The Chicago Bears are coming off a solid victory against a team that they should have beaten. This Sunday, they travel to Buffalo to put the finishing touches on their 4-game excursion against the AFC East. The Bears will hopefully fly home victorious, meaning they went 2-2 in that stretch and are 5-3 at the halfway point. The biggest test in this game will be scoring on a very good good Bills defense.
The other side of the ball, however, is a different story entirely. The Bills offensive line is a mess, they don’t run the ball particularly well, and they are likely starting Nathan Peterman at quarterback. Peterman has been nothing short of awful in his short NFL career thus far, so this would be a welcome development for the Bears. If Peterman does start, I think you can expect to see Vic Fangio put on his Urban Sombrero and strut his stuff.
Here is my list of players to keep an eye on Sunday afternoon.
Who to Watch
Anthony Miller: I am expecting the Bears to sit Allen Robinson again this week. There simply is not reason to risk him to injury if you can win a game without him, he is going to be necessary in the second half of the season. The player that I think is going to step up in a big way this week is Anthony Miller. He has been open a ton the past few games and it feels like he and Mitch Trubisky are on the verge of breaking out. I think it happens this week.
Jordan Howard: Given how I expect this game to play out, and how awful the Bills offense is, the Bears should have Jordan Howard on the game plan in permanent marker. Kyle Long is going to be out, but given his play this season, that might not be a bad thing. Unless, of course, Eric Kush is going to start in his stead. My personal preference would be to see what recently signed Bryan Witzmann looks like at right guard. The running game improved with rookie guard James Daniels in the game and I would like to see what a re-tooled offensive line would look like.
Leonard Floyd: I am assuming that Khalil Mack is going to sit this game out as well, which means that Leonard Floyd needs to step up. Floyd has played the run well and has been sneaky solid in the passing game, providing both pressure and coverage ability. But that isn’t enough. The good news is that Floyd will likely be lined up against a player that Bears fans know well: Jordan Mills. If last Monday’s game was any indication of Mills’ improvements—or lack thereof—then Floyd should have a big game.
Eddie Jackson: No matter what Matt Nagy or Eddie Jackson has said about his late hit last week, it was a dumb play, no way around that. After some reflection on his part (hopefully), he will come out hungry against the Bills. As many have noted, Peterman is an interception machine, handing them out like Oprah does cars. The cornerbacks should feast a bit but Jackson has shown an ability to be a ballhawk against lesser competition, and Nathan Peterman is certainly that.
What are your thoughts? Which Bears players are you keeping an eye on this Sunday afternoon against the Bills?
Stay tuned for my Three Keys to the Game tomorrow morning and in case you missed it, here is my What to Watch For from earlier today.