OPINION: Arrow Up/Arrow Down: Bills at Bears preseason

The Bills dominated the Bears on Saturday in Chicago

The Buffalo Bills won their seventh preseason game in a row Saturday, defeating the Chicago Bears, 41-15 at Soldier Field.

That means another week of starting with the Arrows Up:


Mitchell Trubisky

The Bills and Trubisky could not have scripted his return to Chicago any better. He finished the game going 20-of-28 for 221 yards and a touchdown. He was decisive, accurate, and in control of the Bills attack, which included plenty of no-huddle offense.

First half offense

The Bills offense simply dominated the Bears defense from the opening kick, scoring on six of their first seven possessions, including four-straight touchdowns to open the game. The Bills racked up 280 yards and 19 first downs in the first half alone.

First half defense

The defense was just as good, allowing the Bears only 145 total yards, only four first downs, and did not allow a third down conversion. Chicago was 0-for-5 in that department. The Bills went into halftime leading the game, 34-6.

Isaiah McKenzie

Aside from his one punt return gaffe (see below), McKenzie had a very good game overall. He finished as the team’s leading receiver, catching seven passes for 72 yards, and also retuned a punt 17 yards to help set up a Bills touchdown.

Reggie Gilliam

Gilliam, who came to the Bills as an undrafted free agent fullback but was then converted to a tight end, is now officially listed as a fullback again. Not only did he line up at fullback and block and run in short yardage situations, he also played tailback for most of the fourth quarter and closed out the game, finishing as the Bills’ leading rusher with 24 yards on eight carries, while scoring two touchdowns.

Zack Moss

In his first preseason action, Moss didn’t get many chances, but he made the most of the ones he did, finishing with four carries for 21 yards and 5.3 yards per-carry.

Jacob Hollister

Hollister was very good as a pass catcher, grabbing three balls for 53 yards, but also provided solid blocking in the run game.

Marquez Stevenson’s punt return

For the second week in a row, rookie Marquez Stevenson made a huge play. This time, it was a 79-yard punt return, where he showed off the blazing speed the Bills drafted him for.

Carlos "Boogie" Basham

Basham turned in a terrific performance overall, finishing tied for the Bills’ lead in tackles with five, including two for loss, plus added a sack and two quarterback hurries. If that wasn’t enough, he also blocked an extra point attempt by the Bears after their first touchdown.

Greg Rousseau and A.J. Epenesa

Once again, the Bills' young defensive ends played well. Between the two of them, they had a sack (Rousseau), a tackle for loss, and three quarterback pressures.

Rachad Wildgoose and Nick McCloud

Both rookie cornerbacks did a nice job, combining for four total tackles, three pass breakups, and an interception from McCloud that set up a late first half field goal for the Bills. Wildgoose also showed the physicality he’s known for throughout the game.

Tyler Bass

Just another day at the office for the Bills kicker, who made all five of his attempts, including three extra points and two field goals.



Matt Haack’s first punt

Matt Haack’s first punt of the day was not at all what he or the Bills wanted, traveling just 29 yards and giving the Bears excellent field position at their own 40-yard line. Haack was signed, in large part, for his ability to be a directional kicker, so when he has mistakes like that they are even more magnified.

Isaiah McKenzie’s muffed punt

With the Bills leading 7-0 midway through the first quarter, the defense recorded a three-and-out, but McKenzie muffed the ensuing punt. Luckily, he fell on it himself, but for a player who is trying to lock down that job, he can’t have ball security mistakes like that.

Containing Justin Fields’ running

Fields ran four times for 46 yards against the Bills defense. They obviously didn’t gameplan for him specifically, but there were too many times the rookie kept the play alive and broke contain for solid gains.

Jake Fromm’s offense

Fromm didn’t have a very good game throwing the ball, finishing only 3-for-7 for 20 yards, but he was also under duress and sacked twice. While Fromm was playing quarterback, the Bills only had two possessions, gained 28 total net yards and punted on both possessions.

Davis Webb

Webb didn’t have nearly the same game he did a week ago in Detroit against the Lions. He ended up going 4-of-6 for 30 yards, while also fumbling twice. Once on a bad center exchange and once while running away from pressure, losing the ball both times.

Dawson Knox’s drop

Once again, the Bills tight end dropped a ball right in his hands. This time, it was on the very first drive of the game.

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