Buffalo 23, Bears 20: Lots to loathe

Buffalo 23, Bears 20: Lots to loathe

The Bears lose to Buffalo to kick off the 2014 season.


Bears fans need a hug after Sunday's loss to Buffalo. (Tribune photo) 

Before every home game, the Bears run through a wall of smoke created by the Soldier Field pyrotechnics crew and rush onto the field. The crowd loves it, and no doubt it gets the players stoked.

All that excitement fizzled quickly in the wake of the Bears’ 23-20 loss to Buffalo on Sunday, however.

After falling behind 17-7 at halftime and 20-17 late in the fourth, the Bears fought back to force overtime only to fall short. The Bears couldn’t turn their lone possession in the extra period into points, and the Bills iced it with a field goal on the ensuing drive.

Game over. Bears are 0-1.

“When you have drives and turn the ball over three times, you wind up being minus-2 in the plus-minus department. You get all the answers you need,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said. All three Bears turnovers led to Bills points shortly after.

Jay Cutler is not off to a great start in the $22.5 million-a-year era, either. The quarterback threw for 349 yards and two touchdowns but also had two interceptions.

“We just keep stubbing our toe on certain things throughout the game, Cutler said. “Things we have to clean up. I thought the offensive line played extremely well against a really good front we saw. … Overall we just didn’t get the job done offensively.

They will try to clear the confusion and regroup for next week’s game at San Francisco.

In the meantime, RedEye asks: Who brought the heat Sunday and who was blowing smoke?

 

SELFIES

Celebs are still making with the selfies. Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis—as a couple­—and Danica Patrick tweeted their Bears love before the game. They must have been too sad to follow up after the loss.

Smoke scale: 2 out of 4

 

JIM CORNELISON

He warmed up the crowd before the NU-NIU game on Saturday and took his talents to Soldier Field on Sunday. Despite the home teams losing both games, it’s tough to hold it against him. Also: One month until hockey season!

Smoke scale: 4 out of 4

 

WILLIE YOUNG

This is how much the defensive end appreciates being out of Detroit, where he played the first four years of his career. He had a sack and tackled C.J. Spiller for a 5-yard loss before the second quarter was halfway over. He finished with four total tackles and probably sold a few jerseys on top of it.

Smoke scale: 3 out of 4

 

BRANDON MARSHALL

His stats were solid: 81 yards receiving and a touchdown. But throw in his fumble on what would have been a first down deep in Bills territory and it’s mostly a bummer.

Smoke scale: 2 out of 4

 

CHRIS CONTE

The lasting impression of Sunday’s game—Fred Jackson stiff-arming the Bears safety twice on a run that all but sealed Buffalo’s win in overtime—will be tough to forget. On the other hand, the much-maligned Conte did have a timely interception.

The Quote

“It’s a play where it’s the end of the game, and I’ve got to get the ball out or something. So if I hit him, it’s a field goal no matter what. So I’ve got to try and get the ball out. It’s just a desperation play where I have to try and punch the ball or something.

—Chris Conte

Smoke scale: 2 out of 4

 

SPIN MOVES

Four Bears featured the crowd-pleasing maneuver in Sunday’s game. Alshon Jeffery didn’t go very far, but high marks for form. Santonio Holmes’ reception ended with a personal foul on Buffalo. Matt Forte broke free for a first down on the Bears’ first play of overtime.

But Jay Cutler’s twist was the most memorable: As he was about to get sacked, he spotted Martellus Bennett and made a nifty toss to the tight end, who scooted his way to a first down.

Smoke scale: 3 out of 4

 

NEW LINEMEN

Jared Allen and Lamarr Houston, the Bears’ biggest defensive free agent acquisitions, contributed just one tackle apiece. That kind of production simply will not do, and they know it.

The Quote

“We didn’t play disciplined football for four quarters, and it hurt us. We were in a good position to get them stopped but, once again, we lacked in the discipline area.

—Lamarr Houston

Smoke scale: 0 out of 4

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