Bills beat down Bears, claim AFC East for third straight year

Stefan Luciani
FiredUp Network Sports Writer


Monday, December 26, 2022

The Bills put together their best rushing performance in six years to breeze past Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears to win third straight AFC East title.

CHICAGO – Josh Allen has been known as somewhat of a gunslinger since he entered the NFL in 2018.


But the wind at Soldier Field on a chilly Christmas Eve matchup Saturday, pushed the Bills towards more of a run-heavy game against the Bears. 


Despite Allen being the lead rusher on his team this season, it was the tandem of Devin Singletary and James Cook who amassed a combined 205 yards and two rushing touchdowns to help the Bills ease their way past Justin Fields and the Bears 35-13. With the victory, the Bills officially claim the AFC East division title for the third straight year, just one week after securing their playoff berth.


“It was awesome. They ran it so hard,” Allen said. “And we've been hoping for a performance like that for a while and to get our O-line going like that and opening holes, and they were super excited and happy about that. Obviously, rush yards are stats for them too, and they take that to heart. I thought our guys ran the ball extremely hard. Got first downs when they needed to, and I thought that they were good out of the backfield in the pass game, as well.”


It was a spotty performance under centre for Allen who came into this one on the heels of MVP caliber performances in his last three games. But the Wyoming product completed just 15 of his 26 attempts for 172 yards with a pair of touchdowns and interceptions. But according to head coach Sean McDermott, the performance wasn’t anything concerning given the conditions and heavy winds which saw Buffalo kicker Tyler Bass miss a field goal attempt as well as an extra point. 


McDermott was quick to join Allen in singing praises for the run game - especially the offensive line. 


“Credit to the offensive line and [Singletary] and James; they did a great job,” coach Sean McDermott said. “I know James had a long one there and made a great cut at the end to put it in the end zone. I think that that one-two punch with the run game combined with the pass game, it's just better complementary that way."


The Bears came out of the gate hot after the opening kickoff as they marched downfield on an 11-play 74 yard drive to find the endzone for a quick 7-0 lead. The Bills then responded with a touchdown of their own with Allen finding Gabe Davis for an easy score.


The Bears held a 10-6 lead heading into the break after Bass missed the first extra point, as well as 38-yard attempt before the half. 


But the Bills came alive in the second half as they opened with a touchdown, before a fumble recovery led to another on the following drive.


Aside from the Bills run-game, the unsung hero of Saturday’s contest was the defence. The Bills were able to hold David Montogomery to just 62 yards on the afternoon, and more noticeably, held the normally slippery Justin Fields to a shocking 11 yards for himself. Fields looked okay through the air completing 15 of his 23 pass attempts for 119 yards and a passing touchdown.


With the East locked up, and a spot in the playoffs secured, all that’s left for the Bills is to push for home field advantage. They currently hold the number one spot in the AFC rankings, and with wins against the Bengals next week and the Patriots at home in Week 18, Buffalo can ensure the AFC will have to go through Orchard Park.