The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed former Chicago Bears defensive end Akiem Hicks, the team announced Wednesday.
According to the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, it’s a one-year deal worth $10 million.
The 32-year-old Hicks comes to Tampa Bay after spending the previous six seasons as a member of the Chicago Bears (2016-21), which included a 2018 Pro Bowl selection.
Last season, Hicks, who battled injuries, had 3.5 sacks in nine games.
During his time in Chicago, Hicks started all 77 games in which he played, recording 247 tackles (51 for loss), 88 quarterback hits, 31.0 sacks, eight passes defensed, five forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. Since he joined the Bears in 2016, Hicks ranks fifth among interior defensive linemen in tackles for loss (51), seventh in quarterback hits (88) and eighth in sacks (31.0).
Originally a third-round selection (No. 89 overall) by the New Orleans Saints in the 2012 NFL Draft, Hicks played for the Saints (2012-15) and the New England Patriots (2015) prior to signing with Chicago.
Over 138 career games, including 110 starts, Hicks has tallied 387 tackles (73 for loss), 111 quarterback hits, 40.5 sacks, nine passes defensed, six forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries. He has appeared in six career postseason games, recording 20 tackles (two for loss), four quarterback hits and a half-sack.
With the addition of Hicks, Tampa Bay might be moving on from Ndamukong Suh, who currently is an unrestricted free agent after spending the last three seasons in Tampa.
The 2021 season for the New York Giants has been a complete disaster, and the season continued to go downhill as they were blown out by the Bears 29-3 at Soldier Field Sunday.
The loss was the Giants’ fifth in a row and dropped their record to 4-12. They have been outscored during the losing streak, 141-49, and all five losses have been by double digits.
The Giants’ offense was completely inept against the Bears, and three points were the fewest scored by the Giants in Joe Judge’s two seasons as coach. In addition, the Giants did not score a touchdown for the third time this season and the third time in their last five games.
Giants quarterback Mike Glennon threw only 11 passes. He completed four for 24 yards with two interceptions. Glennon was sacked four times for losses totaling 34 yards, so the Giants finished with minus-10 net passing yards, which the Elias Sports Bureau said was the lowest in franchise history.
After the game, Judge was not very happy, but he defended the Giants’ organization; he believes the team is still headed in the right direction.
“This ain’t a team that’s having fistfights on the sidelines,” Judge said. “This ain’t some clown show organization or something else, OK? You talk about the foundation built; you talk about the things that — the toughest thing to change in a team, the toughest thing to change in a club, is the way people think. You understand that? That’s the toughest thing.
“You can get new players; you can have them in your damn locker room all you want. You have to change how people think. You change how they f—ing — pardon my language — believe in what you’re doing. And they gotta trust the process. And that’s a lot easier said than done when they’re looking up right now, and you got one game left, and the most games you’re going to win is five this season, OK? But I guarantee you this: Those men are going to walk in on Wednesday and be ready to roll. We’re going to practice hard on Wednesday; we’re going to practice hard on Thursday, we’re going to practice hard on Friday, OK? We’re going to play for each other on the field next week.”
New York has to be better, but it’s not all on Judge. However, as the coach, he will get a lot of the blame. Judge inherited QB Daniel Jones, and GM Dave Gettleman has not improved the offensive line. The front office will probably look different next season, which could mean the GM might want his own coach.
The offseason should be interesting for New York, but more than likely, Judge will probably get a third season to turn this franchise around.
New York will end their season at home next week against 6-10 Washington:
Watch below as Judge talks loss to Bears, and team:
The 2020 season was not all smooth sailing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They were swept by the New Orleans Saints, and they lost three out of four games in November to fall to 7-5.
While November was bad for the Buccaneers, a loss in October on the road to the Chicago Bears was the worst of the season, according to GM Jason Licht.
Tampa Bay fell to the Bears 20-19 in that contest after leading 10-0 in the first quarter.
