Prey, Bears -- or just pray
Damage will be incalculable, especially on 'D,' if they can't skewer winless Bills
November 5, 2010
BY RICK TELANDER Sun-Times Columnist
</P>First and foremost, the Bills are 0-7. They have lost almost every way possible: stupidity, bad coaching, ineptitude, inconsistency, bad luck, no luck, listless and lame.
"They're not a bad football team," Brian Urlacher says of the 0-7 Bills, who could wreak havoc on his reputation Sunday.
Second, Buffalo is the kind of team that can be forced into finger-pointing and resignation if it gets down and sees the past repeating itself. That's a great advantage for a drifting team like the Bears.
As Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick -- who must know something because he's a Harvard grad -- said Thursday, the key thing for the Bills is ''making sure we don't fall behind early, that we jump on them.''
So far the Bills have jumped on folks about as much as a sidewalk.
Even the addition Thursday of former Pro Bowl linebacker Shawne Merriman from the waiver wires likely won't change the Bills' self-doubt. Ol' Shawne, the former Charger -- hard to believe he's only 26 -- hasn't been the same since injuries and getting busted for taking steroids dampened his career.
So the Bears had better seize the day when they play the Bills in Toronto on Sunday. (Why are they playing in Canada? Ask ancient Bills owner Ralph Wilson how much he's getting for a road ''home'' game, and that will explain it.)
To lose to the only team in the league that hasn't won a game would be a disaster here in Chicago.
Everything that has been in doubt, from Lovie Smith's leadership to Jay Cutler's mind-set to ''Mad Mike'' Martz's offense, will be up for grabs. Forget the rag-tag Bears offensive line. If those guys keep Cutler from getting killed, it's considered success.
It's the rest of the team -- even the so-far stingy defense -- that stands to have its reputation demolished.
Defense, don't fail us now
There's a difference between being 5-3 and 4-4 that transcends mere numbers. The first signifies status quo, the latter wreckage.
If the Bears lose to the Bills, they will have lost four of their last five games. In the previous four games, they have averaged just 15 points and have looked clueless on offense.
In many ways, it's up to the defense to rescue everybody. Ranked third in the NFL in points allowed (16.3), the group led by Lance Briggs, Brian Urlacher, Julius Peppers and the surprising Israel Idonije needs to hold the inept Bills to so few points that even a Robbie Gould field goal or two are enough to win.
After practice Thursday at Halas Hall, veteran defensive tackle Tommie Harris stayed out with little-used rookie defensive end Corey Wootton and worked hard on pass rushes, charging past defensive line coach Eric Washington, who was padded up with blue foam armbands. Harris is in jeopardy of losing his star status and even his tenure in the league if he doesn't ratchet up his play a whole bunch. Maybe that's a good thing. And maybe that's what the Bears sense about this game: potential disaster if they don't get their minds right.
Bills destined to stun someone
Teams just don't go 0-16 in the NFL. And the Bills aren't doing it this year. They just lost twice in overtime and hung 514 net yards on the Ravens two weeks ago.
You may wonder about Fitzpatrick's Grizzly Adams beard, but you can't wonder about his 91.1 quarterback rating or his 12 touchdown passes and only five interceptions.
''Their record doesn't really indicate how they have been playing of late,'' Cutler said. ''Since the Patriots game [a 38-30 loss in Week 3], they have been very close and playing really good football.''
Looking for good things to say about the team, the Bills' website notes such things as ''Bears-Bills Game to Be On TV,'' and, per Facebook, ''136,789 people like the Bills.''
This is a winless team -- spin it how you want.
''I'm glad they're not 6-1 or 7-0,'' Urlacher said, while adding, ''They're not a bad football team.''
All the Bills can do is hurt the Bears.
To be the best...you have to beat the best.
To be the worst....
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"Since the Patriots game [a 38-30 loss in Week 3], they have been very close and playing really good football.''
Against the PATRIOTS!!!!!.....??????
Holy COW! .... we're in for a loooooooooong afternoon! LOL!!!
"They have lost almost every way possible: stupidity, bad coaching, ineptitude, inconsistency, bad luck, no luck, listless and lame."
How about we reverse "they have lost almost every way possible".......and instead say "they have lost, and won, almost every way possible: stupidity, bad coaching, ineptitude, inconsistency, bad luck, no luck, listless and lame."
...... sound familiar now?
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