Tampa Bay routs Chicago 38-3
By: Mike Stiles - Monday, October 25, 2021

(photo courtesy of Chicago Bears)

(TAMPA BAY) – Tom Brady says he's not one for collecting a lot of mementos documenting his many accomplishments during an unsurpassed 22-year career. Becoming the first player to throw 600 career touchdown passes is pretty special, though. So after Mike Evans bolted to the stands and handed the ball to a fan after scoring the historic touchdown, the star receiver returned to the sideline to learn he needed to negotiate a speedy return, as Tampa Bay routed the Chicago Bears 38-3. The Bucs (6-1) won their fourth straight game for the best seven-game start in franchise history. They also avenged one of their five 2020 regular-season losses, with Brady completing 20 of 36 passes for 211 yards and four TD's. The Tampa Bay defense did its job, too, limiting the offensively challenged Bears (3-4) to Cairo Santos' second-quarter field goal and sacking rookie quarterback Justin Fields four times, forcing two fumbles. Dee Delaney had one of the Bucs' three interceptions, a first-quarter pick that led to Brady's 599th career TD pass. With Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski sidelined by injuries, Evans had a big day with six catches for 76 yards and three TDs, including a 9-yarder that gave Brady No. 600 with 6 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Evans also had scoring receptions of 2 and 8 yards as the Bucs built the lead to 35-3 at halftime. Chris Godwin had eight catches for 111 yards and a 5-yard reception set up by Delaney's interception. Rookie Jalen Darden's 43-yard punt return led to Leonard Fournette's early 2-yard TD run. Fields, meanwhile, fell to 2-3 as a starter. The first-round draft pick finished 22 of 32 for 184 yards and three interceptions. He also lost two fumbles and has now been sacked a league-leading 22 times. Chicago's turnovers contributed to the Bucs scoring four of their five touchdowns on drives that started inside Bears territory. Rookie Khalil Herbert rushed for 100 yards on 18 carries for the Bears. In addition to boosting his regular-season career TD pass total to 602, Brady has now thrown at least 20 TD passes in a season a record 19 times. He's followed on the list by Drew Brees (17), Peyton Manning (16), Philip Rivers (15) and Brett Favre (15), who are all retired.