Buffalo Bills: Three keys to a victory over the Chicago Bears
By DJ Eberle
BuffaLowDown’s DJ Eberle breaks down the Buffalo Bills’ Week 9 matchup against the Chicago Bears, including the three keys to the game.
A Nathan Peterman-led Buffalo Bills team against one of the toughest defenses in football in the Chicago Bears.
What could go wrong?
After costing the Bills a win in Houston three weeks ago, Peterman has the opportunity for some redemption Sunday against the Bears.
Like they’ve done much of the season, their defense will keep them in it. But can the Bills score enough points to give themselves the chance at a their third victory of the season?
That is the question.
Each week during the regular season this column will provide the three ways the Bills can secure a victory. So, without further ado, here are the Three Keys to the Game for the matchup against the Bears.
Eliminate Chicago’s running game
The Bears have one of the best – if not the best – two-headed rushing attack in the league with Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen.
If the Bills can take away the running game and force Mitchell Trubisky to beat them, likely without top wide receiver in Allen Robinson, they’ll like their chances.
The New England Patriots abandoned the run – whether it was because Sony Michel was out or purely the Bills effectiveness – and it worked really well. Even with Tom Brady as quarterback.
If the Bills can take away the running game like they’ve done much of the season, they have the secondary to shut down Trubisky.
This stat from Bills Insider Chris Brown says it all:
"“Buffalo brings the sixth-best pass coverage unit in the league into this matchup,” Brown writes at BuffaloBills.com. “The Bills are allowing just over 220 passing yards per game. Chicago’s offense has a pedestrian ranking of 21st in passing.”"
Split LeSean McCoy out wide
With the current state of the Bills offensive line and facing one of the best defenses against the run this weekend, it’s time to split LeSean McCoy out wide. As much as possible.
The Bills offense is at its best when both McCoy and Chris Ivory are both on the field at the same time.
Getting the ball into McCoy’s hands in space is the key. And it might be best to do it as a wide receiver.
Just look at McCoy’s stats from Monday.
While he was terrible in the running game – 13 yards on 12 carries – he was a difference maker in the passing game. McCoy led the Bills in receiving against the Patriots with 82 yards on six receptions.
McCoy is pissed off. Get the hall into his hands as much as possible because he just might turn in a huge afternoon.
When looking for answers after Monday’s loss, the Buffalo defense cited New England’s ability to create turnovers while it failed to do so.
If the Buffalo offense was even the slightest more capable, the defense wouldn’t have to worry about that.
However, since the offense is historically bad, the only way Buffalo is going to win is if the defense creates some turnovers moving forward.
The Bills need extra possessions and short fields to give them more chances to put points on the board.
Facing a more-than-capable Chicago defense, the Bills need to force at least two turnovers to have a chance to pull off the upset.
Prediction: Bears 24, Bills 17
With Peterman at the helm, it’s tough to expect much for this offense.
The Bills defense will keep the game close, but a late turnover will be the killer.
Expect McCoy to have a huge game.