By Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63
Nothing is a gimme in the NFL, even if a backup quarterback has been slated to start under center. And the Buffalo Bills should be no exception.
That seems to be the case with Sunday’s matchup between the Buffalo Bills (1-7) and the Chicago Bears (4-3). The Bills have just come off a loss on Monday Night against the New England Patriots. The Bills defense was able to hold the run and passing game to just kicking points in the first three quarters.
It was only in the 4th quarter that the Patriots offense was able to anything. Running back James White sealed the deal with a touchdown while the Bills shut quarterback Tom Brady down through the air.
But what will Coach Matt Nagy do to keep the momentum going and not make this a close game? He will have to put together an offensive scheme that will replicate the type of game the Indianapolis Colts were able to do against the Bills in Week 7.
The Colts were able to get the run game going with RB Marlon Mack, who had 126 yards on the ground and one touchdown. But it was the air attack as QB Andrew Luck threw for four TDs and just 156 yards. These were short passes which Nagy loves to call.
Luck’s four touchdowns were to a running back, a wide receiver and a tight end. This could be another chance for QB Mitchell Trubisky to extend the field, spread the ball and put points on the board. But it may be the run game that will see daylight, especially for Trubisky. Brady’s attempt at a run was one for the books but he had open space to get there and gained 8 yards.
With Trubisky’s legs and athleticism, he may just get another rushing touchdown to add to his stats. But it all stems on the protection up front. Right guard Kyle Long will be out for 6-8 weeks due to a foot injury. His back up, Bryan Witzmann, probably will have to take the challenge and keep Trubisky upright. If the offensive line can give Trubisky time, he can get through his progressions and hit his targets. Hopefully, he hits with precision and not between defenders or overthrown.
Trubisky could have a really good game if he settles his feet and commits to the throw. But the Bills defense will not give in so easily, so the offensive line will have to stand strong, block with intensity and keep holding calls to a minimum.
As for the defense, they need to be relentless and put the pressure on Bills QB Nathan Peterman. Even if the rumors are true and they bring in QB Matt Barkley to be his backup, they still need to stay the course and create takeaways from both.
The Bears defense should not sleep on RB LeSean McCoy as he can be elusive in the run and catch. Cornerbacks Kyle Fuller or Prince Amukamara need to be on wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin like gorilla glue and not give him an edge.
If linebacker Khalil Mack is active on Sunday, the Bears wrecking-ball front seven will have a field day with the Bills offensive line. My only concern is the Bears special teams, especially if they put McCoy in the return.
Final Score Preditction: Bears 24-Bills 3
#BearDown #DaBears #OTFB #Chicagobears
Talk Bears football with Wanda on Twitter // @WandaW63