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Bills vs Bears: Week 2 NFL preseason preview

The Chicago Bears face the Buffalo Bills in Week 2 of the NFL’s preseason slate. While football fans won’t see much of Josh Allen in this one, Justin Fields could put on a show after a wild NFL debut. We’ll preview the Bills vs Bears game below, examining key matchups, game info and more.

Bills vs Bears: What you need to know

  • The Bears host the Bills at Soldier Field on Friday, August 20 at 1:00 p.m. EST on NFL Network, WIVB and FOX32.
  • Sportsnaut forecasts the Bears defeat the Bills, 23-21
  • Odds: The Bears are a 2-point favorite over the Bills with the over/under at 37 points.

Let’s dive into our Bills vs Bears preview.

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Justin Fields vs. Bills’ defense

Bills vs Bears, Justin Fields
Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Andy Dalton is the Bears’ starting quarterback, at least for now. But as we wrote in our takeaways from Week 1, Fields is a vastly superior talent. We saw plenty of that against the Miami Dolphins. The Bills vs Bears matchup is another litmus test for the rookie.

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  • Seeing the Field(s): Fields said the game was slower than he expected. Whether that’s extreme confidence or a testament to his football IQ, he is ready for this moment. He completed three passes under pressure against Miami and might play a full half against Buffalo.
  • Running of the Bills: Sean McDermott is going to turn up the heat on Chicago’s rookie quarterback. Buffalo blitzed 35.8% of the time in 2020 and its pass rush improved this offseason. This will be a great chance to see how Fields handles it all and what weaknesses he finds in the Bills’ secondary.

Advantage: Buffalo Bills

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Gabriel Davis vs Jaylon Johnson

NFL: Buffalo Bills Minicamp
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

As we mentioned at the top, Buffalo’s starters aren’t going to see a ton of snaps in meaningless preseason games. That means Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley will be resting, opening the door for Gabriel Davis to prove he is ready for a bigger role. In order to send a message, he’ll need to beat another talented, young player on the opposite side.

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  • Day 3 Gem: Buffalo snagged Davis with its fourth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. He made an impression as a rookie, finishing with 599 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. If Davis becomes the No. 2 target for Allen, a breakout year is coming.
  • Johnson & Johnson. There were two versions of Jaylon Johnson in his rookie season. In three games, he posted a PFF coverage grade of 75-plus. He also had a sub-55 grade in five games. Volatility is expected from a young defensive back, but Chicago wants consistency in 2021.

Advantage: Gabriel Davis

Gregory Rousseau vs Bears’ offensive line

Bills vs Bears
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Bills vs Bears game could have been even better if not for injuries. Gregory Rousseau, the No. 30 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, would face No. 39 pick Teven Jenkins. But with Jenkins sidelined, we’ll just have to see Rousseau against different competition.

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  • Immediate Rewards: When the Bills drafted Rousseau, many anticipated he would be a project for the coaching staff. In his NFL debut, the 6-foot-7 edge rusher showed his length and athleticism even create problems for Penei Sewell. Given the state of Chicago’s offensive line, expect another Rousseau sack.
  • Chicago Turnstiles: Signing Jason Peters helps, but this offensive line is a problem. Jenkins is sidelined indefinitely and there’s real concern about the right tackle spot. The Bears got lucky by avoiding a Jaelan Phillips last week, they won’t get to avoid Rousseau.

Advantage: Gregory Rousseau

The bottom line: We can’t really complain about the Bills vs Bears matchup. Any time there’s an opportunity to watch a potential franchise quarterback, you take advantage. That gives Chicago a distinct edge in this game, but coaching and the overall roster favor Buffalo. If Fields avoids a slow start, though, he’ll put Chicago in position for a 2-0 preseason start.