Sunday, September 7, 2014

Week 1 picks: Bills at Bears


Publisher Nick St. Denis, associate editor Dan Begnoche and senior writer Sean Donovan pick the Buffalo Bills' road contest with the Chicago Bears.

Dan's take
Buffalo's offense has a lot to prove in Chicago Week 1, as the unit tries to erase an absolutely dreadful preseason showing from its collective memory. It may get a break, however, from a Bears defense still trying to claw its way back into the conversation. Jay Cutler's offensive unit is no small task for the stout-looking Bills defense, and this one may come down to which team's running back corps can outshine the other.
Prediction: Bears 27, Bills 17

Sean's take
After a poor 2013, the Bears' defense remains a question mark. It'll take time to make judgments on the wholesale changes they made, but lining up against overwhelmed Bills quarterback Manuel will allow the unit to put up a solid performance in front of its home fans. From there, a healthy Cutler and his bevy of talented-pass catchers engineer a rout.
Prediction: Bears 34, Bills 6

Nick's take
This will be the first 2014 test in how much patience the Bills' defense can have for the offense. The Jim Schwartz-led unit, particularly up front, should force enough three-and-outs early to give the offense some leeway, but at some point, Manuel needs to get the ball down the field and put points on the board. If the Bills don't get to double-digits by halftime, look for the Bears to take advantage and wear down a defense carrying too much of the load.
Prediction: Bears 24, Bills 14

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