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Can't Take Bills Lightly, Bears

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Bears have only faced two truly bad opponents this season: the Lions and the Panthers. The two teams have a combined record of 3-11, but the Bears regarded them very differently. How the Bears faced both will give us a clue on how they will take on the 0-7 Bills on Sunday.

    Chicago opened the season with the Lions, a team that went 2-14 in 2009. They easily mauled the Lions in both games last season, so why should they worry about this game? Sadly, the Bears came out flat and never really found a rhythm on the field. The Bears took the Lions so lightly that Detroit led at the half. Jay Cutler was sacked four times and Matt Forte only picked up 50 yards on 17 touches. If it wasn't for the miracle of a referee's call that took a Detroit touchdown off the board, the Bears would have lost.

    The Bears didn't repeat these mistakes against the Panthers. Led by native Carolinian Julius Peppers and without Jay Cutler, the Bears exploded onto the field and left no doubt who was the better team. They played classic Bears football, winning with a game plan designed around moving the ball on the ground and a strong defense.

    On Sunday, the Bears will face a team more like the Panthers than the Lions. The Bills have a terrible running defense, and the offense isn't anything special. This is a team that the Bears should beat with ease, but it's not a walk. In their last two games, the Bills have taken two of the AFC's best to overtime. With the bye week, the coaches have had an extra week to prepare, so Chicago should come out swinging. If the Bills are taken lightly, the Bears will give Buffalo their first win of the season.