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Week 4: Bills vs. Bears Preview Chicago Bears
This week the Bills have another in a long line of tough opponents. The Chicago Bears come to Buffalo to take on the Bills on the heels of a tough loss to the Saints. The Bears first loss of the season took place despite leading 20-0 in the second quarter. The Bills are coming off another hard fought battle but a loss nonetheless to the hard charging Broncos. The Bills will be looking to some home cooking this week as they face their latest test.

Facts and Figures
Matchup: Chicago (2-1) at Buffalo (1-2)
Date: Sunday September 29, 2002
Place: Ralph Wilson Stadium
Time: 1:00pm
Television: FOX
Announcers: Kenny Albert and Tim Green
Spread: Bills by 3
Series: Bears lead 5-3
Last Meeting: Bills 20-3 in Buffalo (2000)
Bears Offense: Rush (18th); Pass (T-12th); overall (16th)
Bears Defense: Rush (19th); Pass (17th); overall (15th)
Bills Offense: Rush (28th); Pass (2nd); overall (7th)
Bills Defense: Rush (28th); Pass (19th); overall (24th)

Injury Update

The Bills once again go into this week healthy. They had many players banged up against the Broncos but all of them returned to the game. The most notable of them was Travis Henry who sprained his ankle and was limping after the game. He is expected to play this week.

The Bears are a banged up team. Ex-Bill Ted Washington was lost for at least 12 weeks with torn ligaments in his ankle a couple of weeks ago. Backup safety Bobby Gray has been lost for the year with a wrist injury. Starting defensive end Phillip Daniels and Corner R.W. McQuarters will miss the game with ankle and knee injuries respectively. Up in the air for the game is outside linebacker Roosevelt Colvin and tight end Fred Baxter, both have ankle injuries.

For complete injury news throughout the week and the Official NFL Injury Report go to our Injury Page.

Key Matchups

RB Travis Henry vs. MLB Brian Urlacher: The Bills haven't run well in two weeks and the task doesn't get easier against the Bears. Urlacher is arguably the best middle linebacker in the game and Henry will have to account for him on every carry of the football.

CB Antoine Winfield vs. WR Marty Booker: Booker is having a solid season as the Bears have too many receiving threats to double him consistently. Winfield will probably be the man in one on one coverage most of the game on Booker. He will be looking to atone for last week's effort against Denver.

QB Drew Bledsoe vs. FS Mike Brown: Brown is a big playmaker at safety and has had many big interceptions and returns over the last two years. Bledsoe will have to have an eye on him every time he throws the football.

LB London Fletcher vs. RB Anthony Thomas: The Bears will try to run since other teams have had a lot of success against the Bills on the ground. Fletcher and the front four are going to have to keep Thomas from getting into the secondary.

LT Jonas Jennings vs. OLB Roosevelt Colvin: If Colvin is healthy enough to play he presents problems for Jennings as he leads the Bears with four of the team's six sacks.

Game Plan

When The Bills Have The Ball: Look for them to throw early and often but then try to establish a running game, something they haven't done since opening day. Despite having a reputation for a good defense, the Bears are in the middle of the pack in all defensive categories so far this year. The Bills should be able to move the football if they strike the balance they have been seeking this year. If the run gets stopped early, the Bills need to try and stick with it and not abandon it altogether.

When The Bears Have The Ball: Look for the Bears to run early and often to exploit the Bills weak run defense. That could mean a big game for Anthony Thomas. That can then open up the passing game with the talented quartet of wide receivers the Bears have in Dez White, Marty Booker, Marcus Robinson, and David Terrell.

Bills Daily Prediction

The Bills will try to get off to a quick start this week after having to play from behind the previous three weeks. Look for them to use the home crowd to their advantage and get off to an early lead. If that happens they can be patient with the running game. The defense will be motivated after they let the team down in the fourth quarter last week. The Bears will be motivated also after a tough loss last week. Look for the Bills to come out on top after an uncharacteristic quick start: Bills 24, Bears 19

Season Prediction Record: (3-0)
Season Record Against The Spread: (3-0)

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