4 biggest takeaways from Bills 41-15 rout vs. Bears

08/21/2021
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The Buffalo Bills were firing on all cylinders Saturday in their 41-15 demolition of the Chicago Bears. Buffalo improved to 2-0 for the preseason on a game that saw dominant performances all around.

Here are the top four takeaways from the game.

Mitchell Trubisky’s revenge tour

Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky exacted revenge against the team that drafted him second overall in 2017, only to make him depart in free agency unceremoniously after the 2020 season. After an emphasis on running the ball a week ago against the Lions, offensive coordinator Brian Daboll allowed the backup quarterback to air it out against his former team.

Trubisky was efficient in the passing game, finishing 20-of-28 for 221 passing yards and one touchdown during the first half, adding an 11-yard rush as well. The 27-year old completed passes to nine different players while helping the Bills put points on the board in six of his seven drives.

Sure, it was a preseason game, but Trubisky’s strong play has to instill confidence in the coaching staff that he’s more than capable of operating the offense at a high level in the worst-case scenario event of Josh Allen suffering an injury.

Bills young pass rushers flash again

Greg Rousseau impressed against Detroit last week, notching a sack against No. 7 overall draft pick, Penei Sewell, and against the Bears, the former Miami Hurricane picked up right where he left off. Rousseau again showcased his incredible blend of size and strength to record another impressive sack against right tackle Lachavious Simmons. The 6-foot-6, 266-pound edge rusher used his 33-3/8″ arms to control the lineman, driving him into Andy Dalton’s lap before taking the quarterback down for a sack.

But Rousseau wasn’t the only Buffalo pass rusher to make an impact. Second-year defender A.J. Epenesa flashed off his newfound burst on a second-quarter play, as well. On fourth down, Epenesa used a speed-to-power move that knocked left tackle Elijah Wilkinson to the ground before delivering a devastating blow to Dalton, who just got the the throw off.

Rookie second-round draft pick Boogie Basham also got in on the action, recording a sack as well.

According to Cynthia Frelund, Buffalo generated pressure on 57-percent of their first-half pass-rushing snaps, an unbelievable rate. For a team that was “intentional” in their focus on improving the pass rush during the offseason, the play from their young defenders has been nothing short of encouraging through their first two preseason games.

Devin Singletary looks like RB1

Zack Moss’ absence against the Lions allowed Devin Singletary to step up and tally 48 total yards and a touchdown last week and against Chicago, the third-year back continued to impress.

Singletary got the start and had some nifty runs, showing great vision, burst, balance through contact and some wiggle. Singletary finished with 21 rushing yards and a score on two carries, with a five-yard reception.

Moss also got in on the action and was impactful as well, picking up 21 yards on four carries. He showed quality patience, power, and decisiveness in his limited action, providing a glimmer of hope to an offense that hopes to be more efficient on the ground than they were a year ago.

Fullback Reggie Gilliam finished with two goalline touchdowns and had several impressive blocks, most notably on an 11-yard sweep run by Zack Moss.

 

While the Bills will be utilizing a committee approach to the running back position, Singletary looks like a much improved player from a year ago and seems primed to take the first snaps in Buffalo’s backfield.

WR battle heats up

One of the more heated Bills’ roster battles is at wide receiver and on Saturday, all three of the main competitors made strong cases for themselves. Isaiah McKenzie turned in seven receptions for 72 yards on offense, adding 51 yards on three punt returns – although he did have a muff.

Jake Kumerow stepped up, catching a four-yard touchdown in the first half and making another impressive grab on the sideline, high-pointing a Mitchell Trubisky-pass for a 16-yard gain.

Rookie sixth-round draft pick Marquez Stevenson – who had a 42-yard catch last week – returned a punt 73 yards for a touchdown, showing off the speed and playmaking ability that led the Bills to draft him out of Houston to compete for the returner job.

Stevenson suffered a foot injury during the return and while his X-Rays were negative, he seems like a likely IR candidate that will allow the Bills to keep Kumerow on the final 53-man roster, without losing the rookie.

The Bills close out the preseason next week against the Green Bay Packers.

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