Week 5: Bills vs. Bears
The Bills head to the Windy City for their toughest challenge of the season. The undefeated Bears are the best team in football right now coming off a blowout win over Seattle. The Bills have some confidence on offense now and are playing better than expectations through the first quarter of the season. All that confidence could come to a crashing halt in Chicago this week. This game will be a homecoming for Marv Levy, Dick Jauron, and Perry Fewell. Jauron was the head coach for the Bears from 1999-2003.
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (2-2) vs. Chicago (4-0)
||Jim Nantz and Phil Simms
||Bears by 11½
||Bears lead 5-4
||Bills Won 2
||Bills 33-27 OT in Buffalo (2002)
||Rush (21st); Pass (5th); overall (8th)
||Rush (7th); Pass (7th); overall (4th)
||Rush (9th); Pass (25th); overall (21st)
||Rush (17th); Pass (11th); overall (12th)
The Bills will be without Chris Villarrial who has a high ankle sprain. He suffered the injury against Minnesota. Matt Bowen has yet to play this year because of a lower leg injury. He is progressing well and there is a chance he'll make his Bills debut this week. Takeo Spikes has been out since early in the opener with a hamstring injury. He improved last week to practice Wednesday and Thursday but did not practice on Friday. He will likely be a gametime decision.
The Bears are very healthy. They are without FB Leon Joe who has a hamstring injury. TE Desmond Clark is slowed by a foot injury and may miss some practice time this week but he should play. WR Mark Bradley missed last week's game with a hamstring injury and may miss the game this week.
Bills Daily Injury Page
RB Willis McGahee vs. LBs Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs:
The two backers are the main cogs in the Bears stifling defense. For the Bills to have any chance at this game, McGahee will have to grind it out like he did against the Vikings.
CB Terrence McGee vs. WR Bernard Berrian:
McGahee will have his hands full against an emerging star in Berrian. He has been the main recipient of the solid play of QB Rex Grossman.
DTs Larry Tripplett and Tim Anderson vs. RB Thomas Jones:
Tripplett hasn't made his presence felt yet after being the team's premier free agent signing in the offseason. Jones finally got rolling against Seattle with a 98 yard performance. If he can come close to that again then the Bills are in serious trouble.
RDE Aaron Schobel vs. LT John Tait:
Schobel is a streaky player who has been incredibly quiet this year. He is due for a breakout game and needs to get it against the veteran Tait for the Bills to have a chance.
OTs Mike Gandy and Jason Peters vs. DEs Adewale Ogunleye, Alex Brown, and Mark Anderson:
The ends for Chicago bring a tremendous amount of pressure and will look to rattle J.P. Losman.
PR Roscoe Parrish vs. PR Devin Hester:
The two former Hurricane standouts battle it out for bragging rights. Both are exceptional punt returners, if one can break a long one that could be the difference in the game.
When The Bills Have The Ball: The Bills need to shorten this game to have any chance of winning. Look for them to keep pounding it on the ground even if the going is tough like last week against Minnesota. If they shorten the game, they may stay in it and have a chance at the end. Losman needs to make good decisions again when throwing, look for him to use his mobility to get out of the pocket and throw more on the run this week to avoid the pass rush.
When The Bears Have The Ball: The Bears are now an aerial assault team led by Grossman. Look for them to challenge the Bills young safeties with deep throws in the passing game. If they can get some big plays early it will be a long day for the Bills.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
The Bears are due for a letdown game and the Bills coaching staff should put together a solid gameplan since they will definitely want this game going back to Chicago. For those reasons, part of me wants to say that the Bills have a chance, but in reality they don't against a Bears team that is very loaded. The Bills defense will keep them in the game for a while but they aren't good enough yet to hang with the big boys on the road:
Bears 17, Bills 9
Season Prediction Record: (1-3)
Season Record Against The Spread: (2-2)
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