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Battered Bears barely bested by bullying Buffalo Bills in brutal pre-season loss

The Bears starters used their last opportunity to knock off rust in this third pre-season game.

Buffalo Bills v Chicago Bears
DJ Moore making his second explosive YAC play in his second preseason appearancce.
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

It’s the last game of the pre-season, Justin Fields is going to take some snaps, presumably secure his perfect pre-season passer rating, and set the Chicago Bears up with a multi-touchdown lead before handing the reigns over to the second team. Let’s go Bears buddies!

Update: That’s not what happened.

Box Score

Dante Pettis on injured reserve

The Bears' punt return duties remain up in the air, with the presumed fallback now on injured reserve. The Bears will need to get a stop to see who shows up for punt returns.

Update: Tyler Scott was back to receive the first Buffalo Bills punt, though he opted against it. Probably a smart move in this case, but it would be nice to see him take one or two back for a touchdown so we can feel more secure in that position.

Update: Scott at least showed off some impressive returning on a kick return which he good past the 50 late in the second quarter. He never did get much of a chance to return a punt but did show the ability to fair catch with the best of them.

Bears practicing their 2nd & 10 offense, smart

This will inevitably happen once or twice in the regular season, so it’s a good idea to start with a zero yard run and see what that situation feels like while the wins still don’t matter.

Bears practicing their 3rd & 10 offense, smart

The preseason has been too easy for Fields so far, so scripting a couple 0 yard plays to set Justin up for a challenge was a good idea. Unfortunately, DJ Moore wasn’t able to get open against the Bills cornerback. I didn’t catch the CBs name, but based on his success against Moore, I can only assume it was Darrell Revis in his prime.

Yannick on the field

I didn’t notice him do anything exciting, but it’s good to see the new Bear looking sharp in Navy and Blue.

Pickens learning playing 1-technique is a little more challenging against starters

The rookie defensive tackle showed more burst than anchor in his college tape, but the Bears have been playing him more at the nose or 1-technique. The new Bear has generally managed to hold his own in the pre-season, but a couple snaps against the Bears first string got away from him today. He played deep into the game and continued looking good against backups. This is a perfectly fine place for him to be in his development. Good Bear.

The first defensive drive could have gone better

There are a couple of highlights in a Jaylon Johnson pass breakup and a Jack Sanborn sack called back due to a penalty. But the Bills otherwise marched down the field without significant resistance and waltzed into the end zone.

Bears doubling down on the third and long practice

I’m beginning to wonder if it’s the best strategy here. This Bills defense looks pretty good, and they might get more overall snaps of offensive practice if they just move the ball downfield and get some first downs.

Looks like Tyrique Stevenson may have been listening to too much Thompson Twins

Last week, I mentioned he may have been led astray by the lyrics of Olivia Newton John’s classic, “Physical.” This week, he may have been bopping to the Thompson Twins “Hold me now” because he started the game with a holding penalty on each of the Bills' first two offensive drives.

The Buffalo Bills are clearly wasting too many good play calls in the pre-season

It just feels like every play, the Bills offense has the right play call for the Bears defensive formation and it’s helping them move down the field with ease.

Gervon Dexter Sr. making good use of those big paws

The Bears defense has started looking better against the lesser Allen, and Gervon Dexter showed off his ball-batting prowess pawing down a piddly pass

I stand corrected. It was Wilson Phillips all along

Because Tyrique Stevenson was clearly primed to “Hold On” to the football in his daring interception to end the Bills second drive and shift the momentum in the Bears favor.

Hello, Justin

Fields may have been slow to start this game, but he was quick to show his presence in the Bears third drive, scrambling for a first down on the first play and passing to DJ Moore for a 40 yard gain on the next.

Update: Technically, Justin finished the game with more yards per attempt than Josh Allen. He just needs to do that for the regular season, and we’ll be sitting pretty.

Tyson Bagent, QB2

Many Bears fans have already moved the undrafted rookie up the depth chart of their hearts, but it’s interesting to see him as the first to come in as a backup. His Bears buddies didn’t help him much on his first couple passes, with an illegal block bringing back his first pass to Cole Kmet and an uncharacteristic drop from Robert Tonyan.

Update: Bagent led another impressive successful touchdown drive at the end of the second, toping it off again with a poor-man’s Justin Fields impression, scrambling for a touchdown.

Update: On the next drive, Bagent threw a beautiful deep ball that was sadly dropped by Stephen Carlson. If Carlson had caught it, Bagent would have probably gone to the bench for the game as a hero. Instead, he played another snap and threw a pick to some annoying little Bill who failed to read the room.

Good pressure from Rasheem Green

The new Bear hasn’t flashed as much as the other D-lineman, but he got some much-needed pressure on a Bills 3rd down to force a futile pass into the backfield and ultimately force the Bills first punt of the game.

Roschon Johnson and D’Onta Foreman both look good

The two look to fill a similar role in the Bears offense, and if I didn’t have one of them on my fantasy roster, I’d think it makes sense to keep them both in the rotation to help keep the group fresh and healthy deep into the cold Chicago winter.

Trevis Gipson strip sack

The preseason star continues to shine, and this time refused to be one-upped by Terrell Lewis in the strip-sack category.

Cairo Santos padding his 50+ yard resume

This Bear is taking full advantage of the preseason to show he can boot the long ones through the uprights. Good Bear.

Was Darrynton Evans 35 yard touchdown run the worst defensive play of the pre-season?

A lot of Bears want that one back, and the promising rookie linebacker Noah Sewell got injured by a Bear on the play. Hopefully, this Bears defense is motivated by that embarrassment of missed tackles come the regular season.

Did Staley make his putt?

What the hell is going on with this broadcast? We see Staley in his best golf attire swinging for a pot on the grass behind the end zone. He switches to his putter and the suspense could not be higher. Then the camera switches to the 4th quarter of a pre-season football game. NOBODY CARES RIGHT NOW! DID STALEY MAKE THE PUTT OR NOT!?

Blocked punt by Isiah Ford!

The wide receiver made the play of the 4th quarter blocking a punt and giving the Bears the best starting field position of the day.

PJ Walker shows some spark

The backup QB has failed to impress so far this preseason, but he showed some life when he was able to capitalize on Isiah Ford’s block punt with two quick completions to bring the Bears into the endzone and give these plucky Bears a chance at a late comeback!

It was a disappointing showing for the Bears starters, but the Bills are a great team, and the Bears are still figuring things out—and sorting out injuries on their offensive line. It would have been nice to see more separation from the Bears improved receiving corps, and more completions from Justin, but non-Vanilla play calls and less smothering defenses should open things up come the regular season.

The good news is that this game won’t lead to anyone entering the regular season with unrealistic expectations.