If you had told me at the beginning of the season that there was even a remote possibility that Terrelle Pryor could be catching passes from Matt Barkley in the Bills week nine matchup against Chicago, I would have laughed.
After watching the worst receiving corps in the league struggle for the eighth consecutive game last week in a futile effort against the New England Patriots, the Bills front office added Pryor who was cut by the New York Jets on October 20. Through six weeks of action, the 29-year-old has posted 14 receptions for 235 yards and two touchdowns.
With veteran quarterback addition, Derek Anderson in concussion protocol, Brandon Beane and the gang also added a backup signal-caller in Barkley, who hasn’t thrown a meaningful pass in the NFL since 2016 when he was with the Chicago Bears. In his career, he has thrown for eight touchdowns and 18 interceptions. At least he’ll fit right in with the rest of the fellas in the Bills’ QB room.
The man, the myth, the legend, Nate Peterman is the presumed starter in this one, and if I were a betting man, I’d expect Barkley to see some action if Anderson cannot suit up.
The Bills are home again this week as they host a Bears team who will look to retain their lead atop the NFC North division.
‘Petermania’ Part Seven?
Like death and taxes, Peterman throwing passes in Buffalo is just one of those inevitable facts of life. Following an appearance where he single-handedly snapped defeat from the jaws of victory against the Texans after Josh Allen went down with an elbow injury, fans hoped to never see the second-year signal caller ever line up under center with the Bills again.
Fast forward 14 days, and here we are. With Anderson’s status still listed as questionable less than a day before kickoff, we’ll have to brace ourselves for the inevitable disappointment of Peterman’s seventh attempt at redemption in front of the fans at New Era Field.
Going up against a Bears defense that ranks seventh in the NFL in yards allowed, and second in interceptions with 11 on the year, don’t expect Peterman’s fortunes to change in this one. Not that things will be much better with Anderson at the helm, but at least if that’s the case we’ll all be spared of the incessant media scrutiny that will take place when Peterman inevitably throws his hundredth career pick-six, so that’s… something.
But hey, at least the Bills will have a passing touchdown one way or another, right?
Khalil Mack’s Return to Buffalo
Brace yourselves, because this next part is going to feel like a punch in the gut. The spurned son of Western New York (yes, I know he was born in Florida, save it) will return to New Era field Sunday to once again remind fans what could have been. In case you’re new to the situation, let’s recap.
In 2014, the Bills traded up to the fifth overall pick in the first round of the NFL Draft. As one of the most dominant defenders in MAC history during his time at the University at Buffalo, Mack waited eagerly for the Bills to announce his name at the podium. That announcement never came. Instead, Doug Whaley, in his infinite wisdom, selected Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins who now plays for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Since then, Mack has developed to become the most vaunted pass rusher in the NFL. Upon his arrival in Chicago at the beginning of the year he has wreaked havoc on opposing offensive lines to the tune of five sacks to this point.
Though he is listed as questionable for this contest, his presence on the opposing sideline will leave spectators wondering what might have been.
Let’s face it, this one is going to be tough to watch. Yes, the Bills’ defense has been outstanding as of late, especially in their Monday Night Football debut against the Patriots last week, but they can’t do it all by themselves. Expect another game where they do everything in their power to keep Buffalo in it as the offense continues to sputter.
The only way I see the Bills scoring a touchdown in this contest is if Mitch Trubisky tosses a pick-six. The nosedive for Nick Bosa continues.
Final Score: Bills 9, Bears 21
Editor’s babble: It looks like the Bills may be spared humiliation by Mack as he is now a game time decision to start. Whew. The eternal optimist inside me still hopes Nathan Peterman can do something to prove naysayers wrong. We’ll see. Thanks to Anthony Sciandra for his insight and contributions to our blog. You can find Anthony on Twitter @SciandraSports and as a contributing author for @diebytheblade.