Bears Need to Get Offensive

LAKE FOREST -- Forget about getting to the point. The Bears need to just get any points Sunday. Chicago hasn't scored an offensive touchdown in Tampa Bay since 1997, and the Buccaneers haven't allowed the Bears to score an offensive touchdown in the last 18 quarters overall.

The Bears (6-2) and Buccaneers (4-4) square off Sunday at 3:15 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium. Chicago hasn't won there since 1995, and Bucs coach Tony Dungy is 7-3 against the Bears.

   Sam Wyche was the coach in Tampa Bay the last time the Bucs lost to the Bears at home, 25-6 on Sept. 17, 1995. The Bears went 9-7 that season, their last winning campaign.

   "When they beat us last year in Chicago (13-10) they reminded me very much of our team early on in 1996 and '97, when they were getting better each week and you could see the confidence," Dungy said. "I'm very impressed with them right now, and I'm really not surprised at what they're doing."

   Chicago got annihilated 41-0 last season at Tampa Bay and has been outscored on the Buccaneers' home turf 139-52 the last five meetings.

   One difference the Bucs see is in the guy behind center. According to standout defensive tackle Warren Sapp, going from Cade McNown to Jim Miller is like going from Curtis Enis to Anthony Thomas.

   "(McNown) was (a) herky-jerky kind of guy in the pocket with happy feet," Sapp said. "He used his athletic ability to try and get out of the pocket and try to make something happen. That wasn't going for that offense.

    "Jim Miller is just managing the game and putting the ball in the right spot, in the right hands, and they're moving it up and down the field."    Asked who he'd rather face Sunday, Sapp didn't hesitate.

   "I would think Cade McNown was easier to rush because all you had to do was prevent him from getting out of the pocket because he wasn't going to beat you with his arm," Sapp said. "Jim Miller is different. He's a seasoned quarterback in this league that knows exactly what he's doing.

   "He can beat you in a lot of ways. He might not be the most mobile guy, but if you give him a lane to run, he can get out of it."

   Tampa Bay has one of the toughest red-zone defenses in the league, allowing just eight touchdowns on 21 possessions inside the 20.

   "We have another big challenge ahead of us in Tampa," Bears coach Dick Jauron said. "We know how good they are, and we certainly haven't had a lot of luck down there against this defense for quite some time.

   "We've definitely got our work cut out for us."

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