NFL News & Analysis

NFL Preseason Week 2 Game Recap: Buffalo Bills 41, Chicago Bears 15

Aug 21, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (10) passes the ball against the Chicago Bears during the first half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Mitch Trubisky got some revenge against his former team on Saturday. 

Starting in place of Josh Allen, Trubisky led the Buffalo Bills to four consecutive touchdown drives to open up the game and give the team a 34-6 lead over the Andy Dalton-led Chicago Bears heading into the second half. Bears rookie Justin Fields ultimately couldn’t do enough to overcome the deficit, handing the Bears a 41-15 loss to Trubisky’s Bills. 


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Buffalo Bills

Quarterbacks

Trubisky was out for blood. The former Bears signal-caller carved up Chicago’s first- and second-team defenses for 221 yards and one touchdown while completing 20-of-28 pass attempts. He led the Bills offense to four consecutive touchdown drives to open the contest. 

Running Backs

The Bills’ depth at running back is up there with the best in the NFL. Third-year FAU product Devin Singletary got the start on offense and turned three touches into 26 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown run on fourth down off a fake fullback dive pitch. 

And Buffalo’s offenses didn’t skip a beat after Singletary made his way to the bench. Second-year back Zack Moss rushed for 21 yards on his four carries, and veteran Matt Breida recorded an impressive 18-yard reception that set the Bills up for an easy 1-yard touchdown run by fullback Reggie Gilliam in the second quarter. Gilliam had two goal-line carries on the day and converted both into scores. 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Name POS Routes Targets Receptions Yards YAC TD YPRR Target Rate
Isaiah McKenzie WR 18 8 7 72 37 0 4 44%
Jacob Hollister TE 18 3 3 53 24 0 2.94 17%
Gabriel Davis WR 19 3 3 29 2 0 1.53 16%
Brandon Powell WR 16 6 4 23 18 0 1.44 38%
Jake Kumerow WR 25 5 2 20 0 1 0.8 20%
Matt Breida HB 18 2 1 18 20 0 1 11%
Nate Becker TE 4 1 1 14 0 0 3.5 25%
Dawson Knox TE 16 2 1 10 3 0 0.63 13%
Tanner Gentry WR 15 1 1 9 5 0 0.6 7%
Duke Williams WR 18 3 1 8 4 0 0.44 17%
Devin Singletary HB 15 1 1 5 10 0 0.33 7%
Marquez Stevenson WR 7 2 1 3 0 0 0.43 29%
Bug Howard TE 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0%
Lance Lenoir Jr. WR 10 1 0 0 0 0 0 10%
Zack Moss HB 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0%
Reggie Gilliam FB 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0%
Quintin Morris TE 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0%

Isaiah McKenzie was an obvious focal point of the Bills’ passing attack. The 2017 fifth-rounder totaled eight touches for 76 yards in the first half alone. Second-year UCF product Gabriel Davis also had a handful of impressive receptions and finished the day with three receptions for 29 yards.

Backup tight end Jacob Hollister was another big-time target for Trubisky. He recorded two receptions for 45 yards and caught a 2-point conversion in the first half. 

Offensive Line
Name Snaps LT Snaps LG Snaps C Snaps RG Snaps Rt Snaps
Ryan Bates 42 0 0 42 0 0
Tommy Doyle 36 0 0 0 0 36
Bobby Hart 35 33 0 0 0 0
Ike Boettger 32 0 21 0 11 0
Cody Ford 31 0 0 0 31 0
Spencer Brown 29 8 0 0 0 21
Jon Feliciano 21 0 21 0 0 0
Dion Dawkins 21 21 0 0 0 0
Jamil Douglas 20 0 0 20 0 0
Jack Anderson 20 0 0 0 20 0
Jordan Devey 17 0 12 0 0 5
Tyler Gauthier 8 0 8 0 0 0

The Bills’ offensive line kept Trubisky clean for a lot of the first half. The unit allowed just three total pressures (on PFF’s first review of the broadcast film) through the first two quarters of play. 

