The last time the Buffalo Bills played the Chicago Bears in the regular season, it was Week 9 of 2018. Quarterback Josh Allen was a rookie, and did not suit up for the game, as he was sitting out the third of four contests that he missed that season with a sprained throwing elbow. Nathan Peterman drew the start at quarterback instead, and turned the ball over three times — including throwing a pick-six — as the Bills were crushed at home by a playoff-bound Bears team, 41-9.
Things look a lot different for these teams four years later. Buffalo, helmed by MVP-candidate Allen, have just clinched their fourth straight playoff appearance, and are looking to wrap up their third straight AFC East title by notching their sixth straight win on Saturday in Chicago. The Bears, meanwhile, are one of just four teams that have been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention heading into Week 16, and sit at 3-11 overall.
That record, however, is not indicative of the Bears’ competitiveness. Led by dynamic second-year quarterback Justin Fields — who has accumulated 2,048 passing yards, 1,000 rushing yards, and 23 total touchdowns this season — the Bears have played an entertaining brand of football while hanging tough with better teams. Seven of Chicago’s 11 losses this season have been by one score or less, and they have yet to lose at home by more than nine points — which just so happens to be what Buffalo is favored by in this game, per DraftKings Sportsbook.
Weather could be a factor in this game, with bitter cold and blizzard conditions expected throughout the weekend. The Bills are used to weather impacting their games this season, but it’s still something worth monitoring as the week progresses.
The Bills have a lot on the line in the last three weeks of the regular season, chief among them the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoff picture. They control their own destiny to that end; win out, and the bye week and home-field advantage are theirs. That starts in Chicago, and the Bills must make sure they focus on the task at hand, and not peek ahead to a juicy Week 17 road matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals.
All of our Bills-Bears coverage from Week 16 is below.