Bears vs. Bills: Why Chicago Needs to Be Weary of a Dangerous Buffalo Squad
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That's right, I said that the Bears need to be cautious of a Buffalo Bills team this weekend that, in this writer's opinion, is dangerous.
The Bills are 0-7. They have scored a total of 136 points while allowing 211. Their defense ranks dead-last in both points allowed and rush yards allowed and then give up the fourth-most total yards per game. (Although, in an odd change of pace, the Bills allow the sixth-fewest passing yards per game.)
In fact, the Bills will not even be playing in Buffalo when the Bears make the trek up there this week. The game will be held in Toronto, which is where many speculate the Bills will be moved to once current owner Ralph Wilson passes away.
After the first three or four weeks, most NFL teams were licking their chops when they saw Buffalo on the schedule, viewing them as a "gimme win."
But not so fast. Let us take a closer look at these Bills.
First off, the teams the Bills have lost to are the following: Miami Dolphins, Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Baltimore Ravens and the Kansas City Chiefs who have a combined record of 34-17.
They have lost four of those games by one score or less (Dolphins, Patriots, Ravens and Chiefs) and the last two losses to the Chiefs and Ravens both came in overtime.
In the five games that Ryan Fitzpatrick has played in, since taking over for former teammate Trent Edwards, he has thrown for 12 touchdowns, five interceptions and 1,200 yards. He has shown poise and leadership, especially in the last two weeks.
Lee Evans has enjoyed the spoils of Fitzpatrick's success as in the last three games he has grabbed 16 passes for 248 yards and four touchdowns.
The Bills also made a solid decision when they traded away running back Marshawn Lynch to the Seattle Seahawks several weeks ago. That has allowed both remaining running backs, Fred Jackson and rookie C.J. Spiller, to have their roles within the offense become more defined.
And what is more, the Bills are hungry. Two weeks in a row they have smelled victory. They went up to Baltimore and punched the Ravens defense in the face, piling on over 500 yards of offense on what has been the best defense in the NFL over the past decade plus.
They stood tall at Arrowhead Stadium and went nose to nose with an upstart Chiefs team that is in the top 10 in most defensive rankings. They lost only when the Chiefs kicker nailed a 35-yard field goal as time expired in OT.
The Bills have been so close to victory. They can smell it. And now they welcome a Bears team that quite frankly has played miserable the last three game.
Five third-down conversions out of the past 50 chances.
Wait—let me repeat that. The Chicago Bears are FIVE FOR THE PAST 50 third-down conversions. JESUS!
I mean is that stat even measurable? Has there been a team with a worse percentage than the Bears in that span of time? I am not sure I even want to know. This is so depressing.
Want more bad news?
According to Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Bears:
- Have the third-worst offense in the NFL.
- Have the worst third-down offense (by a considerable margin).
- Have given up the most sacks in the league.
- Have thrown the most interceptions in the league.
- Have the second-worst red zone offense in the league, which includes an impressive zero for their last 10 chances from the goal line.
Wow...I'm not even mad, that is just amazing.
Jay Cutler has looked like a shell since coming back from his concussion. The offensive line has looked lost and confused for pretty much the entire season.
Even the defense looks like it is lagging. Whether it is because the offense can never stay on the field or that Lance Briggs is missing or a combination of the two, the past two weeks have not been the most pleasing.
Now, will the Bears come out from the bye week motivated with a new game plan? Maybe.
Will Mike Tice have the offensive line figured out (they have had five different starting line combinations in the first seven games with Olin Kreutz as the only lineman who has played and started at the same position since Week 1).
Will the Bills have a hangover after losing out on two close games? It is entirely possible.
But if the NFL has taught us anything this season, expect the unexpected, whether it is the Raiders blowing out the Broncos by 800 points or the Packers beating the Jets 9-0 or the Bears getting a victory despite an obvious touchdown catch by Calvin Johnson in the first game of the year.
The Bills can beat the Bears.
No offense to Tim Jennings, Zach Bowman or Peanut Tillman, but if the Bears don't generate a pass-rush, Fitzpatrick is going to have his way with the Bears defensive backfield all day, much like Matt Hasselbeck did.
This game is dangerous because if the Bears are the first team to lose to the Bills this year, both head coach Lovie Smith and offensive coordinator Mike Martz need to be fired pretty much on the spot.
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