TAMPA, Fla. — The simple way worked again for the Chicago Bears, who ran their winning streak to seven with a 13-10 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.
"If you don't let a team score, you have a heck of a chance of winning," said Bear Coach Lovie Smith, whose team still had fewer total yards on offense, 275-239. "I know that is simple, but that is how it is.
"We play good defense, we run the football and try not to make too many mistakes. That is our formula for success."
Alex Brown sacked Chris Simms to force a fumble that set up Chicago's only touchdown, and the Bears kept the Buccaneers out of the end zone until the fourth quarter.
Still, the Bears (8-3) needed some help, prevailing after Matt Bryant missed a 29-yard field-goal attempt that would have moved the Buccaneers (7-4) into a tie with the Bears with 2:47 left.
Tampa Bay Coach Jon Gruden said Bryant hurt his hamstring on the opening kickoff, but Bryant made a 27-yard field goal in the first quarter and didn't say the injury was a factor in missing the 29-yarder.
"I missed it. That's it," said Bryant, who made a 45-yarder to beat Atlanta last week. "It was one of those days where something like that shouldn't happen. But it happened, so you have to move on."
Kyle Orton passed for 134 yards and a touchdown, and Robbie Gould kicked field goals of 25 and 36 yards for the Bears, who lost three of their first four games before putting together their longest winning streak since 1986.
A week after sacking Jake Delhomme eight times and forcing two turnovers in a 13-3 victory over Carolina, the Bears sacked Simms four times and used the Tampa Bay quarterback's fumble at his one-yard line to take an early lead on Orton's one-yard touchdown pass to John Gilmore.
Brown finished with two sacks and his third forced fumble in two weeks. The agile defensive end also batted down three passes in the backfield and broke up a pass downfield intended for tight end Anthony Becht.