“That game was a game that, probably in my career here – and we’ve had a lot of bad losses – that one was one that really stung the most, I think,” Licht said on Tuesday. “Not only did we lose the way we lost with the penalties and things like that, we also lost Vita [Vea]. I was talking about this the other day with Bruce [Arians], actually. I said, ‘Gosh, that game still stings.’ He said, ‘That’s the best thing that happened to us. That game is the best thing that happened to us, looking back in retrospect.’ I think he’s right.
“We cleaned up our penalties, we were more disciplined, and it just brought everybody together. It showed that we’re all human – everybody – and everybody needs to be held accountable. Everybody on the roster, everybody in the front office, and everybody in the organization. It brought us closer together.”
After that loss to Chicago, the Buccaneers won three straight games.
At this point, Tampa Bay has clearly turned it around, and now, after winning three games in the playoffs, all on the road, Tampa Bay is 60 minutes away from being world champions.
The Jaguars(1-13) made it official and will start QB Mike Glennon against the visiting Bears on Sunday, the team announced on Saturday.
Glennon, 31, started three games for Jacksonville this season before he was replaced by Garnder Minshew against the Titans, and ultimately, Minshew was named the starting QB last week in the team’s 40-14 loss to Baltimore.
Also, the Jaguars downgraded RB James Robinson to OUT with an ankle injury.
In other moves, RB Craig Reynolds and FB Bruce Miller have been elevated to the active/inactive list for tomorrow’s game via standard practice squad elevation, and the team placed CB Sidney Jones IV on injured reserve with an Achilles injury.
Two weeks ago, the Minnesota Vikings were 6-6 and had control of the final wild-card spot in the NFC after starting 1-5. However, two losses later, the Vikings are on the outside looking in.
On Sunday, the Vikings fell to the Bears at home 33-27, and at 6-8, making the playoffs will be an uphill battle for Minnesota as they fall two games behind the seventh-seeded Cardinals for the final wild-card spot in the NFC with two games to play.
“It’s certainly not where we wanted to be,’ Vikings QB Kirk Cousins said after the game. “You look back, and you think about some really tough losses, one play here or there throughout the season, that you know you’re so close. That’s why, when you prepare all week, when you’re in the game, you feel that intention and intensity on every snap because you know that it really is one snap that can make the difference in a win or a loss and going to the playoffs or not going to the playoffs.
“Every snap then requires so much focus, and you need to cover your bases Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, so you’re ready to go. This league, it’s just the way it is. Every game is back-and-forth, and then it tests you, and this season is just another reminder of that.”
These two teams met in Week 10, and in that game, Minnesota’s defense held QB Nick Foles and Chicago to 6 points(scored TD on KO return) and 149 total yards in the Vikings’ 19-13 victory. On Sunday, QB Mitchell Trubisky and Chicago scored 33 points and had 397 total yards, which disappointed Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer.
“We didn’t play very well defensively today,” he said. “Last time we played [the Bears], they didn’t score a touchdown on us defensively, and this week we couldn’t slow them down. We didn’t do a good job on the bootlegs, didn’t do a good job in the run game, so that was really disappointing.”
At this point, Minnesota will have a difficult time making the playoffs. According to ESPN.COM, the team has a 4% chance of making the playoffs, so barring a miracle, Minnesota’s season is pretty much done and will end in disappointment. Now, they play for pride.
After missing three field goals and an extra point last Sunday, Vikings K Dan Bailey went 2-for-2 on field goal attempts and made all three of his point after touchdown attempts vs. Chicago.
With 132 rushing yards against Chicago, RB Dalvin Cook became the third Viking in team history to rush for over 1,400 yards in a season and passed Adrian Peterson’s 2009 season total (1,383) to move into fifth place in franchise history with 1,484 rushing yards. Peterson (2008, 2012, 2015) and Robert Smith (2000) are the only other Vikings to tally 1,400 rushing yards or more in a season.
