Game Predictions & Player Projections - BUF vs CHI

Game Predictions & Player Projections - BUF vs CHI

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Game Predictions & Player Projections - BUF vs CHI

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Prediction: BUF 17, CHI 27 (Line: CHI by 7)

The Bills stumble into this season after an unimpressive preseason and were only 2-6 in road games last year. The Bears at home start out all healthy and were 5-3 when playing in Chicago. The Bills defense is decent but the Bears strength is their offense now. Should end up a solid win in Chi Town.

Buffalo Bills

1 @CHI —– 10 KC —–
2 MIA —– 11 @MIA —–
3 SD —– 12 NYJ —–
4 @HOU —– 13 CLE —–
5 @DET —– 14 @DEN —–
6 NE —– 15 GB —–
7 MIN —– 16 @OAK —–
8 @NYJ —– 17 @NE —–
9 BYE —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
BUF @ CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB EJ Manuel 20 190,1
RB LeSean McCoy 100,1 4-30,1
WR Jarrett Boykin 4-50
WR Sammy Watkins 4-50
WR Robert Woods 4-50,1
TE Charles Clay 5-70
PK Dan Carpenter 1 FG 2 XP

The only changes the Bills really made offensively was adding Mike Williams from the Buccaneers to become the #2 wide receiver and sending Stevie Johnson off to the 49ers. The Bills also drafted Sammy Watkins as the best receiver in the NFL draft. Bryce Brown was brought in for the backfield but starts out as the #3 there with some promise of advancing perhaps next year.

The big problem for now is the play of E.J. Manuel who has disappointed this summer and not taken the steps forward that the team hoped to see. He remains the starter though Kyle Orton was recently brought in and could end up taking the reins sooner than later should Manuel continue his streak of not improving. Spending the pick on Watkins and bringing in Williams should play big dividends to the offense and Robert Woods in the slot adds yet another dimension. But it will all come back to Manuel.

This is one of the more interesting backfields. It is the age-less Fred Jackson who ends up saving the day every year and C.J. Spiller who mixes thrilling games with complete flops and not much rhyme or reason why. Jackson is on his last legs to be sure but may end up yet again as a fantasy savior. Spiller needs to show durability and consistency or Bryce Brown shows up next year.

Scott Chandler remains the starting tight end but he only scored twice last year and rarely ended with more than 50 yards in any game. This week and every other will be all about watching to see what Manuel can do and if Orton needs to come in. There is firepower in this offense but without the right quarterback it doesn’t matter.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: There is not much that is special about the Bears defenses anymore and they ended up average in almost every category last year. But only top quarterbacks ever scored more than once on them last year and Manuel is no where near that level. At this point, expect little from Manuel other than perhaps one score and marginal yardage. The Bears were very weak against the run and the Bills are going to focus their offense on the ground as much as they can here. Both Jackson and Spiller are moderate starts this week even on the road.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 29 7 29 28 9 7
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 14 31 15 27 29 26

Chicago Bears

1 BUF —– 10 @GB —–
2 @SF —– 11 MIN —–
3 @NYJ —– 12 TB —–
4 GB —– 13 @DET —–
5 @CAR —– 14 DAL —–
6 @ATL —– 15 NO —–
7 MIA —– 16 DET —–
8 @NE —– 17 @MIN —–
9 BYE —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
CHI vs BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler 10 280,2
WR Alshon Jeffery 5-90,1
TE Rob Housler 3-40
PK Robbie Gould 2 FG 3 XP

The Bears enter this year almost unchanged and looking forward to the second season of the Marc Trestman offense that helped Jay Cutler, Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall all to turn in big years. The offensive line that had been a liability is now one of the better in the league and returns all five starters. The revamp to the line in 2013 was a success and that will be even more apparent this year. A team that has long been known for smash-mouth offense and bruising defense is now one of the top passing teams in the NFL.

Jay Cutler has a shot at another career year with a great schedule and all the tools he needs to succeed. He scored in every game he finished last year and once again is only in question for durability. If he can remain healthy – and his line is going to help – then he should be a lock for a very nice year. At home he was consistently good for 250+ pass yards.

Matt Forte was a draft darling this summer and why not? He was dominant in most every game, shares almost nothing and nearly doubles his production with his receiving yards. His final three home games all saw him catch a touchdown. He caught at least four passes in all but three games last season.

Martellus Bennett was effective and scored five times but only scored once after mid-season as the offense became more comfortable in the new scheme. He still posted moderate stats every week but his impact was much greater in the first half of the year than the second half. He remains in the game plan but Cutler is better now at hitting wide receivers and doesn’t need to rely on Bennett as much.

This offense thrives on the two wide receivers. Brandon Marshall ended with 100 catches for 1295 yards and 12 touchdowns last year while Alshon Jeffery had his break out year of 89 receptions for 1421 yards and seven scores. There were 303 passes thrown to the duo who along with Forte are the Big 3 weapons in Chicago.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Bills defense ranks about average in all categories and less so on the road where every opponent throw for one to five touchdowns on them last year. Expect a nice showing here out of the game by the Bears against a Bills team that is still stumbling on offense which in turn will hamper their own defense. Cutler, Marshall and Jeffery are starts every week regardless but at home in the first game should be even better than usual. Forte is likely to get a bigger workload as well with a clock to run out. All the normal fantasy players here are strong plays.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 5 10 3 23 14 8
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 12 14 23 6 25 23

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