I can’t imagine it’s fun being a Buffalo Bills fan right now.
Prior to Monday’s game against the Patriots, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio presented a path for the struggling Bills (2-6) becoming sellers at today’s trade deadline, and, then, almost on cue, they proceeded to emerge from Monday’s loss in even worse shape than before.
Derek Anderson, who had been starting at quarterback in place of the injured Josh Allen (elbow, out since Week 7), left Monday’s game with an injury, himself, and appeared to be holding his arm as he left in pain. As it turns out, Anderson also has a concussion. Which leaves second-year QB Nathan Peterman – who owns a career 45.7 completion percentage and 31.4 passer rating in seven games – to start against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Tough luck for the Bills, who were in the playoffs last year but don’t look like anywhere near the team they were when they pushed the Jaguars to the brink in the opening round of the postseason.
Oh, and we haven’t even mentioned Buffalo’s other first-round pick, linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, who had to leave Monday’s game early because of a concussion. Edmunds (deemed a great fit for the Bears by Mel Kiper Jr. and favorably compared to Brian Urlacher) will be in concussion protocol this week, and, thus, not doing his thing against the Bears. We never – ever, ever, ever – root for a player to be injured, especially with something as serious as a concussion, but we also cannot ignore the competitive advantage it provides his opponents. Edmunds was having a decent game (eight tackles, one TFL, one pass breakup) and season (he started all seven games and hadn’t missed a snap) before having to exit on Monday. He has essentially been as good as advertised, but his status for Week 9 is still to be determined.
In other words, the Bills are riding the struggle bus and awaiting them at the next stop are your Chicago Bears.
Prior to the Bears’ stretch of four straight games against the AFC East, the hope was that they would emerge with a 3-1 record. That, of course, flew out the window when they lost to the Dolphins and Patriots in back-to-back weeks to start the stretch, but Chicago can find some redemption with a road win in Buffalo, helping them maintain a position atop the NFC North and wrap up the first half with a 5-3 record.
To be clear, this game against the Bills isn’t a given. Bears fans should know better after the debacle against the Dolphins. But the expectations have changed in Chicago, and that’s a very good thing. The Bears are expected to win. And if the team has taken Matt Nagy’s mantra of not making the same mistake twice to heart, they will. If not, something will have probably gone terribly wrong.