Defensive Line
Name Snaps IDL Snaps DE/OLB Snaps Box Snaps ILB Snaps OLB Snaps
Boogie Basham 31 2 29 0 0 6
Justin Zimmer 28 26 2 0 0 0
Darryl Johnson 27 0 27 0 0 4
Efe Obada 23 7 16 0 0 0
Vernon Butler 21 15 6 0 0 0
Brandin Bryant 13 13 0 0 0 0
A.J. Epenesa 12 0 11 1 1 0
Gregory Rousseau 9 0 9 0 0 3
Ed Oliver 6 5 1 0 0 0
Harrison Phillips 6 5 1 0 0 0

Buffalo’s defensive line had its way with the Chicago offensive line. Rookie Gregory Rousseau recorded multiple pressures on the day, including a sack on Dalton. Second-year Iowa product A.J. Epenesa had one of the more impressive pass-rush snaps of the game when he walked back Chicago’s Elijah Wilkinson and superman dived over the top to record a hit on Dalton in the second quarter. 

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Linebackers

Veterans Tyler Matakevich and Tyrell Adams started for the Bills at off-ball linebacker. Neither player had a particularly special showing against Chicago, but the duo limited mistakes and contributed to an overall standout showing from the Bills’ defense in the first half (outside of the long touchdown to Rodney Adams over Siran Neal). 

Secondary

Siran Neal had the most notable play for the Bills’ secondary in that he gave up the 73-yard touchdown to Chicago's Rodney Adams in the second quarter. Neal contested the target, but Adams ultimately came down with it and took it to the house. 

Rookie UDFA Nick McCloud intercepted Dalton in the final two minutes of the first quarter. The former Notre Dame defensive back was in the right place at the right time when Dalton fired the pass over the middle as Riley Ridley was falling down out of his route break. 

Chicago Bears

Quarterbacks

Dalton’s stat line was saved by his 71-yard touchdown pass to Adams. The veteran QB completed just 10 of 16 passes for 75 yards and a pick on his 18 other dropbacks. Of course, the interception wasn’t completely his fault considering Ridley fell down on the route. 

Rookie Justin Fields brought a bit more life to the Bears offense. His passing performance was up and down with a few missed throws, but he was a difference-maker as a runner. He completed 9-of-19 passes for 80 yards and rushed for 46 yards on four carries on the day.

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Rushing
Name ATT YDS YCO TD 1D YPC
Justin Fields 4 46 13 0 3 11.5
Khalil Herbert 3 15 11 1 1 5
Artavis Pierce 4 12 9 0 0 3
Damien Williams 5 8 11 0 0 1.6
CJ Marable 1 5 2 0 1 5

Veteran Damien Williams got the start for the Bears and struggled mightily. He couldn’t get anything going behind Chicago’s makeshift offensive line and finished the day with just five carries for 8 yards and a lost fumble.

Rookie Khalil Herbert had an impressive 13-yard touchdown run, but that was the lone highlight for Chicago’s backs. Fields was the team’s best runner by a mile.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Name POS Routes Targets Receptions Yards YAC TD YPRR Target Rate
Rodney Adams WR 25 7 3 89 49 1 3.56 28%
Jesse James TE 15 5 4 54 9 0 3.6 33%
Chris Lacy WR 21 5 3 26 9 0 1.24 24%
Riley Ridley WR 31 2 1 12 0 0 0.39 6%
Jimmy Graham TE 2 1 1 5 0 0 2.5 50%
Damiere Byrd WR 14 1 1 4 8 0 0.29 7%
Khalil Herbert HB 13 1 1 3 1 0 0.23 8%
Damien Williams HB 13 1 1 2 5 0 0.15 8%
Marquise Goodwin WR 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0%
Scooter Harrington TE 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0%
Javon Wims WR 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0%
Artavis Pierce HB 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0%
Jon'Vea Johnson WR 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0%
Darnell Mooney WR 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0%
Jesper Horsted TE 15 1 0 0 0 0 0 7%

Adams had the highlight of the day for Chicago with his 71-yard touchdown reception, and that was largely the lone highlight for the team’s wide receiver and tight end groups. Jesse James led the tight end group with three receptions for 22 yards. 

