Fortunately, they don’t hand out style points for winning, and even if they did, they wouldn’t matter. The Bears certainly didn’t win pretty against the winless Bills but the important thing was that they did come away with the victory.
Lovie Smith talked about the need to be more balanced on offense and offensive coordinator Mike Martz obliged. Although they couldn’t accumulate many yards on the ground against the league’s worst run defense, the Bears did stay committed to the run game, rushing the ball 26 times for 62 yards and a touchdown with both Matt Forte and Chester Taylor.
Jay Cutler had an efficient yet unspectacular day through the air, completing 17 of 30 passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns. The key statistic was zero interceptions, although he did fumble the ball on a sack. Earl Bennett had a solid game with four catches for 52 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, Tim Jennings led the Bears with nine tackles and also had an interception late in the game that set up the go-ahead score. Lance Briggs, fully recovered from the ankle injury he suffered nearly a month ago, was second on the team with six tackles. Charles Tillman forced a fumble and Chris Harris had the game-clinching interception off a tipped pass.
At the beginning of the game, the defense was playing well enough to pitch a shutout. It wasn’t until :18 left in the first half that the Bills finally put a touchdown on the board. Buffalo outgained the Bears 340 yards to 283, and also had three more first downs. Ultimately, the two interceptions and fumble by the Bills made the difference in the game.
It’s easy to get frustrated by the way the Bears have been playing lately but it’s important to remember that they’re 5-3 and in the hunt for the division crown. The Packers are likely to spank the Cowboys tonight at Lambeau Field to remain ahead of the Bears, but they’re still in striking distance. It was discouraging that the Vikings were losing by two touchdowns to the Cardinals and came back to win the game, but if the Bears take care of business next week against them, they’ll have nothing to worry about.