The Chicago Bears have escaped losing to the winless Buffalo Bills by winning 22-19 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.
TORONTO (WBBM/AP) -Turns out the Buffalo Bills can lose anywhere: at home, on the road – and now in Canada, too.
Jay Cutler threw two touchdown passes, including one to Earl Bennett late in the fourth quarter to keep the Buffalo Bills winless through eight games and give the Chicago Bears a 22-19 victory Sunday.
Tim Jennings made a key interception early in the fourth quarter to keep the Bills from padding their 19-14 lead and Chester Taylor scored on a 1-yard plunge for the Bears (5-3), who came out of their bye week to end a two-game skid.
Ryan Fitzpatrick went 31 of 51 for 299 yards and a touchdown to Roscoe Parrish. He threw two interceptions, including one to seal the loss on Buffalo’s final drive, when his pass was tipped by receiver Donald Jones and bounced into the hands of safety Chris Harris in the final minute.
Fred Jackson also scored on a 4-yard run for the Bills (0-8), who are off to their worst start in 26 years.
LISTEN: Monday’s with Lovie – Newsradio 780′s Eric Brown talks with the Bears coach
The game was Buffalo’s third regular-season game in Toronto as part of a five-year deal. The Bills have lost all three, and given the number of Bears fans at the Rogers Centre, it was difficult determining which was the actual “home” team.
There was a banner hung from the upper-deck facade that read: “Ditka 4 Prime Minister,” and Bears fans made noise when the Bills faced a third-and-15 on their second series at the Chicago 44.
The announced crowd of 50,746, came short of filling the 54,000-seat downtown dome.
The loss was the Bills’ third straight loss by 3 points. The other two were in overtime – 13-10 at Kansas City last weekend, and 37-34 at Baltimore on Oct. 24.
On Sunday, the momentum turned on Jennings’ interception, just when it appeared the Bills might figure out a way to win shortly after taking their first lead on Corey McIntyre’s 1-yard plunge.
Jennings read the play perfectly. Driving to his left, he timed his leap to get a piece of the ball, and then juggled it several times before securing it and taking it 39 yards to the Bills 23.
Six plays later, Cutler found Bennett open in the right side of the end zone. Cutler then converted the 2-point attempt with a shovel pass to Matt Forte, to put Chicago up by 3.
Cutler finished 17 of 30 for 188 yards and lost a fumble. That was an improvement after he threw four interceptions in a 17-14 loss to Washington on Oct. 24.
The Bills couldn’t overcome their own mistakes.
In addition to Fitzpatrick’s two interceptions, Jackson lost a fumble when he was stripped at his own 40 by Charles Tillman early in the third quarter. The Bears took over and went ahead 14-7 when Taylor scored.
Then there was another costly miscue by the Bills, when kicker Rian Lindell’s extra point was blocked by Israel Idonije – from Canada – preventing Buffalo from tying the game at 14 following Jackson’s score.
It was the first time Lindell missed an extra point attempt in his 10-year NFL career, and ended his streak at 321 – the fourth longest in NFL history.
Despite the loss, the Bills locked nothing like the joke they were to open the season. Their defense limited the Bears to 283 yards, 105 rushing. And Buffalo’s offense finished with 340 yards.