Two teams headed in opposite directions meet in upstate New York this week. Chicago comes off a routine victory against the Jets that gave them the top position in the super-tight NFC North.
Their offense is progressing with Coach Matt Nagy exposing quarterback Mitchell Trubisky to more of his playbook each week. The defense is solid, making them a legitimate threat to upend Green Bay or Minnesota in the division.
Buffalo’s defense gave New England all they could handle for about three quarters on Sunday night before Tom Brady and company broke through for a pair of late touchdowns.
If the Bills had an offense, they would have put a scare into the Patriots. But Derek Anderson and LeSean McCoy were held to a pair of field goals. Anderson suffered a concussion in the game and will turn over passing duties to Nathan Peterman in Week 9.
Peterman gets his fourth career start, but the results of his previous opportunities have been horrific. Buffalo’s defense had the Bills in position to beat the Texans in Week 6, only to see Peterman throw a pick-six and a second interception in the final minutes. They were the 9th and 10th interceptions in 84 pass attempts for Peterman.
That led the team to start Anderson, signed just that week to serve as a mentor to Josh Allen, who promptly suffered an injury to the ulnar collateral ligament of his throwing elbow and could miss the rest of the season.
Injuries and notes
Anderson might clear concussion protocol, but the team has already named Peterman the starter for Sunday. They also signed Matt Barkley to serve as a backup if needed.
Linebacker Tremaine Edmonds also suffered a concussion Monday night and is in the protocol.
DE Trent Murphy is questionable.
The team signed wide receiver Terrelle Pryor this week, too.
For Chicago, Khalil Mack is listed as questionable, but there is little doubt he will play.
Wide receiver Adrian Robinson is also banged up and listed as questionable.
Bills coach Sean McDermott got lots of credit for the Bills’ surprise playoff appearance last season. So far, it is buying him extra grace while the current Bills looks eerily similar to directionless regimes of past administrations.
Passing up on a chance to get a return for veterans LeSean McCoy and Charles Clay, or even Kelvin Benjamin at the trade deadline for a team obviously in rebuild mode raised eyebrows.
Matt Nagy is in the position McDermott was last season. He inherited much more talent than his Buffalo counterpart, but he was not expected to be in a division race against Green Bay, Carolina, and Detroit.
It’s hard to see Chicago taking a step back next season as the Bills have done in McDermott’s second year.
How to watch the Bills-Bears game
Fox Sports will give this game to the teams’ local networks and Fubo TV will give the game to you on your favorite internet-connected device.
Fubo TV and other internet TV providers like DirecTV Now and Sling, deliver high quality live feeds of NFL action from the licensed network each week.
Better yet, they do it for a fraction of the cost of cable and satellite and without the nasty contracts and expensive equipment.
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Who will win the Bills-Bears game?
Buffalo’s defense has surprised a bunch of teams this season, including a near-shutout of the powerful Vikings. Coming off a short week after a great effort like they had against the Patriots, though, is too much to ask.
Chicago takes care of business up north.