Chicago Bears: Table May Be Set for Defense to Feast in Week 9
After giving up a total of 69 points to the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots in Weeks 6 and 7, the Chicago Bears’ defense got back on track in Week 8 versus the New York Jets by holding them to a mere 10 points. That trend could easily continue in Week 9 when Chicago travels to Western New York to face the Buffalo Bills.
With an already struggling offense, the Bills are now faced with another dilemma. In Week 8 versus the Patriots, Bills quarterback Derek Anderson suffered a concussion, and is now under the league’s concussion protocol. Already working on a short week of preparation, Anderson may not be available for the game against the Bears. This will bring backup quarterback Nathan Peterman in as this week’s starter. ESPN Staff Writer Mike Rodak posted the news stating that Peterman is expected to start versus Chicago, as did ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter via Twitter.
Peterman is the Bills’ only logical option at quarterback, due to Anderson’s concussion and a right elbow injury to rookie quarterback Josh Allen, who will be out for the third consecutive week. Peterman was Buffalo’s starter in Week 1, but was replaced by Allen after completing only five of 18 passes for 24 yards and two interceptions. What Peterman is best known for in his young two-year professional career is throwing five interceptions in a Week 11 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers last season.
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Overall, Peterman has a career completion percentage of 45.7 percent, with three touchdowns and nine interceptions. On the flipside, the Bears’ defense is tied for second in the NFL with 11 interceptions. In addition, the Bills have surrendered 29 sacks through the first eight weeks of the season (fourth-most in the league). With or without outside linebacker Khalil Mack, Chicago should easily add to the 20 sacks they already have on the year.
Having the erratic Peterman under center for Buffalo puts more pressure on the Bills’ 23rd ranked running game. The Bears have the third-best run defense in the NFL, allowing an average of 83.1 yards per game. Furthermore, Chicago has yet to surrender a rushing touchdown on the season.
Of course, on paper, this looks to be the easiest win for the Bears this year. This also has the makings of being a trap game. No matter how anyone views it, Chicago has no choice but to take full advantage of this potential win that’s being gift wrapped for them. Another victory will put them at 5-3 on the season, and give them much-needed momentum headed into three consecutive NFC North matchups.