The Chicago Bears are finally through with the practice games as they close their preseason with a 24 to 21 loss to the Buffalo Bills. Both teams began the day with most of their starters, and as expected, Buffalo's number ones looked really good. The Bills are a legit Super Bowl contender, while the Bears are looking to build something positive in year two of their new regime. Just getting mentioned as an "in the hunt" team for the postseason would be a huge step in the right direction coming off their three-win 2022.
As for the preseason finale, the Bills had more total yards than the Bears (382 to 259), more first downs (24 to 16), and they had a better third-down conversion percentage (50.0% to 30.8%).
Buffalo gashed the Bears' defense on the ground with 173 yards (5.1 ypc), but Chicago held the Bills quarterbacks to a passer rating of 68.2.
Before we get into some more numbers, here are all the Bears that didn't play against the Bills.
DB 4 E.Jackson, DB 9 J.Brisker, WR 10 C.Claypool, WR 12 V.Jones, QB 14 N.Peterman, RB 25 T.Ebner, DB 31 Ja.Jones, DB 39 J.Blackwell, LB 43 D.Gates, LB 55 D.Cole, OL 58 D.Wright, OL 62 L.Patrick, OL 64 N.Davis, T 67 R.Mbaeteka, OL 76 T.Jenkins, DL 95 D.Walker
And here is how the Bears started the day.
Here are the Bears' playing time breakdowns and some individual stats.
With so many players participating in the game, I'll split the snap count lists into two for both the O and the D.
Even though he had the offense in the red zone, Justin Fields was pulled from the game when he reached the snap limit they set for him. He ended up just 2 of 6 for 51 yards and a passer rating of 65.3. He added 3 runs for 16 yards.
Rookie Tyson Bagent was the next QB up on Saturday, and he didn't look as crisp as in the previous games, but he's a lock for the 53-man roster, in my opinion. He finished 7 of 14 passing for 43 yards, he was sacked twice, he threw a pick, and his passer rating was 26.8. He flashed as a scrambler again with 23 yards on 4 carries for another touchdown.
P.J. Walker rounded out Chicago's quarterbacking with a 6 of 11 for 71-yard and a TD performance good for a passer rating of 104.7.
Roschon Johnson led Chicago's running backs with 22 yards on 9 carries and added an 11-yard reception.
Tight end Stephen Carlson led the Bears with 41 yards on 3 catches.
Wideout Nsimba Webster chipped in with 3 receptions for 37 tards and 2 rushed for 22.
Robert Burns caught Walker's 5-yard TD pass, plus he ran in the two-point conversion, and he finished with 2 receptions for 7 yards.
Corner Greg Stroman Jr. led the Bears with 7 tackles on defense, and safety A.J. Thomas had 6 and another one on special teams.
UDFA linebacker Micah Baskerville had 5 tackles and a pass defended.
Trevis Gipson had a sack and a forced fumble in what may be the last game in his Bears' career.
Safety Elijah Hicks had 5 tackles on D and 2 more in the third phase.
Rookie corner Tyrique Stevenson had a couple more penalties, but he snagged an interception to go along with 3 tackles.
Corner Michael Ojemudia had 3 passes defended and 2 tackles on defense, and he had 2 more on special teams.
Rookie linebacker Noah Sewell had 4 tackles and a fumble recovery before leaving the game with an injury. He left the field under his own power but then was carted to the locker room.
Eberflus said he's not sure yet whether or not rookie LB Noah Sewell has a long-term injury or not. Said he talked to him post-game and he's doing "fine" but didn't offer much more than that. #Bears— Aaron Leming (@AaronLemingNFL) August 26, 2023
*The above image has players who only played in the third phase.
Cairo Santos was perfect again, making his lone extra point and going 2 for 2 on field goals, including a 51-yarder.
Trenton Gill had 5 punts with a 52.4 average (46.0 net), with 1 dropped inside the twenty.
Rookie safety Kendall Williamson had a forced fumble and a tackle on special teams and a tackle and pass defended on defense.
Wideout Isaiah Ford blocked a punt and had a tackle.
Rookie receiver Tyler Scott handled the return duties on Saturday, and he ripped off a nice 56-yard kickoff return. In all, he had 3 returns for 96 yards, and he fair caught 2 punts. He also picked up a tackle while on the punt team.
To check out the complete Bears vs Bills box score, I find that ESPN has an easy-to-navigate site.
All statistics and snap counts are taken directly from the NFL's Game Statistic and Information System, as are the accompanying pictures.