Six days after the Buffalo Bills drew national attention by hosting the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football, the Bills (2-6) are back in action Sunday, hosting the first-place Chicago Bears (4-3) at New Era Field.
The Week 9 showdown will be seen by a much smaller audience than witnessed Buffalo’s first home Monday night game in nearly a decade.
When Nathan Peterman makes his return to the Buffalo starting lineup, only fans living in the Buffalo and Chicago television markets will get to watch the game as FOX’s 1 p.m. Eastern telecast.
The No. 5 broadcasting team of Chris Myers (play-by-play), Daryl Johnston (analyst), and Laura Okmin (sideline reporter) will handle the Bills/Bears clash.
The areas that can see Buffalo are highlighted in green (map courtesy of 506sports):
The national FOX audience is split between watching the Atlanta Falcons traveling to face the Washington Redskins (in red) and the Detroit Lions traveling to face the Minnesota Vikings (in blue). The other 1 p.m. Fox telecast pits the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Carolina Panthers (in yellow).
This will be the 13th meeting all-time between these teams. Chicago leads the all-time series 7-5, but Buffalo won the last matchup 23-20 in overtime Sept. 7, 2014. Fred Jackson rumbled 38 yards — delivering a pair of stiff-arms to Chris Conte — and ran all the way down to the one-yard line, setting up Dan Carpenter’s game-winning 27-yard field goal.
The Bears earned a 22-19 win on Nov. 7, 2010 in the last “home” game in the series, a game played at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario.
The last time the Bills actually hosted Da Bears in Western New York, Travis Henry caught a 26-yard touchdown pass from Drew Bledsoe just 1:58 into overtime to lift Buffalo to a 33-27 win on Sept. 29, 2002. Bledsoe completed 28 of 36 passes for 328 yards with four touchdowns in one of his best games in Buffalo, while Eric Moulds hauled in eight passes for 124 yards and a TD in the win.