Offensive Line 
Name Snaps LT Snaps LG Snaps C Snaps RG Snaps Rt Snaps
Lachavious Simmons 46 0 0 0 0 46
Cody Whitehair 24 0 24 0 0 0
Sam Mustipher 24 0 0 24 0 0
Elijah Wilkinson 24 24 0 0 0 0
Alex Bars 24 0 0 0 24 0
Adam Redmond 22 0 0 22 0 0
Larry Borom 22 22 0 0 0 0
Arlington Hambright 22 0 22 0 0 0
Dieter Eiselen 22 0 0 0 22 0

The Bears’ starting five collectively put together a woeful performance against the Bills’ defensive front. Only veteran Cody Whitehair earned 70.0-plus PFF grades as both a pass-blocker and run-blocker on first review. Tackles Lachavious Simmons and Elijah Wilkinson both had notable struggles in pass protection. 

Defensive Line
Name Snaps IDL Snaps DE/OLB Snaps Box Snaps ILB Snaps OLB Snaps Slot CB
Trevis Gipson 29 0 29 0 0 23 0
Khyiris Tonga 25 25 0 0 0 0 0
Jeremiah Attaochu 24 0 24 0 0 19 0
Mario Edwards Jr. 24 16 8 0 0 0 0
Bilal Nichols 22 16 6 0 0 0 0
James Vaughters 19 0 19 0 0 17 0
LaCale London 19 12 7 0 0 0 0
Angelo Blackson 15 10 5 0 0 0 0
Charles Snowden 15 0 14 0 0 14 1
Daniel Archibong 15 8 7 0 0 0 0
Sam Kamara 14 0 13 0 0 12 1
Khalil Mack 13 0 13 0 0 11 0
Mike Pennel 13 13 0 0 0 0 0
Robert Quinn 12 0 12 0 0 3 0
Akiem Hicks 8 8 0 0 0 0 0

Chicago’s Bilal Nichols and James Vaughters both recorded two pressures on PFF’s first review of the broadcast film. No other Bears defensive lineman had a standout pass-rushing performance. 

Linebackers 
Name Snaps RUND PRSH COV TKL AST MT STOP
Joel Iyiegbuniwe 30 11 3 16 0 0 1 0
Christian Jones 29 8 2 19 3 0 1 0
Caleb Johnson 25 8 1 16 1 0 0 0
Alec Ogletree 21 3 1 17 2 1 0 0
Josh Woods 21 6 1 14 2 0 1 0

Christian Jones, Alec Ogletree and Joel Iyiegbuniwe all played significant snaps for the Bears at off-ball linebacker. Jones recorded the most tackles of the group, but both he and Iyiegbuniwe recorded missed tackless, as well. None of the Bears linebackers recorded a defensive stop in the game.

Secondary
Name Snaps IDL Snaps DE/OLB Snaps Box Snaps ILB Snaps OLB Snaps SS Snaps FS snaps Slot CB CB Snaps
Marqui Christian 36 0 0 3 2 0 1 10 23 0
Artie Burns 30 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 30
Tashaun Gipson Sr. 29 0 2 12 8 2 4 9 6 0
Eddie Jackson 29 0 1 12 7 1 5 9 7 0
Kindle Vildor 29 0 0 5 5 0 0 0 0 24
Duke Shelley 28 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 21 6
Xavier Crawford 23 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 6 16
Deon Bush 22 0 0 2 1 0 1 17 3 0
DeAndre Houston-Carson 22 0 0 7 4 0 3 11 3 1
Jaylon Johnson 21 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 21
Teez Tabor 13 0 0 5 3 0 2 7 1 0
Thomas Graham Jr. 13 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 13
Tre Roberson 10 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 9

Eddie Jackson took a bad angle on the Singletary fourth-down run and ultimately got beat for a touchdown. He and the rest of the Bears’ secondary had an overall underwhelming showing against Trubisky and the Bills offense. Safety Marqui Christian was the most active of the group, as he finished with more than five tackles and a QB hurry on the day.

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