1. Tackle well. Of the Bills’ 21 plays of 20 or more yards through seven games, 10 of them were passes completed by Josh Allen…who is hurt. Six more were completions by Derek Anderson…who missed practice all week while in the concussion protocol and is officially out for Sunday. Nathan Peterman’s longest pass of the year went for 20 yards against the Houston Texans three weeks ago. The Bears saw how poor tackling against a dink-and-dunk offense could sink them against Brock Osweiler and the Miami Dolphins, a game in which the defense didn’t play well against the run, either. The Bears’ defense has a clear talent advantage over a Bills offense that’s best weapon (or best-known weapon, at least), LeSean McCoy, had 13 yards on 12 carries against the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football. It’s simple: Stick to your assignments, make tackles and the rest will take care of itself. It’s what the Bears did well against the New York Jets last week, but then again, it’s what this team didn’t do well on the road the last time it faced a punchline of a quarterback.
2. Don’t force anything on offense. Mitch Trubisky talked this week about the importance of taking what the Bills defense will give him, which will have to be his mindset on Sunday. Buffalo’s defense doesn’t allow many explosive plays and is a stingy group that, in a few ways, is a little reminiscent of the Bears’ 2017 defense. Trubisky will need to stay within himself and not try to force a deep ball or a throw into coverage in the red zone when it’s not there, because Buffalo does have a good enough defense to take advantage of a mental mistake. This may not be the highest-scoring game, but as long as the Bears’ offense can keep plugging away at the gameplan drawn up by Matt Nagy, it’ll eventually score enough points to win.
3. Don’t do anything stupid. The Bills aren’t the worst team in the NFL – see: Raiders, Oakland – but a team that’s starting Peterman and signed Bears castoff Matt Barkley to be his backup doesn’t have much going for it now. The best thing that could happen for the Bills is for the Bears to commit a silly penalty or a poorly-timed turnover. As long as the Bears are disciplined and, again, stay within themselves, this shouldn’t be all that difficult a win. But do something stupid, and the Bears could have the ignominious designation of losing to Osweiler and Peterman not only in the same year, but in the span of a month.
Prediction: Bears 23, Bills 10. This is pretty much the same as last week’s 24-10 win over the Jets. The Bears play a disciplined, clean game without a string of glaring mistakes and emerge from western New York with a 5-3 record heading into a critical Lions-Vikings-Lions stretch in 12 days.