Final

Bears 20

(0-1, 0-1 away)

Bills 27

(1-1, 1-0 home)

Coverage: NFL

7:00 PM ET, August 15, 2009

Ralph Wilson Stadium, Buffalo, NY 

1 2 3 4 T
CHI 3 3 7 720
BUF 0 6 7 1427

Bills' offense outplays Bears' squad as Cutler has trouble in debut

Associated Press

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Trent Edwards has plenty to be happy about with the new-look, no-huddle offense that's working to near perfection for Buffalo.

It's a much different story for Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears.

Those expecting Cutler to immediately transform the Bears into anything resembling a pass-happy offense had better be patient. As Cutler was inconsistent in his Bears preseason debut, the Bills' passing game was nearly unstoppable and got plenty of help from an opportunistic defense in a 27-20 victory Saturday night.

"I'm extremely encouraged because it's pressing the defense," Edwards said of the no-huddle attack the Bills have used exclusively since opening the preseason with a 21-18 loss to Tennessee in the Hall of Fame game last weekend. "We improved from last week's game. And now we have to take another step next week."

Except for settling for field goals in the first half, the Bills offense can't get much more efficient, even without Terrell Owens, who's nursing a sprained toe.

Edwards went 10 of 10 for 79 yards to key an efficient outing for the entire Bills quarterback corps, which went a combined 29 of 34 for 265 yards and a touchdown. Third-stringer Gibran Hamdan's 3-yard pass to Shawn Nelson put the Bills up for good 20-13 a minute into the third quarter.

"Efficiency is certainly a good word to describe it," right tackle Brad Butler said. "I would certainly say we're cautiously optimistic."

The defense did its part, too. Aside from limiting Cutler to 3 points and two first downs in four series, Buffalo (1-1) forced five turnovers, including two interceptions by rookie Ellis Lankster on consecutive drives. Both interceptions were thrown by third-stringer Brett Basanez, and led to Buffalo scoring twice in 34-second span.

Many eyes, though, were on Cutler, who failed to meet the much-anticipated offseason buzz he's generated since Chicago acquired him in a blockbuster offseason trade with Denver.

He went 5 of 10 for 64 yards and an interception on a poorly underthrown pass up the left sideline that was picked off by Leodis McKelvin. Cutler nearly threw another interception, but cornerback Reggie Corner dropped the ball that hit him squarely in the chest.

"It's too early to start to panic. It's preseason," Cutler said. "I feel fine about it."

Cutler also noted that the Bears rested starting running back Matt Forte and starting tight end Greg Olsen.

"We're just calling base stuff and seeing what happens out there right now," Cutler said at the half. "As soon as we start getting into the game plan, really nailing stuff down, that's when it's really going to count."

Cutler keyed mostly on Devin Hester, who caught only two of six passes thrown his way for 22 yards. Cutler's best throw came when he hit Desmond Clark in stride up the right hash mark for a 30-yard completion that set up Robbie Gould's opening 23-yard field goal.

"It's a lot of new guys on the field," Hester said, referring to the rough start. "The preseason games are going to help us see where we're at, so that by when the season starts we'll know what we're working with."

Cutler couldn't take advantage against Buffalo's second-string defense and facing a short field after the drive began at the Bills 43 after Dominic Rhodes muffed a punt.

Rhodes made up for that miscue by scoring on a 3-yard run. Bruce Hall also scored on a 4-yard plunge, one play after Lankster's second interception.

The Bills' defense was encouraged by its strong start after giving up two touchdowns on Tennessee's first two possessions last week.

"It's really a big point of emphasis to start fast and finish fast, because I think our team feeds off it, I think we feed off it," linebacker Kawika Mitchell said. "All in all, I think we just played them tough and that was a part of our success."

The Bills defeated Chicago for only the second time in 14 preseason meetings (2-11-1).

Bears backup Caleb Hanie went 8 of 11 for 87 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown pass to Will Ta'ufo'ou. Basanez bounced back, hitting Juaquin Iglesias for a 10-yard touchdown. Gould hit two field goals, including a 50-yarder.

Game notes


Bears LB Nick Roach was hurt in the second half and did not return. Coach Lovie Smith said the injury was not serious. ... Bills starting SS Bryan Scott and reserve CB Drayton Florence both sustained knee injuries. Without going into detail, coach Dick Jauron referred to the injuries as sprains, and added Scott's sprain was "milder" than Florence's.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
CHI
BUF
1st Downs1323
Passing 1st downs
1012
Rushing 1st downs
39
1st downs from Penalties
02
3rd down efficiency
3-1110-19
4th down efficiency
1-11-1
Total Plays5279
Total Yards225375
Yards per play4.34.7
Total Drives1214
Passing168252
Comp - Att
16-3229-34
Yards per pass
5.37.4
Interceptions thrown
41
Sacks - Yards Lost
3-92-13
Rushing57123
Rushing Attempts
1743
Yards per rush
3.42.9
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-33-5
Penalties3-306-35
Turnovers53
Fumbles lost
12
Interceptions thrown
41
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession22:0038:00

Passing Leaders

CHIC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Hanie8/11877.9103-9
Cutler5/10646.4010-0
BUFC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Fitzpat...13/161438.9000-0
Edwards10/10797.9002-13

Rushing Leaders

CHICARYDSAVGTDLG
Peterson7273.907
Jones6162.705
BUFCARYDSAVGTDLG
Hall9212.315
Jackson8172.106

Receiving Leaders

CHIRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Clark13030.00301
Davis22914.50163
BUFRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Stupar6569.30237
Evans35418.00363

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERCHIBUF
chiFG03:17Robbie Gould 23 Yd 30
SECOND QUARTERCHIBUF
bufFG11:05Rian Lindell 28 Yd 33
chiFG05:54Robbie Gould 50 Yd 63
bufFG00:00Rian Lindell 20 Yd 66
THIRD QUARTERCHIBUF
bufTD09:27Dominic Rhodes 3 Yd Run (Rian Lindell Kick) 613
chiTD03:44Will Ta'ufo'ou 14 Yd Pass From Caleb Hanie (Robbie Gould Kick) 1313
FOURTH QUARTERCHIBUF
bufTD14:05Shawn Nelson 3 Yd Pass From Gibran Hamdan (Rian Lindell Kick) 1320
bufTD13:31Bruce Hall 4 Yd Run (Rian Lindell Kick) 1327
chiTD06:23Juaquin Iglesias 10 Yd Pass From Brett Basanez (Robbie Gould Kick) 2027