Buffalo Bills (0-0) at Chicago Bears (0-0)
|Date & Time||Sunday September 7, 2014, 1:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Chicago Bears -6.5 -- Over/Under: 48.5
The Chicago Bears and the Buffalo Bills face off on Sunday at Soldier Field as they kick off their 2014 NFL regular season schedules.
The Chicago Bears missed the playoffs last season when they came up short in their final game losing to the Packers. QB Jay Cutler missed a good portion of last season due to injury and with Jimmy Claussen backing him up it is imperative for Cutler to remain healthy if the Bears have any chance of winning games. Mat Forte is one of the better backs in the NFL both carrying the football and catching passes out of the backfield. Chicago also sports one of the best receiver tandems in football with Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey. Defensively the Bears looked soft in the preseason but they can only hope it will be a lot better when they play for real. Julius Peppers is gone and Jared Allen is in but mainstays Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman remain with prominent roles. The Bears offense should score points, it will be up to the defense as to how good this team will be.
The Buffalo Bills look good on paper but how that translates onto the football field remain to be seen. E.J. Manuel has a year under his belt at QB and he has a strong supporting cast. The Buffalo backfield is stacked with C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson, and Bryce Brown all capable of carrying the load. Rookie Sammy Watkins is questionable at WR while Marquise Goodwin could be the fastest player in the NFL and Robert Woods is a star in the making. Defensively Marcell Dareus anchors the middle of the defensive line and Jerry Hughes brings the edge rush along with Mario Williams. Leodis McKelvin figures to have a busy day at CB as should Stephon Gilmore. Buffalo is looking to take a step forward and it all starts in week one.
Chicago is 7-19-1 against the spread in their last 27 games and 1-8-1 against the spread in their last 10 home games. Buffalo is 2-8 against the spread in their last 10 road games and 7-2 against the spread in week one.
I look for Cutler to get a lot more time than he got last year and for Briggs to step it up against the run for the Bears making the decisive mismatch of the Chicago receivers against the Bills secondary the difference in this one.
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