The 2022 season is in the books but there’s one little thing missing. Illustrations. Let’s pretend the 2022 season is an actual book, with each game a chapter. It’s up to us to find one play or “illustration” for each that best shows us the theme of that chapter. Make sense? I hope so because we’re about to take a look at some plays and vote. Let’s find an illustration for...
Chapter 15: Buffalo Bills at Chicago Bears
It was Christmas Eve, a time of celebration for many fans of the 11-3 Buffalo Bills. The NFL saw fit to grant the team an early gift too. The 3-11 Chicago Bears. It should have been a beating from start to finish, but the Bears took a lead into halftime. Often the difference between teams can be something as simple as “endurance.” While the Bears made it a game for 30 minutes, they weren’t prepared for 60. Four second-half touchdowns led to a final score much like what was expected.
Ed Oliver’s pass defense (Q1; 2:47)
While Chicago was leading at the half, it wasn’t due to Buffalo’s defense not holding up. After their first drive yielded a touchdown, the Bills shut them down. The Bears did score two field goals, but from short fields (bad punt and turnover). The two drives that resulted in said field goals combined for a total of 20 yards gained (19 and 1).
Josh Allen’s first interception (Q2; 13:10)
Sloppy game play held the Bills back. This early interception came with Buffalo in at least field goal range. It was the first of three (the other two were in the second half). The attempt at a kill shot to get things rolling was... not effective.
Devin Singletary’s touchdown (Q3; 10:59)
Buffalo came out of the half a different team on offense. This four-minute drive was 86 yards long and capped off by a 33-yard run by Devin Singletary. James Cook would later add a 27-yard touchdown to the books. And we’ll show off the passing game in a bit.
Illegal shift (Q3; 7:57)
Finally! A penalty to add to the collection of potential plays to define a game. Why this game? Why this penalty? It wasn’t the highest count total for Buffalo’s season. It wasn’t quite the highest yardage either. Both, however, were toward their upper limit. And Chicago barely had any flags. For this game, a penalty highlights how Chicago kept it close for so long. They played toward their peak, while Buffalo played toward their nadir. Why this penalty? Illegal shifts are 100% a mental lapse on someone’s part. I think that fits well. Additionally, this one wiped out a successful two-point try and led to the Bills shifting to an extra point.
Dawson Knox’s touchdown (Q4; 1:08)
After a shaky first half and some lingering sloppiness, Buffalo was up 28-13 with just over a minute left. So this is a superfluous score. How superfluous? This was 4th & 3. Chicago was out of timeouts. Going for it with a goal to run out the clock is one thing. This is quite another. Note: I’m not knocking this at all. I’m completely OK with this mindset in a professional sports environment.
Icing on the cake (Q4; 0:06)
The result of Buffalo running up the score was that the Bears got the ball back. They made it to midfield and there was basically zero result from this drive that would have brought them back into the game. Justin Fields was pulled for the familiar face of Nathan Peterman. If there was a better storybook finish to this game, I sure don’t know how to write it. Jaquan Johnson seals the game in style.
What play best defines the anxiety inducing followed by dominant win over the Bears?
This poll is closed
Ed Oliver pass defended
Josh Allen interception
Devin Singletary touchdown
Dawson Knox touchdown
Icing on the cake