TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Buffalo Bills At Chicago Bears

Buffalo Bills
Chicago Bears
(Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Quarterback
The Bills are hoping that second-year quarterback E.J. Manuel can stay healthy and make significant progress this season. He flashed his athletic ability and skills last year, but he had a hard time saying healthy. Manuel is a powerful man who can shake off the pass rush and throw the ball with power. If he can increase his consistency, the Bills could develop into a dangerous offensive team.
Winner The Bears have a very challenging schedule in the first half of the year, so it’s imperative that they get off to a good start in their season opener. Jay Cutler has had an excellent training camp, and he has the weapons to put stellar numbers on the board. He completed 63.1 percent of his passes last year and threw 19 touchdowns in an injury-shortened season a year ago.
Offense
The Bills have the weapons on offense to push hard for an upset against the soft Bears defense. Running backs C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson figure to both have excellent days. Spiller has the speed to find a crease and break the long run, while Jackson has power. Wide receiver Robert Woods had a solid rookie season and the Bills would like to see more from him. Sammy Watkins (rib) is questionable for this game.
Winner Explosive running back Matt Forte is one of the most consistent players in the league. He is a solid runner and he plays a key role in the passing game. Brandon Marshall is one of the best big-play receivers in the league, while Alshon Jeffery has a huge wingspan and will not drop the ball. Tight end Martellus Bennett is a very solid third-down weapon.
Defense
Winner The Bills have some legitimate talent on the defensive side of the ball, and it’s hard not to start with DT Kyle Williams. He is coming off a monster year in which he had 10.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss. If defensive end Mario Williams can match the 13.0 sacks he had last year, the defensive line can be formidable. The secondary, however, is quite vulnerable.
Winner If the Bears are going to push the Green Bay Packers this year and make a run at the NFC North title, they have to show improvement on defense. They were awful against the run in 2013, and they appear to be in bad shape at the linebacker position again this season. Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker is depending on improved play from the line to help this unit step up.
Special Teams
Winner The Bills got a surprisingly good season out of placekicker Dan Carpenter last year, as he made 33-of-36 FG attempts. Don’t expect the Bills to be anything more than ordinary in their coverage teams, while they appear to be limited by their own return ability.
The Bears special teams were poor last year and they looked even worse during the preseason. The coverage teams appear to lack athleticism and determination. However, Robbie Gould is one of the most consistent kickers in the game. He made 26-of-29 FG attempts last year.

The Winner Is

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Winner Chicago Bears
3 out of 4

The Bears have a chance to be one of the most explosive offensive teams in the league this year. However, without an improved defense, they will have little chance of contending for a playoff spot. The Bills have a chance for the upset because of their sold running attack.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 25:  Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants breaks a tackle by Josh Norman #24 of the Washington Redskins in the second half at MetLife Stadium on September 25, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 25:   Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers runs the ball against Everson Griffen #97 and Tom Johnson #92 of the Minnesota Vikings in the 1st half during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: New York Giants At Minnesota Vikings

    The Vikings defense has annihilated every opponent so far. Can they do it to the explosive Giants offense this week?

  2. KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 25: Center Mitch Morse #61 of the Kansas City Chiefs prepares to snap the ball to Alex Smith #11 at Arrowhead Stadium during the second quarter of the game against the New York Jets on September 25, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Quarterback  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers passes against  Bennie Logan #96 of the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
    Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: Kansas City Chiefs At Pittsburgh Steelers

    The Chiefs and Steelers battle it out in a match-up of AFC playoff contenders.

  3. ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 25:  Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the Chicago Bears in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Running back Carlos Hyde #28 of the San Francisco 49ers rushes for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on September 25, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 37-18.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: Dallas Cowboys At San Francisco 49ers

    The Cowboys have been rolling with rookie QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott. They look to continue that momentum this week.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Connecticut

CBS Hartford 4 Charity
Win Red Sox Tickets All Season
The Latest UConn News

Listen Live