5. Wiley returns to old stomping grounds
Former Bills defensive end Marcellus Wiley will make his return to Western New York this weekend as the Bills’ ‘Leader of the Charge.’ Wiley, who was selected by the Bills in the second round of the 1997 NFL Draft, is excited to get back to his roots and visit the place that he called home for four seasons. He’s also pumped to spend time with the best fans in the NFL.
“The fact that they have the national representation of being the best fans… [it’s] well deserved…They’re big time now and I want to be a part of that,” said Wiley about the Bills faithful.
4. Uncommon opponent, familiar faces
The Bills don’t play the Bears in the regular season often, but when they square off on Sunday at New Era Field, there will be familiar faces on both sidelines. One major connection between the teams lies with head coaches Sean McDermott and Matt Nagy, who served on the Philadelphia Eagles’ coaching staff together from 2008-10. When Chicago comes to town they’ll also be bringing former UB Bulls star linebacker Khalil Mack with them. Mack was traded from the 49ers to the Bears in early September and is currently listed as questionable for the matchup.
3. ‘Zo’ on patrol
Bills veteran linebacker Lorenzo Alexander may be the oldest player on the team, but he certainly isn’t playing like it. Alexander, a proven difference maker in Leslie Frazier’s unit, is leading the team in sacks with 4.5 this season and has put together two multi-sack games in the last three outings. A versatile player, Alexander will be looking to extend his sack streak this week against a tough Bears squad.
2. Bills salute the troops
Game days at New Era Field are always exciting and this week Bills fans are in for something truly special. In celebration of the NFL’s Salute to Service initiative, an annual campaign that honors our nation’s service members, the Bills will welcome men and women from each of the six military branches, along with five veterans from Buffalo Niagara Honor Flight, to the field for a pregame ceremony. Additionally, fans will watch in awe as a full-field flag is unfurled. The Salute to Service festivities will continue with Fmr USAF SSgt. Mark J. Lindquist performing the national anthem and will be capped by a flyover. Throughout the game, players will also show their support by adding camouflage to their all blue jersey combination.
*1. A tale of two defenses *
The Bills defense has played at a high level this season and has done particularly well in applying pressure and disrupting their opposition. The Bills bunch is currently leading the league in forced fumbles and have totaled 14 through Week 9. Buffalo has also been stingy with giving up yards and ranks sixth in the NFL, allowing an average of just 329 yards per game. The Bills ‘D’ won’t be the only tough one on display this week, however. With the Bears seated just behind the Bills in yards allowed per game, this matchup has all the makings of a defensive slugfest.