Rozner: Chicago Bears take care of business against woeful Bills
Golfers don't paint pictures on a scorecard when a number will suffice.
Fortunately for the Chicago Bears, the same is true of the NFL win-loss column, where style points take a back seat to actual points.
The Bears played another mediocre offensive game against a terrible team in an awful league, but there is no such thing as a bad win.
There's just wins and losses, and the Bears are 5-3 after defeating a dreadful Jets team a week ago and an even worse Bills team in Buffalo on Sunday.
But as they displayed in Miami coming off the bye week and with so much time to script the perfect victory, even the vaunted Bears with all the best players and all the best coaching can lose a game as a big favorite.
So with the line climbing to as high as 11 points against a Buffalo team with no quarterback, with the worst point differential in the league and entering the game with only 87 points in eight games -- also worst in the league -- the Bears still had to show up and play the game.
Facing three division games in 11 days starting next Sunday, and with no Kyle Long, Khalil Mack and Allen Robinson against Buffalo, it didn't much matter how pretty it looked, the picture far less important than finding a victory.
And all they really needed Sunday was for Mitch Trubisky to not throw it to the other team and for Matt Nagy to avoid his need to be overly cute with the play-calling.
When the game still mattered, there was almost no chance for the Bills to score unless the Bears gave them the football on the goal line, so with a big lead it was the perfect game to hand it off to Jordan Howard and pound the football.
That's not in Nagy's nature, however, especially when he's trying to pad Trubisky's stats, which he did with a very late 2-yard TD pass, but that series also led to Taylor Gabriel limping off the field with the Bears throwing the ball from first-and-goal and a 34-9 lead with under five minutes to play.
Gotta shake your head.
Nevertheless, the Bills' offense lived up to its billing and handed the Bears' defense a pair of touchdowns and a pile of turnovers, giving the Bears 4 defensive TDs for the season.
They'll need more.
Trubisky, despite the constant cheerleading, throws a bad ball for nearly every good one and even with some great third-down throws in the first half, he matched those with some ridiculous misses of wide-open receivers and a second-half interception.
It continues to have the feel of the Rex Grossman days, when the Bears reached the Super Bowl on the strength of the defense, great special teams and a strong running game.
If Nagy is willing to hand it off, who knows how far the Bears could go, and at 5-3 in the fourth year of an interminable rebuild, there's absolutely no excuse for not making the playoffs in 2018, which is the bare minimum of expectations at this point.
The conversation should be entirely about the Super Bowl as the Bears enter the second half of the season atop their division.
They have four games remaining with the Lions, Giants and Niners, three of the four worst teams in the NFC, starting with the Lions at home next week, and they were able to win a road game Sunday without three of their most important players.
This was a business trip, and the Bears took care of business, regardless of whatever issues you may have with penalties, coaching decisions or specific aspects of the Bears' play.
In the NFL, it's not about pretty pictures. It's only about winning.