NFL London 2011: Buccaneers boss explains loss to Bears

Chicago Bears' running back Matt Forte celebrates a touchdown

Chicago Bears' running back Matt Forte celebrates a touchdown

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris refused to point the finger at a change to their routine for the 24-18 loss to the Chicago Bears at Wembley.

The Buccaneers were playing in the UK for a second time having previously lost to the New England Patriots in 2009.

"London is not to blame, I love coming to London," said Morris.

"We had great preparation and you guys provided us with everything we needed to win this football game."

Sunday's defeat for the Buccaneers compounded a miserable day for the Glazer family after seeing Manchester United humiliated at the hands of their city rivals.

Despite having almost a full week of preparation for the game in England, Tampa Bay looked like the jet-lagged team as the Bears dominated from the outset.

And Morris pulled no punches in his assessment of his team's performance.

"You get what you deserve and we deserved to lose. We've got to grow up faster but we won't make any excuses.

"We were beaten by the better team."

The Bears only arrived on Friday but looked crisper and sharper in every facet of the game.

NFL at Wembley past results:

  • 2010: San Francisco 49ers 24-16 Denver Broncos
  • 2009: New England Patriots 35-7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • 2008: New Orleans Saints 37-32 San Diego Chargers
  • 2007: New York Giants 13-10 Miami Dolphins

And coach Lovie Smith was happy with their preparations.

"If we played over here 10 times we would do the same thing, practice at our facility, come over here and play, plenty of time to get rest," he said.

"When it's someone else's home game, we'll come back anytime."

One player who was particularly outspoken about having to make the trip in the pre-match build-up was Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.

However, after the match he said: "I'm glad I came over and played in this game. I was not looking forward to it, travelling and playing so quick but our schedule was good, the guys weren't tired.

"The stadium was cool. It was loud out there, a lot of fans, so it was a good experience.

Both teams will now have a week off before returning to action in a fortnight's time and Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman said they would use that time to regroup.

"We're 4-3 [won four and lost three], nobody's panicking and nobody's worried.

"The next matchup with the Saints is going to be looming large so we have got to be ready to come back and forget about this game."

Sunday's game marked the fifth in the NFL's International Series of games played at Wembley. The league recently committed to a further five years taking them through to 2016 which could include more than one game per season.