BUFFALO (11-3) at CHICAGO (3-11)
Saturday, 1 p.m. EST, CBS
FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK NFL LINE: Bills by 10
AGAINST THE SPREAD: Bills 6-8; Bears 5-8-1.
SERIES RECORD: Bears lead 8-5.
LAST MEETING: Bears beat Bills 41-9 on Nov. 4, 2018, in Orchard Park, N.Y.
LAST WEEK: Bills beat Dolphins 32-29; Bears lost to Eagles 25-20.
BILLS OFFENSE: OVERALL (2), RUSH (8), PASS (5), SCORING (4)
BILLS DEFENSE: OVERALL (9), RUSH (6), PASS (18), SCORING (2)
BEARS OFFENSE: OVERALL (23), RUSH (1), PASS (32), SCORING (19).
BEARS DEFENSE: OVERALL (22), RUSH (27), PASS (15), SCORING (30).
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Bills plus-1; Bears minus-1.
BILLS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Josh Allen. The wintry elements didn’t limit the Bills quarterback from enjoying his 20th passing game of at least 300 yards against Miami, and neither should a Bears defense that gave up 315 yards to Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts last weekend. Allen also represents a dual threat with a team-leading 705 yards rushing, 58 short of Buffalo’s single-season record for a QB he set last season.
BEARS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Justin Fields. Fields is closing in on the NFL single-season rushing record for a quarterback with 1,000 yards. He joined Michael Vick (1,039 in 2016) and Lamar Jackson (1,206 yards in 2019 and 1,005 in 2020) last week as the only QBs to reach that milestone. Fields would break the record if he averages about 70 yards over the final three games. Considering he's been running for 77 per outing, his odds look good.
KEY MATCHUP: Bills WRs Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis against Bears CB Kyler Gordon and company. Chicago shut down top CB Jaylon Johnson for the remainder of the season on Friday, placing him on injured reserve because of a ring finger injury. So instead of having him go against Diggs, the Bears have an even bigger challenge. They figure to lean on two rookies as they try to deal with star quarterback Josh Allen and a pair of difficult receivers. Diggs is the NFL's third-leading receiver with 1,299 yards. Davis has 752 yards and six touchdowns.
KEY INJURIES: Bills C Mitch Morse is out after he sustained the sixth documented concussion of his career. Ryan Bates, who is in line to return after missing one game with an ankle injury, will shift from right guard to center. ... DE Boogie Basham is out with a calf injury. ... DT Jordan Phillips is in line to return after missing two games with a shoulder injury. ... S Jordan Poyer says he expects to play despite a knee injury. ... DT Ed Oliver (calf) was added to the injury report on Wednesday. ... Bears RG Teven Jenkins (neck), LG (Cody Whitehair) and WR Chase Claypool (knee) are doubtful. Jenkins was carted off the field during last week's game. ... LB Jack Sanborn (ankle) suffered a season-ending ankle injury against Philadelphia. ... WR N’Keal Harry (back) is expected to return after missing last week's game. ... WR Equanimeous St. Brown (concussion) is out.
SERIES NOTES: The Bears have won three of the past four games in the series and are 5-1 at home.
STATS AND STUFF: The National Weather Service was predicting a high of 10 degrees with gusting wind in Chicago on Saturday — and that's after heavy snow on Thursday and Friday. The Bears' coldest home game by temperature was 2 degrees with a minus-13 wind chill against Green Bay on Dec. 22, 2008. The coldest by wind chill was minus-15 against the Packers on Dec. 18, 1983, when the temperature was 3. ... The Bills have clinched their fourth straight playoff berth, and need a win or a tie (or a Miami Dolphins loss or tie) to secure their third straight AFC East title. ... The Bills are 11-3 or better through 14 games for the sixth time in team history, and second time in three years. ... The Bills are 5-0 in games not played on Sunday this season. The 2005 Denver Broncos were the previous team to win five games not played on Sunday in a single season. The previous team with six non-Sunday wins was the 1962 Boston Patriots. ... Allen’s 171 touchdowns (133 passing, 37 rushing and one receiving) are tied with Hall of Fame Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino for most by a player in his first five NFL seasons. ... Allen had his 20th game of at least 300 yards passing and ninth four-TD-passing outing in his 50th start last weekend. ... With 99 catches, Diggs is two short from holding the top three single-season spots on the team list in just three seasons in Buffalo. Diggs’ 1,299 receiving rank sixth on the team’s single-season list and he's 70 yards shy from moving into second place. ... The Bills are the NFL’s second team to win five straight without forcing an interception, joining the Dallas Cowboys, who went 6-0 without a pick from Oct. 30 to Dec. 1, 2016. ... The Bears are on a seven-game losing streak — one shy of the club record. They dropped eight straight in 1978 and 2002. ... Fields is averaging a league-leading 7 yards per carry and ranks seventh overall in rushing. He also has three touchdown runs of 50 yards or more — the most by an NFL quarterback in a season. ... Rookie CB Kyler Gordon had his second interception and first fumble recovery last week.
FANTASY TIP: Allen could be in for a big game against a struggling defense whether he tries to throw in the frigid conditions or relies on his legs.
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