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Rapid Recap: Bears close preseason with loss to Bills


The Bears closed the preseason with a 24-21 loss to the Bills Saturday at Soldier Field and will now turn their attention to their Sept. 10 season opener versus the Packers.

After a day off Sunday, the Bears will return to the practice field Monday and must trim their roster to 53 by 3 p.m. (CT) Tuesday.

"Overall, we got a lot of good evaluation, tape to look at," said coach Matt Eberflus. "[We'll] see where it goes. We've got some tough decisions to make coming up in the next couple days. We'll sit down, watch the tape, and then we'll have meetings [Sunday] with Ryan [Poles], Ian [Cunningham], myself and the coordinators to figure out where we're heading in terms of the cutdown and all that."

After opening Saturday's preseason finale with two three-and-outs—mustering just two yards on six plays—the Bears' No. 1 offense began to click. Justin Fields scrambled for 13 yards and then completed a pass over the middle to DJ Moore, who spun away from three defenders to pick up an additional 14 yards on a 40-yard reception.

Fields described the play-action pass as "one of the plays we've been running for a little bit now."

"Got a little bit of suction from the play-fake by the linebackers," Fields said. "They were trying to drop back into their zone and he was open in the middle. That's a play you're probably going to see again sometime this year. It was a good catch and run after the catch by him and just a good play overall."

Moore once again showed his excellent run-after-catch ability on the play.

"I mean he's great," Fields said. "He's definitely one of the better guys I've seen. Just his ability to … get more yards is going to be great for our offense, great for our team."

Later on the same drive, Fields tossed a screen pass to D'Onta Foreman, who picked up 11 yards to the Bills' 9 on third-and-10 on the first play of the second quarter. Fields then exited in favor of Tyson Bagent, and the drive stalled following an offensive pass interference penalty and a dropped pass.

Cairo Santos booted a 34-yard field goal to draw the Bears to within 7-3 with 13:00 left in the first half.

Fields played a total of 13 snaps in the game, completing 2 of 6 passes for 51 yards and a 65.3 passer rating and rushing for 16 yards on three carries.

The Bills marched 72 yards on 12 plays on their first possession, capped by Damien Harris' 2-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter. Josh Allen completed 5 of 7 passes for 49 yards on the drive before being replaced by Kyle Allen.

After being flagged for defensive holding on each of the Bills' first two possessions, rookie cornerback Tyrique Stevenson redeemed himself by intercepting a Kyle Allen pass along the sideline late in the first quarter.

"As a young player, you're going to have a lot of learning experiences and technique and fundamentals," Eberflus said. "So he has to look at those two penalties he did have, look at it and see where he's going from there and learn from those. And then the ability to bounce back and have a nice interception and be able to just come back and play the next play. And that's going to happen during the course of the year."

Check out the on-field action as the Bears take on the Bills in Chicago during Week 3 of the preseason.

The Bills extended their lead to 14-3 on Kyle Allen's 29-yard touchdown pass to tight end Quintin Morris with 5:39 remaining in the second quarter.

Late in the first half, the Bears generated impact plays in all three phases.

Rookie Tyler Scott returned the ensuing kickoff 56 yards, setting up Bagent's 8-yard TD scramble that cut the deficit to 14-10. The drive was sustained by Roschon Johnson's 11-yard reception on a screen pass on fourth-and-4 and Bagent's 12-yard run on third-and-7.

Defensive end Trevis Gipson followed with a strip sack of Kyle Allen. Rookie linebacker Noah Sewell recovered the fumble at the Bills' 26. The Bears nearly converted the takeaway into a touchdown. But tight end Stephen Carlson was unable to make a diving catch of Bagent's pass in the end zone.

On the next play, Bagent's pass over the middle was intercepted by cornerback Ja'Marcus Ingram, who returned it 36 yards to the Bears' 46. Buffalo converted the turnover into Tyler Bass' 37-yard field goal, extending the Bills' lead to 17-10 with :03 remaining in the first half.

Santos cut the deficit to 17-13 with a 51-yard field goal with 4:14 left in the third quarter. But former Bears running back Darrynton Evans increased Buffalo's lead to 24-13 with a 35-yard TD scamper on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Bagent saw extended playing time in the preseason finale. The undrafted rookie from Shepherd University completed 7 of 14 passes for 43 yards with one interception while also rushing for 23 yards on four carries before being replaced by P.J. Walker to start the final period.

Late in the game, Isaiah Ford blocked a punt, setting up Walker's 5-yard TD pass to fullback Robert Burns with 1:58 remaining. Burns then flipped into the end zone for the two-point conversion, cutting the deficit to 24-21.

Walker connected on 6 of 11 passes for 71 yards with one TD and a 104.7 passer rating.

On the shelf: Bears players who did not appear in Saturday's preseason finale were quarterback Nathan Peterman; running back Trestan Ebner; receivers Velus Jones Jr. and Chase Claypool; offensive linemen Darnell Wright, Teven Jenkins, Lucas Patrick, Nate Davis and Roy Mbaeteka; defensive end DeMarcus Walker; linebackers DeMarquis Gates and Dylan Cole; cornerbacks Jaylon Jones and Josh Blackwell; and safeties Eddie Jacksoni and Jaquan Brisker.

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