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Week 9: Chicago Bears vs. Buffalo Bills Recap

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First Half Blowout Leads to Bears Handing Bills Their Seventh Loss

The Chicago Bears played their fourth straight game against an AFC East opponent on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. Chicago came into the contest following a win against the New York Jets in Week 8 and losses to the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins in Week 9 and 10 respectively.

The Bills are now 1-2 against the NFC North with an upset win in Week 3 against the Minnesota Vikings and a loss against the Green Bay Packers in Week 4 before Sunday’s 41-9 loss.

Game Overview

The Bears threw for just 126 passing yards and ran for only 64 yards. The Bills threw for 41 more passing yards than Chicago and outran them by 33 rushing yards. Despite an overall underwhelming offensive performance, Chicago won with a 32 point cushion. The Bears’ defense had full control of the contest from start to finish.

First Half

The entire first quarter of play consisted of punts. The longest drive of the quarter was Chicago’s first with 8 plays and 34 yards. The Bears then broke the scoring drought in the second quarter; a 26-yard pass from quarterback Mitchell Trubisky to tight end Trey Burton would set Chicago up in scoring distance. Running back Jordan Howard would put six points on the board for the Bears with a one-yard touchdown run.

The Bills went three and out and were forced to punt the ball, unable to answer the Bears’ touchdown. The 34-yard punt would be the bright spot for Buffalo in the second quarter. The Bills turned the ball over three times in consecutive drives before punting again to close out the second quarter.

A 14-yard pass from stand-in QB Nathan Peterman to wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin put Buffalo across midfield. Just two plays later tight end Jason Croom fumbled the ball while being tackled by linebacker Roquan Smith. Safety Eddie Jackson recovered the fumble and returned it for a 65-yard touchdown.

The following drive consisted of two plays from the Bills: a negative one-yard run and an interception. Peterman’s short pass bounced off WR Terrelle Pryor’s hands and into SS Adrian Amos’ possession. After a quick Bears’ drive and punt, the Bills regained possession and turned the ball over for the third time that quarter. This time, Peterman’s interception was returned for a touchdown by Bears’ LB Leonard Floyd.

The Bills would punt on the next drive followed by a 2-play and 23-yard drive by Chicago ending in another touchdown. As the two teams head into the half, the Bears found themselves up 28-0 with half of those points coming from their defense.

Second Half

Buffalo broke the 6-play threshold in the opening drive of the second half. After 12 plays the Bills managed to move 47 yards up the field resulting in a 41-yard field goal. The Bears would answer with a field goal of their own putting the score at 31-3. After a quick unsuccessful drive from the Bills, the Bears would turnover the ball off of an interception. Trubisky’s deep pass intended for Burton was picked off by cornerback Tre’Davious White.

Buffalo failed to capitalize off the interception and turned the ball over on downs. Another Chicago punt followed by another Buffalo interception would close out the third. After a 45-yard field goal from Bears’ kicker Cody Parkey, the Bills’ offense would find the end zone for the first and only time of the game.

Buffalo put together their best drive of the game going 63 yards on 15 plays. After a 13-yard sack, a series of penalties kept the Bills’ drive alive. When their passing play collapsed, Peterman ran the ball in one yard for a touchdown with 5:43 left in the fourth quarter. The 34-9 lead would climb to 41-9 after a flat route touchdown pass from Trubisky to Burton.

State of the Teams

Buffalo Bills

The Bills remain without their first-round draft pick, Josh Allen. The rookie quarterback continues to rehab his elbow after going down earlier in the season. On Sunday, Buffalo was missing QB Josh Allen (elbow), defensive end Trent Murphy (knee), LB Tremaine Edmunds (concussion), guard Ike Boettger, tackle Conor McDermott, and WR Cam Phillips. These players are questionable for Week 10.

Buffalo is currently 2-7 and 1-3 in the division. At this point, the playoffs are out of the picture for the Bills making it the 18th straight season they’ve been eliminated from the postseason. Without Allen the Bills’ offensive production has suffered, however, Allen was not likely to lead them to the playoffs.

RB LeSean McCoy has been battling with injuries and considering his future in Buffalo. Trade rumors began circling a few weeks ago before the trade deadline. Chris Ivory has stepped in to help carry the load with McCoy. Ivory is currently the leading rusher with 280 rushing yards, averaging 3.5 yards-per-carry. Kelvin Benjamin has just 20 receptions off 53 targets for 302 yards.

With a talented rookie quarterback and several draft-picks in the bank, Buffalo’s hopes lay in tomorrow rather than today.

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears are relatively healthy at the mid-way mark in the season. Sophomore quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has shown tremendous improvements from his rookie year. Trubisky is boasting a 96.1 rating with 16 touchdowns off 167 complications and 1,949 yards. Running back Jordan Howard has taken much of the responsibility off of Tarik Cohen’s shoulders. Howard has five rushing touchdowns and 439 yards thus far.

The acquisition of defensive end Khalil Mack has made all the difference for the Bears’ defense. Currently, Chicago has the fifth best defense in the league allowing just 242 yards through the air and 84 yards on the ground a game.

The Bears remain in the top spot in the NFC North at 5-3 and 2-2 in the division. The Vikings who are 5-3 are just behind the Bears and have the potential to steal the top spot. Theoretically, even if Chicago doesn’t win their division, they could very well be a Wild Card team. The Bears are right to have playoff hopes, as long as their defense maintains its dominance.

Photo Credit

Featured Image courtesy of Highlight Store

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