OPINION: Arrow Up/Arrow Down: Bills at Bears

Buffalo wins its third-straight AFC East title on Saturday
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Chicago, Ill. (WGR 550) - The Buffalo Bills defeated the Chicago Bears, 35-13, on Saturday at Soldier Field, and in the process clinched their third-straight AFC East division title.

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It was the Bills' sixth win in-a-row, so I get to start with my Arrows Up for a sixth-straight week:

Devin Singletary
Photo credit Jamie Sabau - USA TODAY Sports

ARROW UP:

Running game

The Bills gashed the Bears defense with 254 yards on the ground, averaging 8.2 yards per-carry. It was their highest rushing output in a game in exactly six years.

Halftime

Whatever was said, whatever was done at halftime, it worked.

The Bills were trailing the Bears, 10-6, at the break and looked like they couldn't do much right. They then outscored Chicago, 29-3, in the second half.

RB - Devin Singletary

Singletary‘s numbers were terrific, running 12 times for 106 yards, averaging 8.8 yards per-carry. He had an electrifying 33-yard touchdown run to get the offense going in the second half.

The fourth-year running back added two catches for 19 yards for a 125-yard day.

RB - James Cook

Cook’s statline was also great, and very similar to Singletary’s.

The rookie running back ran 11 times for 99 yards, averaging 9.0 yards per-carry, and had a terrific 27-yard touchdown run himself.

He added a reception for nine yards for a total of 108 yards of offense.

Sean McDermott’s challenge

Two minutes into the fourth quarter with the Bills leading by 11, Chicago completed a 4th-and-3 for, what was called, a first down.

However, the Bills head coach challenged the play to say that the receiver did not gain enough yardage. It was very close, but after a long discussion and review, he was right and the Bills took over.

P - Sam Martin

Martin only punted three times, but averaged a whopping 53.7 gross and 49.7 net. He also had a booming 62-yard punt in the fourth quarter that flipped the field from the line of scrimmage of the Bills' 17-yard line to the Bears' 21-yard line.

Third down offense and defense

Once again, the Bills were very good on third down on both sides of the ball. The offense converted six of their 11 opportunities (54.5%), while the defense held the Bears to just 16.7%, allowing only two out of 12 chances.

Red zone offense and defense

It was a great day for the Bills in the red zone on both sides of the ball. They converted 3-of-4 (75%) times inside the Bears' 20-yard line for touchdowns, and held Chicago to just 1-for-4 (25%) on the day.

209 yards given up

The Bears had just 209 yards of total offense on the afternoon. They averaged only 3.5 yards a play, which is a great job by the Bills defense.

Run defense

The Bears came into the game as the league’s top rushing team, averaging 186.9 yards a game and 5.39 per-run. The Bills held them to just 80 yards on the ground and a 2.8-yard average.

Defense on Justin Fields

The Bears quarterback already had 1,000 yards rushing on the season. He had a run of, at least, 55 yards in three of his last five games.

Against the Bills, Fields was held to 11 yards on seven carries, with his longest run going for just seven yards. It as Fields’ lowest rushing output of the season.

DT - Ed Oliver

Oliver was a constant force in the interior, finishing with four total tackles, including two for loss, a sack, a quarterback hurry, and two batted down pass breakups.

Matt Milano and Tremaine Edmunds

Whether it was filling run gaps, containing and bringing down Fields, or helping in coverage, both Buffalo linebackers did an excellent job. The two combined for 15 total tackles, a quarterback hurry, and a pass breakup.

DE - Kingsley Jonathan

In his first action in a Bills uniform, Jonathan - elevated from the practice squad - had a big tackle for loss early in the game and contributed to the terrific defensive effort.

Josh Allen
Photo credit Mike Dinovo - USA TODAY Sports

ARROW DOWN:

K - Tyler Bass

Bass missed an extra point and a 38-yard field goal. Those four points were looking pretty large most of the game until the Bills turned it up on offense.

Josh Allen’s interceptions

The Bills quarterback threw two rough interceptions. The first he threw into double coverage targeting Isaiah McKenzie at the goal line. The second he overshot James Cook for an easy pick by a Bears linebacker.

Nyheim Hines

Hines inexplicably allowed a punt to drop in front of him, which then bounced all the way back towards the Bills' goal line, forcing them to start their next drive at their own two-yard line. Then in the fourth quarter, he mishandled a kickoff.

Kickoff coverage

The Bears started with very good field position on the first two possessions, both following Bills kickoffs. They were able to get the ball to their own 36-yard line and then their own 42-yard line. The Bills did not do a good job covering either kick.

First quarter defense

The Bills defense had a tough start, allowing 99 yards in the first quarter, including 55 on the ground. They gave up five first downs, and the Bears scored a touchdown on the first possession of the game.

Penalties

The Bills committed a whopping nine penalties for 72 yards. Several were critical that impacted big moments on either side of the ball.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Jamie Sabau - USA TODAY Sports