After a week in which both his coach and general manager said the Bears would be patient in evaluating the offense’s growth with him starting, quarterback Nick Foles at first gave them little reason for such faith Thursday.
Then he led the Bears to two touchdowns in the last two minutes of the first half Thursday night against the Buccaneers. The Bears lead 14-13 at halftime.
Foles was held scoreless until he orchestrated a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive with 1:48 to play in the first half. David Montgomery’s 3-yard touchdown run was the Bears’ first score on the ground all season.
After Kyle Fuller’s crushing hit of a crossing Ke’Shawn Vaughn gave the Bears the ball at the 27, Foles found tight end Jimmy Graham for a 12-yard touchdown pass with 36 seconds to play in the half.
Foles finished the half 15-for-21 for 151 yards and an 87.6 passer rating. His play was ugly at the start of the game. The Bears trailed 3-0 before the got the ball for the first time. On third-and-2, Foles had receiver Allen Robinson wide open in the right flat, and threw the ball high and wide. The Bears were forced to punt.
They forced a three-and-out of their own to get Foles the ball back. He found Robinson for a 24-yard gain on the first play of the drive. Three plays later, though, Robinson turned yet another catch into an interception. Foles placed a deep ball beautifully 20 yards deep and Robinson leapt for it. He inadvertently kicked the ball into the air with his shin, though. Carlton Davis picked the pass, returned it 34 yards and the Buccaneers scored a touchdown five plays later.
On the first play of the second quarter from his own 48, Foles had Darnell Mooney running free behind the Buccaneers’ last line of defense, but missed the throw to him. The ball landed about 2 yards to the right of Mooney, who was running a corner route.