Bears/Bills Recap & Lions/Bears Preview
The Chicago Bears (5-3) crushed the Buffalo Bills (2-7) by a score of 41-9 on Sunday as they continued their run to the 2018 NFC North (Norris) Division Championship. The funny thing is the Bears didn’t even play that well, in my opinion. You might think I’m crazy but the Bears offense was pedestrian, maybe average at best on a day when it wasn’t really necessary due to the Bills disaster of an offense. Are you looking to get scared again now that Halloween is over? Then look at this stat: Buffalo has scored 98 points in 9 games for a 10.9 ppg average. Now that is terrifying.
Moving forward now that the Bears are done with the AFC East part of the schedule after going 2-2 in 4 straight AFC battles, Chicago will host Detroit and Minnesota at Soldier Field before going to Detroit on Thanksgiving Day for the rematch with the Lions. These three NFC North games are huge in the outcome of the 2018 divisional race. The Bears really need to win at least 2 of these games to have a chance at the Norris crown. If they win all three, “go ahead and crown ’em!”, as the late Dennis Green would say.
S #38 Adrian Amos – Adrian Amos has been somewhat quiet this season until this Bills game. For some reason Amos came to play at Buffalo, recording 7 TKL’s, 1 TFL including 1 Sack, 2 PBU’s, 1 QB hit, and 1 INT. Amos played more like his 2017 version in this game. Let’s throw a Game Ball at Amos and see if he catches it. I bet he will.
ILB #58 Roquan Smith – Roquan played his best game as a pro on Sunday in Buffalo. He wasn’t perfect by any means. Roquan still doesn’t look as fast sideline-to-sideline as he was last year at Georgia, but remember that he barely practiced in training camp after that strange contract holdout. Then he had a hamstring injury. Nonetheless, Roquan seems to be getting more comfortable each week. In the Buffalo game, he notched a co-team-high 12 tackles, 10 of them solo stops. Just wait until Smith gets some experience and a full training camp under his belt. Then we’ll see more impact plays like forced fumbles, interceptions, and sacks. For now, this performance was enough to earn a Game Ball.
ILB #59 Danny Trevathan – Danny had a big game in Buffalo, like most of the Bears defenders. Trevathan recorded a co-team-high 12 TKL’s including 7 solo stops, 2 TFL’s, and 1 QB hit. Danny comes to play every week and it is certainly noted by this analyst, the “Dutch Lion”. He brings intensity, knowledge of the defense, and passion to the Bears. He’s one of many leaders of this Bears team along with Akiem Hicks, Khalil Mack, Mitch Trubisky, and Kyle Long.
Player of the Game
CB #23 Kyle Fuller – What a long strange trip it’s already been for Kyle Fuller in his short five-year career. This guy looked like he would be run out of the league just two years ago (Fuller never played a down in 2016) as he was in the doghouse of old coach John Fox and his staff. Of course, DC Vic Fangio was around both then, and now, so what gives? Fuller got healthy and committed to being the best cornerback he could be. It worked. After a solid 2017, Fuller has looked even better in ’18. Pro Bowl berth? Likely. All-Pro? Possibly. Leader of the Bears secondary? Assuredly. At Buffalo, Fuller had a hand in three of the four takeaways, picking off one pass himself while causing the other interceptions by OLB #94 Leonard Floyd and S #38 Adrian Amos. In total, Fuller had 3 tackles, 3 PBU’s, and the INT. He truly epitomized the term “shutdown corner”. For the year he now has 26 tackles, 9 passes defended, and 4 INT’s, which already ties his career high set in his 2014 rookie year.
In last week’s Bills Preview, we wrote:
“Watch Out For…….. Domination!”
“Chicago is favored big and should win this game easily. The Bears are progressively good and the Bills are poor…… Chicago could and should win this game. The only thing the Bills have going for them is they are at home in Buffalo and the Bears have a couple of injuries to key players…..Chicago is favored by 10 points……. The Bears should win and will likely cover the large point spread. I’ll be taking Chicago S/U and ATS. Bears by 17.
Chicago Bears 30, Buffalo Bills 13″
RESULT: Chicago Bears 41, Buffalo Bills 9
- Once again the “Dutch Lion” was a soothsayer. We only missed by a combined 15 points. The Bears scored more, despite the average offensive performance, because of two defensive TD’s. The Bills only scored 9 points against the savage Chicago D. We predicted a 17 point win but it ended up beyond our wildest dreams, a 32 point victory. Therefore, the Bears easily covered the spread.
- Chicago Bears : 5-3
- Dutch Lion : 6-2
Halfway through 2018, now it gets real for Chicago and their quest to win the NFC North (Norris) Division for the first time since 2010. This Sunday the Chicago Bears (5-3) look to stay in 1st Place in the Norris as they start a stretch of 3 Black-and-Blue divisional games in 12 days as they host the Detroit Lions (3-5).
Troy Aikman will help us quantify where these teams are at and how they match up with the help of his wonderful NFL team ratings system. Here’s how Mr. Aikman has the Bears and Lions matching up based on the numbers through Week 9.
Aikman Efficiency Ratings (AER)
- Detroit (3-5) : 23rd overall (144.2), 20th offense (81.7), 26th defense (66.5)
- Chicago (5-3) : 1st overall (167.9), 11th offense (88.7), 1st defense (79.3)
According to the AER, this is yet another mismatch, on paper. But games are not played on paper. Chicago has the edge in all categories: offense, defense, and overall totals. Divisional games are always more important because they count as essentially 2 games in the standings: what you do, what they do, and of course tiebreakers. Home-field advantage is usually paramount and this week the Bears have it.
Watch Out For……….Return of a dominant running game
With bad weather including snow possible on Sunday at Soldier Field, we expect Chicago’s offense to evolve back into more of an old-fashioned, “control the ball and control the game” type of philosophy. I expect RB #24 Jordan Howard to get rolling against a poor Lions run defense ranked 30th in the NFL allowing over 142 yards rushing per game. Look for big games from Howard and RB #29 Tarik Cohen, as well as QB #10 Mitch Trubisky with his mobile scrambling ability. Also, watch for OLB #52 Khalil Mack’s return from his two game absence. Will his ankle allow him to play? Will he be healthy enough to crush Detroit’s pocket?
Week 10 Prediction:
Chicago is favored by 6.5 points according to Wednesday’s Chicago Tribune. As usual, the “Dutch Lion” and I (hey wait, that’s me) will take Chicago to win S/U and ATS as well. Bears by 14.
Chicago Bears 27, Detroit Lions 13
We hope you enjoy this week’s Black & Blue affair at Soldier Field. Have fun out there!