Pat Knight
    • FIELD JUDGE: Johnny Gries
    • SIDE JUDGE: Gil Mace
    SCORING
    • BUCCANEERS: 08:06-1Q Washington 29 interception return (Yepremian kick)
    • BEARS: 03:24-2Q Suhey 1 run (Nielsen kick)
    • BEARS: 00:38-2Q Fisher 88 punt return (Nielsen kick)
    • BUCCANEERS: 11:10-2Q House 11 pass from Williams (Yepremian kick)
    • BEARS: 00:06-3Q Evans 8 run (Nielsen kick)
    • BUCCANEERS: 12:23-4Q Yepremian FG32
    • BEARS: 05:14-4Q Williams 18 pass from Evans (Nielsen kick)
    STARTERS OFFENSE
    • WR: #84 G. Jones
    • LT: #75 D. Reavis
    • LG: #68 G. Yarno
    • C: #50 S. Wilson
    • RG: #62 J. Leonard
    • RT: #74 G. Sanders
    • TE: #88 J. Giles
    • WR: #89 K. House
    • QB: #12 D. Wiliams
    • FB: #32 J. Wilder
    • TB: #43 J. Eckwood
    STARTERS DEFENSE
    • LE: #77 B. Kollar
    • NT: #76 D. Logan
    • RE: #63 L. Selmon
    • LOLB: #57 D. Lewis
    • LILB: #56 C. Johnson
    • RILB: #54 R. Wood
    • ROLB: #53 H. Green
    • LC: #41 N. Thomas
    • RC: #21 J. Holt
    • SS: #20 N. Colzie
    • FS: #34 C. Brown
    SUBSTITUTIONS
    • 1 Yepremian, 14 Fusina, 16 Blanchard, 26 Owens, 27 T Davis, 28 G Davis, 40 Washington, 42 R Bell, 44 Cesare, 45 Mitchell, 51 Nafziger, 52 Brantley, 59 Hawkins, 61 Roberts, 65 Stalls, 70 Hutchinson, 72 Snell, 73 Hannah, 83 Bell, 86 Obradovich, 87 Carter, 90 White
    DID NOT PLAY
    • 10 Ford
    INACTIVE
    • none.

    INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

    RUSHING
    • BUCCANEERS: Eckwood 23-114, Williams 3-18, Wilder 2-4, R.Bell 1-3, T.Davis 1-2.
    • BEARS: Payton 21-64, Suhey 14-48, Evans 3-9.
    PASSING
    • BUCCANEERS: Williams 40-17-324-2-1
    • BEARS: Evans 23-13-126-1-1, Payton 1-0-0-0-0.
    RECIEVING
    • BUCCANEERS: House 6-91, Giles 5-109, Jones 4-68, T.Bell 1-47, Wilder 1-9.
    • BEARS: Suhey 4-19, Watts 2-35, Williams 2-29, Earl 2-18, Margerum 1-15, Baschnagel 1-6, Payton 1-4.
    INTERCEPTIONS
    • BUCCANEERS: Washington 1-29.
    • BEARS: Fencik 1-20, Walterscheid 1-0.
    KICK RETURNS
    • BUCCANEERS: Owens 2-45, G.Davis 1-12.
    • BEARS: Williams 4-66.
    PUNT RETURNS
    • BUCCANEERS: T.Bell 5-5.
    • BEARS: Fisher 2-93.
    SACKS
    • BUCCANEERS: none.
    • BEARS: Osborne 1-15.

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