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Buffalo Bills at Chicago Bears first-half open thread

A brutally cold day is the scene as Buffalo continues its quest for the AFC’s No. 1 seed

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills and the Chicago Bears are set for kickoff, and for the second straight week, Buffalo will be playing in a cold contest. Last week’s game against the Miami Dolphins turned out to be a much tamer weather game than had been expected, so Mother Nature decided to defer the bitter cold to this week in the Windy City.

At kickoff, temperatures should hover around 8 degrees Fahrenheit, with wind chills as low as 25-to-35-below zero. It’s going to be hard to maintain feeling throughout the afternoon, and focusing on fundamentals will be even more important than normal. The ball is going to feel like a slippery rock, so there may be some fumbles and dropped passes on both sides today.

Both teams have a unique advantage in weather like this, though, as two of the league’s best running quarterbacks are slated to match up for the first time in the NFL. Chicago’s Justin Fields leads all quarterbacks in rushing this year, totaling exactly 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns on 143 carries. He’s fumbled 15 times this season. Buffalo’s Josh Allen is fourth among quarterbacks in rushing, totaling 705 yards and six touchdowns on 109 carries. He’s fumbled 12 times this season.

In a game featuring two teams where the quarterback is the team’s leading rusher, it should come as no surprise that the ground attack is going to be one of the main focal points today. With that in mind, though, it needs to be said that Allen is the far superior passer at this point, so it’s very possible that with all the focus on the run, it will be the ability to pass that sets one team apart from the other.

Your open thread is here, friends. Be civil to each other. Toggle the comments to “oldest” for that classic game-thread feel. And, most importantly, enjoy the game wherever it is that you’ll watching.

Happy holidays to you and yours, and go Bills!