Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears this Week?
I always like the Chicago Bears…
…and they are simply the better team, again. Yes, the game is on the road. Yes, it’s very hard to win on the road in the NFL. But the Bills are scoring 10.9 points per game. And that’s with scoring 27 in a dominant victory over the Vikings – the season’s most absurd outcome. (If you take that game out, the Bills are only averaging 8.5 points in their other 7 games. In this NFL that’s borderline impossible.)
How to Beat the Bills in Eight Steps
(i) The Bills have a very good defense. They are sixth in yards-per-game while operating with one of the worst offenses in the history of professional football. In case you missed it earlier, the BILLS ARE SCORING 10.9 POINTS PER GAME. Expect Sean McDermott – a disciple of the great Eagles DC Jim Johnson – to attack Mitch Trubisky early and often because he knows creating mistakes is his team’s best chance to win.
(ii) So the Bears need to be patient on offense. Run the ball. Be conservative in the passing attack. Don’t take unnecessary risks. Field goals are fine because the Bills simply don’t score touchdowns. Field position is huge because the Bills aren’t going 80 yards on anyone.
(iii) The Bills are starting Nathan Peterman most likely. And Peterman is one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. Career: 45.7%, 360 yards in three starts, 3 touchdowns, 9 interceptions, 31.4 passer rating. (The backup? #BarkleyTime.)
(iv) The Bills have slow, lumbering wide receivers. Zay Jones can move a bit but Benjamin, Holmes, Croom and Clay (tight end) get almost no separation and are not what you’d called big YAC guys. (Whether Terrelle Pryor is able to get healthy enough/up to speed for this weekend remains to be seen. Doubtful.)
(v) The Bills can run the ball a bit but their offensive line – loaded with Bears castoffs like Jordan Mills and Vlad Ducasse – is not good enough to control the line of scrimmage for an extended period of time. It also shouldn’t be good enough to beat Hicks, Goldman & Company at all. Still, expect LeSean McCoy and Chris Ivory to have a few moments Sunday. They’re good players.
(vi) This means the Bills will need sustained, multi-play drives to score points. And without a successful running attack they’ll need to convert on third-and-longs to achieve that. But they’re starting one of the most inaccurate quarterbacks in league history and fielding a crop of receivers who fail to gain separation. This is not a winning formula for Buffalo.
(vii) The Bears knew the Jets couldn’t beat them. So they didn’t beat themselves. Expect the same Sunday.
(viii) Score 14 points. Probably win.
The Game Poem
Oh, in the home
Where the Buffalo Bills roam
Lived a man called Gerard McTeer
Ran a chipper in Trim
And the town adored him
When he left, there were many-a-tear
Now in Western New York
They call for the stork
For his cooking makes everyone randy
Not fancy, these things
These Buff-a-lo wings
As sweet and delicious as candy