- Match-up: Chicago Bears (1-1) vs. New York Jets (1-1)
- Location: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
- Date: Monday, 22 September 2014
- Time: 7:30pm CDT
- TV: ESPN
The Chicago Bears and New York Jets have met each other 1o times, with the Bears winning seven of those match-ups. In the last meeting in 2010, the Bears defeated the Jets 38-34 in a thrilling game at Soldier Field.
Bears running game vs. Jets defensive front. Last week, the 49ers were very keen on taking away Chicago’s running game, notably with outside receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey hobbled by injuries. It worked also, as the Bears only tallied up a total of 46 yards rushing on 17 carries, with 25 of those coming on a Jay Cutler scramble. Even against a stout defense those kind of rushing numbers simply won’t cut it. Look for the Bears to really focus on getting running back Matt Forte off to a solid start to take some pressure off Jay Cutler and the offensive line to continually stop the Jets pass rush. The Bears proved against the 49ers that they can still win games without establishing much of a running game, but that’s a tightrope I’m sure head coach Marc Trestman would like to avoid walking if possible.
Players to Watch
For the Bears, defensive lineman Stephen Paea, Will Sutton, and Ego Ferguson will be called upon to pressure Jets quarterback Geno Smith and stop the dual running threat of Chris Ivory and Chris Johnson, who combined so far in 2014 have rushed for 179.0 yards/game (with some other minor contributors) good for number one in the NFL. The Bears defense overall performed much better against the run versus San Francisco, and with starting defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff sidelined while recovering from a concussion, Paea, Sutton, and Ferguson will need to step up and establish themselves early on.
For the Jets, it’s the young and inexperienced secondary notably comprising of second-year starting cornerback Dee Milliner and rookie safety Calvin Pryor. Chicago boasts a couple of the most dominating outside wide receivers in Marshall and Jeffrey, and tight end Martellus Bennett who is off to a great start this season with 15 catches and two touchdowns. The key for the Jets of course will be to pressure quarterback Jay Cutler mercilessly, but if Chicago can handle that pressure then the Jets secondary could be in for a very long night.
Coming off the come-from-behind win against the 49ers, I would expect to see another slow start by the Bears offense as they work to sort out the Jets front seven and tweak their play-calling to suit. But the Bears will eventually figure out a way to move the ball exploiting the Jets secondary and the defense will do just enough to bother Geno Smith and create a few turnovers.
Bears 34, Jets 30