Bears force four turnovers, stampede over Bills

by - Senior Writer -
Running back Jordan Howard spurred the Chicago Bears on with two rushing scores. (Photo Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)
Running back Jordan Howard spurred the Chicago Bears on with two rushing scores. (Photo Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Even without the services of field-general linebacker Khalil Mack, who missed Week 9’s game due to an ankle injury, the Chicago Bears throttled the lowly Buffalo Bills to remain on top of the NFC North standings. Picking off Bills quarterback Nathan Peterman three times, the Bears’ defense came to play at New Era Field on Sunday. Forcing four turnovers and scoring two defensive touchdowns, Chicago was able to win quite comfortably, despite totaling just 190 yards of total offense. Running back Jordan Howard led the way for Chicago with two rushing scores as the Bears stampeded over the Bills and won 41-9.

Following a scoreless opening quarter, the Bears took a commanding 28-point lead in the second period. Chicago struck first on a drive that began with the Bears receiving good field position after a Buffalo punt. Thereafter, Howard, who compiled 47 rushing yards on 14 carries, scored his first touchdown of the afternoon on a one-yard burst up the gut.

Midway through the second quarter, rookie Bears linebacker Roquan Smith forced Jason Croom to fumble after corralling a short pass, and Chicago safety Eddie Jackson recovered the fumble and raced 65 yards to the house, thereby providing the Bears with a 14-0 advantage.

After that, Peterman proceeded to throw an interception on consecutive possessions, with the second such turnover resulting in a touchdown, as linebacker Leonard Floyd used a 19-yard interception return to put the Bears up by three scores.

Late in the first half, Bears speedster Tarik Cohen set up the Bears’ fourth score of the contest with a 36-yard punt return to the Buffalo 23-yard line. Two plays later, Howard collected an 18-yard rushing touchdown.

Out of the intermission, both teams traded field goals and interceptions in an uneventful third quarter, and the Bears then put the Bills away by tacking on 10 more points in the fourth quarter. Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky went 12-20 for 135 yards through the air in a winning effort that did not require any expert quarterbacking on his behalf. Trubisky’s lone touchdown came with under five minutes remaining in the matchup, when he connected tight end Trey Burton for a two-yard score that effectively iced the game.

Prior to that, Peterman broke the plane on a one-yard carry to finish off a 75-yard drive and provide Buffalo with its sole touchdown of the afternoon. A failed two-point conversion ensued. Peterman finished with 189 passing yards in a 31-49 showing.

The Bills accrued twice as many first downs as the Bears and also garnered 74 more yards. However, the four turnovers forced by Chicago made the difference, as the Bears were clutch on the defensive end from start to finish. Limiting Buffalo to just one red-zone trip all game, Chicago steamrolled to a 41-9 victory that improved the Bears to 5-3 overall and dropped the Bills to 2-7 overall.

Wideout Anthony Miller manned the receiving efforts for the Bears with five catches for 49 yards. Fellow Chicago receiver Taylor Gabriel, meanwhile, hauled in three receptions for 45 yards. On the defensive side of the ball, Smith played a whale of a game, collecting 13 total tackles, 11 of which were solo. Also at linebacker for the Bears, Danny Trevathan picked up the slack left behind by Mack’s absence by attaining 12 combined tackles, including two tackles for loss.

Currently holding a slight edge over the 5-3-1 Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North, the Bears will look to hang onto that lead when they return home to battle the rival Detroit Lions next Sunday at 12:00 p.m. CST.

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