Bears capitalize on turnovers in 41-9 rout of Bills
Chicago still first in NFC North
By John Wawrow
AP Sports Writer
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Jordan Howard scored two touchdowns and the Chicago Bears’ defense had two others in a 41-9 win over the Bills in what proved to be another comedy of errors for Buffalo and its anemic offense Sunday.
Eddie Jackson scored on a 65-yard fumble return and Leonard Floyd returned a tipped pass 19 yards for another score some 3 1/2 minutes apart in the second quarter. Howard, set up by Tarik Cohen’s 38-yard punt return , then scored on an 18-yard scamper to cap a run in which the Bears scored four touchdowns over a span of 12 minutes, 20 seconds in the second quarter.
The Bears won their second in a row and improved to 5-3 to match their best start to a season through eight games since 2013. Chicago also matched its win total from last year.
Chicago’s defense forced four takeaways, and limited the Bills to 264 yards offense despite missing star linebacker Khalil Mack, who missed his second straight game with an injury to his right ankle.
The Bills continued their bumbling ways in dropping to 2-7. It’s Buffalo’s worst start since winning one of its first nine games in 2010.
Buffalo continued its season-long trend of coughing up the ball on offense and having difficulty finding the end zone.
Buffalo turned the ball over four times, including Nathan Peterman throwing three interceptions in his first start since a 47-3 season-opening loss at Baltimore. The Bills had no choice but to return to Peterman with rookie Josh Allen missing his third game with a sprained throwing elbow and Derek Anderson sidelined by a concussion.
The second-year quarterback continued playing down to his turnover-prone reputation, though two of the interceptions weren’t entirely his fault.
Newly signed receiver Terrelle Pryor caught Peterman’s pass and lost control as he turned up field, with the ball landing in defensive back Adrian Amos’ hands.
Three snaps into Buffalo’s next possession, Peterman’s hard pass over the middle struck receiver Zay Jones in the hand and bounced directly to Floyd, who returned it for a touchdown.
Scoring has also been an issue for Buffalo.
Peterman’s 1-yard touchdown run with 5:41 remaining ended Buffalo’s touchdown drought at 187 minutes and 19 seconds. The string dated to Peterman’s 16-yard touchdown pass to Zay Jones with 13 minutes left in a 20-13 loss at Houston on Oct. 14.
The Bills have been outscored 103-20 since, and 157-46 in their past six, during which Buffalo has scored just three touchdowns.
Peterman finished 31 of 49 for 187 yards and the second-year player has now thrown 13 interceptions on 133 career attempts, including playoffs.
Howard opened the scoring on a 1-yard run 1:56 into the second quarter, and the route began some six minutes later on Jackson’s fumble return. Bills tight end Jason Croom bobbled a pass before securing it along the right sideline. He was initially struck by linebacker Roquan Smith. Jackson then pried the ball loose, picked it and returned it for a score.
Chicago’s Mitchell Trubisky finished 12 for 20 for 135 yards with a 2-yard touchdown to tight end Trey Burton and an interception.
The Bills have now turned the ball over 22 times, including 16 interceptions. The Bears entered the game ranking second in the NFL with 11 interceptions and 17 takeaways.
Bills rookie guard Wyatt Teller was active for the first time this season, and filled in at left guard in place of Vladimir Ducasse. Recently signed Jeremiah Sirles rotated in with starting right tackle Jordan Mills.
Bears starting left guard Eric Kush started at right guard in place of Kyle Long, who was placed on injured reserve on Saturday after hurting a tendon in his right foot in a 24-10 win over the New York Jets last weekend. James Daniel took over for Kush at left guard.
Bears: Mack missed a chance at a homecoming. He played at the University at Buffalo.
Bills: TE Charles Clay hurt his hamstring in the first half and did not return. … Backup RB Chris Ivory favored his left arm while being escorted off the field after being stopped for no gain on first-and-goal from the 1 with 6:27 remaining.
Bears: Host Detroit on Sunday in the first of three straight against NFC North rivals.
Bills: At New York Jets on Sunday.