Jefferson continues to shine:
WR Justin Jefferson set a franchise rookie record with 73 receptions, breaking the previous record of 69 set by Moss in 1998. With 1,182 receiving yards in 2020, Jefferson ranks seventh overall in NFL history among rookie receivers, passing Harlon Hill (1,124 in 1954), Bill Brooks (1,131 in 1986), Terry Glenn (1,132 in 1996), and Michael Thomas (1,137 in 2016). Jefferson’s 1,182 receiving yards also passed Hill (1,124 in 1954) for the fifth-most receiving yards by a rookie through 14 games. Jefferson became the fifth player in NFL history to record six 100-yard receiving games as a rookie, joining Billy Howton (six in 1952), Hill (seven in 1954), Odell Beckham Jr. (seven in 2014), and Bill Groman (nine in 1960).
Last night’s Thursday Night Football game featuring the Chicago Bears’ 31-24 win over the Dallas Cowboys was seen by an average audience of 18.8 million across all platforms, including FOX, NFL Network, FOX Deportes, NFL digital, FOX Sports digital, Amazon Prime Video, Twitch and Yahoo Sports.
The 18.8 million viewers for Cowboys-Bears across all platforms is up +69% versus last year’s Week 14 Thursday Night Football matchup between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans (11.2 million) and up +27% versus the 2018 11-game FOX Thursday Night Football average (14.9 million).
Cowboys-Bears is the most-watched Thursday Night Football tri-cast this season, and the second most-watched game since FOX began broadcasting Thursday Night Football in 2018, behind the New Orleans Saints-Dallas Cowboys matchup in Week 13 last season (22.2 million).
Season-to-date, the Thursday Night Football tri-cast is averaging 15.7 million viewers – up +8% versus the comparable point last season.
The Nielsen-measured audience was 18.0 million – up +66% versus the 2018 Week 14 Thursday Night Football game (10.8 million) and up +26% versus the 2018 11-game FOX Thursday Night Football average (14.3 million). Additionally, Cowboys-Bears averaged a 10.8 HH rating – up +61% versus last year’s Jaguars-Titans matchup (6.7 HH rating) and up +25% versus last year’s 11-game FOX Thursday Night Football average (8.7 HH rating).
Digital streaming across Amazon Prime Video, Twitch, NFL digital, FOX Sports digital and Yahoo Sports platforms produced an average minute audience of 1.1 million – up +137% versus last year’s Week 14 Thursday Night Football matchup (482K) and up +57% versus last year’s 11-game average (728K).
Amazon Prime Video and Twitch reached a total of 3.0 million combined viewers worldwide for the FOX NFL Thursday pregame show and the Cowboys-Bears game. For the Cowboys-Bears game alone, 2.6 million worldwide viewers initiated a stream on Prime Video or Twitch. The average worldwide audience watching the Thursday Night Football game for at least 30 seconds on Prime Video or Twitch was 696K.
The surprising Chicago Bears are 3-1 and on top of the NFC North after blowing out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 48-10 at Soldier Field on Sunday. In that game, their second year QB Mitchell Trubisky threw six touchdowns passes, and their all-world DE Khalil Mack recorded a sack and a forced fumble.
The Bears are rolling, and according to Hall of Famer and former Bears LB Mike Singletary, Chicago has the best team in the NFC North.
“I think there is some things going on in Minnesota right now. I think Everson Griffen(out indefinitely with mental health issue) is a huge part of their defense, and it’s going to be hard to replace,” Singletary told TMZ Sports. “I think Green Bay they’re doing okay, but at the end of the day, I think the Bears are the most complete team in that division.”
Minnesota is struggling right now, and they have a tough road game coming up against the World Champion Philadelphia Eagles this week. If they lose on Sunday, Minnesota would be 1-3-1. Concerning the Packers, they still have Aaron Rodgers, and with Rodgers in the mix, they will have a legitimate chance to win the division.
The Bears seem to have a good team, and if Trubisky continues to play decent football, and Mack continues to play at an MVP level, maybe the Bears will win the North, but the Vikings and Packers still have decent amount talent on their respective rosters, so winning the division won’t be easy for Chicago.