The Buffalo Bills (2-6) have little time to recover from Monday night’s 25-6 loss to their bitter rivals, the New England Patriots (6-2), in Week 8. Buffalo must turn around on a short week and prepare to face a top-10 defense and a first-place squad in the Chicago Bears (4-3), who (while they are in first place) are—like Buffalo—in a bit of tailspin.
While the Bills have dropped three straight games, the Bears have lost two of their last three (including a 38-31 shootout loss to the Patriots) following a 3-1 start.
On the latest edition of the new and improved Billieve: a Buffalo Bills Fans Podcast, host John Boccacino is joined by Robert Zeglinski from Windy City Gridiron to preview Sunday’s 1 p.m. Eastern clash at New Era Field.
We have everything you need to know to get ready for the game—Buffalo’s second in six days. Boccacino and Zeglinski provided their keys to the game, which has Buffalo opening up as a 10-point home underdog vs. the Bears.
Hear what our podcast duo had to say about the game.
Among the topics covered on the podcast: the health status of LB Khalil Mack; what Buffalo can do to harass QB Mitchell Trubisky; the state of the Bears’ offensive line with the recent injury to guard Kyle Long; and how Buffalo can attack the Bears’ secondary.
A big challenge for the Bills will be getting pressure on Trubisky. When Trubisky feels pressure, he is more apt to throw interceptions. While his numbers (64.6% completions, 1,814 passing yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions) look good, Zeglinski said Trubisky has been a much better quarterback in the second half of games this year.
The Bills will have to contain running backs Tarik Cohen (224 rushing yards, 5.2 yards per rush; with 30 receptions for 398 yards and three touchdowns) and Jordan Howard (392 rushing yards, 3.5 yards per rush; with 11 receptions for 87 yards), along with a passing attack fueled by Cohen, Taylor Gabriel (34 receptions for 381 yards and two touchdowns), Trey Burton (27 catches for 343 yards with four touchdowns), and Allen Robinson (25 catches for 285 yards and two touchdowns).
Defensively, Mack’s status is up in the air, but Zeglinski doesn’t expect the all-world pass rusher to suit up. The Bears will still look to get pressure on quarterback Nathan Peterman without Mack.
Look for Buffalo’s offensive coordinator Brian Daboll to continue to mix up the play calls (more Wildcat, direct snaps, and shots downfield) to try and counter an aggressive Bears defense that has 20 sacks and 11 interceptions this year.
Our experts offered up their score predictions for the game—Buffalo’s first true home game vs. Da Bears in Western New York since Sept. 29, 2002. In that game, Travis Henry caught a 26-yard touchdown pass from Drew Bledsoe just 1:58 into overtime to lift Buffalo to a 33-27 win. Neither expert predicts the offense to match the output from that day, with both calling for the Bears to hold off the Bills at New Era Field.
Check out our Billieve: a Buffalo Bills Fan Podcast for answers to these questions and score predictions from our experts!
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