PFF Preview: Bills @ Bears, Week 1

The Bears only just missed the playoffs last year, while the Bills are hoping to take the next step towards them. Chris Phillips looks at their Week 1 matchup.

| 3 years ago

PFF Preview: Bills @ Bears, Week 1

2014-Prev-WK1-BUF@CHIThe Bills and Bears start off 2014 in Chicago on Sunday. Coming off a heartbreaking Week 17 loss at home to the Packers, Chicago finished 2013 at 8-8. They made some changes to try to bolster a struggling defensive unit. Most notably drafting Kyle Fuller at CB and bringing in veteran Jared Allen in an effort to help the pass rush.

The Bills struggled to a 6-10 finish last year and are pinning their hopes on young EJ Manuel at quarterback. Already boasting one of the best defensive lines in football, they’re hoping Manuel and rookie Sammy Watkins can add some excitement to the offense. Here are a few players to take a look at on Sunday.

Buffalo Bills

Cordy Glenn – Glenn is already one of the more solid young tackles in the league. He looks to build on a 2013 where he graded +19.6 overall, and his Pass Blocking Efficiency of 96.2% ranked fourth among tackles.

Marcell Dareus – His 36 stops in the run game led all defensive tackles and his Run Stop Percentage of 10.6 ranked fourth. He adds pass rushing ability as well, carrying a +9.5 grade in that department from last year. Look for him to be a Top-5-performing DT again this year.

Mike Williams and Robert Woods – Williams and Woods were the Bills’ top offensive performers of the preseason with grades of over +2.5 each. If these two can keep up the solid play, they can combine with Watkins to give Manuel a solid selection of weapons.

Chicago Bears

Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall – These two combined for a PFF grade of +46.4 in 2013, including a ridiculous +21.8 blocking. They make an impact all over the field, whether it’s passing short, long, or blocking in the run game.

Ryan Mundy – The Bears’ starting safeties combined for a -28.6 run grade in 2013. Mundy had a run grade right around even last year at -0.4 and managed +1.4 in preseason action this year. Getting some positive play in run support is a must in a division that features Adrian Peterson and Eddie Lacy and will be put to good use against Buffalo’s stable of runners.

Jared Allen – Allen is getting a little long in the tooth, but is still capable of generating some pressure. The Bears want to keep him fresh and see the Allen of 2012 when he had a +9.2 Pass Rushing Productivity rating and his 8% Run Stop Percentage ranked sixth among all 4-3 ends.

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You can follow Chris on Twitter: @PFF_CPhillips


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