The Chicago Bears (5-3) beat the Buffalo Bills (0-8) today 22-19, ending a two-game losing streak and returning from its bye week with healthy players.
The Bears took the first lead of the game in the second quarter with a four-yard touchdown pass to Bears tight end Greg Olsen after 14-plays and an 81-yard drive. A second scoring opportunity came later in the quarter but Bears kicker Robbie Gould missed a 42-yard field goal attempt.
The Bills finally got on the board at the end of the second quarter. Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick efficiently moved down the field with a 92-second, 11-play, 68-yard touchdown drive, tying the game at 7-7. Coincidentally, the journeyman quarterback played under Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz while at St. Louis.
In the first half, the Bears dominated the time of possession at 17:52 vs. the Bills with 12:08; however, they incurred six penalties.
Entering the second half, the Bears took the lead with a touchdown by running back Chester Taylor at the 6:27 mark in the third quarter. This was the first time this season that the Bears scored in the third quarter.
The Bills came back with a touchdown approximately three minutes later by running back Fred Jackson. Bears defensive end and native Canadian Israel Idonije blocked the extra point and kept the Bills from tying the score at 14-14. With the missed extra point by Bills kicker Rian Liddell, it ended his string of PATS at 321.
This was the fourth longest streak in NFL history.
At the 10:27 mark in the fourth quarter, Bills fullback Corey McIntyre scored on a one-yard touchdown but the Bills missed the two-point conversion. While Buffalo had a 19-14 lead, it didn’t last long after the Bears cornerback Tim Jennings intercepted Fitzpatrick with 9:03 left on the clock.
Once in possession of the ball, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler threw an 18-yard pass to Olsen, followed by Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett scoring on a two-yard touchdown. Bears running back Matt Forte successfully executed a two-point conversion to put the Bears ahead 22-19.
With their three point lead, the Bears held on for the win but the nail in the coffin came when Bears safety Chris Harris intercepted Fitzpatrick at the :27 mark. There would be no opportunity for the Bills to try for a win with a Hail Mary pass.
For the day, Cutler went 17 of 30 in passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns. He carried the ball five times for 39 yards, acting at one point as the team’s leading rusher.
Fitzpatrick went 31 of 51 in passing for 299 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
Today’s win puts the Bears in a first-place tie with the Green Bay Packers for the NFC North. Next week the Bears will host the Minnesota Vikings (3-5).
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Written by Debbie Baratz