NFL Week 3 Dueling Know Thy Enemy: New York Jets Vs. Chicago Bears


Sep 14, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver

Brandon Marshall

(15) catches a touchdown pass against the San Francisco 49ers during the second quarter at Levi

This week we will do a shared column with our sister FanSided site for the Chicago Bears Bear Goggles On. We will ask each other questions based on this week’s Monday night matchup between the two teams and give our predictions at the end of the column. First an introduction to Michael:

My name is Michael Praser and I have been a staff writer for Bear Goggles Onfor over a year now. I have been a die-hard Bears fan ever since I went tomy first game over 10 years ago and I have never looked back. I’m also aCubs fan since birth, so I know a little something about disappointment yearafter year. Hopefully this year the Bears can do something with their numbertwo scoring offense. I’m just hoping the preseason is not an indicator ofhow the defense is going to perform this year.

The Jet Press (TJP): Question 1 With a loss Week 1 to the Buffalo Bills at home followed by a huge come from behind win in San Francisco it seems like the Bears have more personalities than Brandon Marshall. Which Bears team shows up to Met Life Stadium on Monday night?

Bear Goggles On (BGO): I think you are going to see a focused Bears team who is learning to gel asa unit. The week one loss to Buffalo was ridiculous. The defense couldn’t stopthe run, mostly due to horrible linebacker play. The linebackers stepped upagainst the 49ers and the defense as a whole played much better than in weekone. Also the offensive line has been playing great keeping Jay Cutlerupright. The more time Cutler has to throw, the more dangerous BrandonMarshall and Alshon Jeffery can be.

BGO: How do you expect the Jets questionablesecondary to contain those guys (Marshall and Jeffrey)?

TJP: I think contain is a great choice of word regarding Marshall and Jeffrey. The Jets won’t be able to stop them completely. I think that it will be an extremely physical match-up with converted safety Antonio Allen and Dee Milliner, both over 6’0″, looking to get their hands on the Bears’ receivers & jam them. 

I also expect the Jets to play a lot of Big Nickel (three safeties in the game with one replacing a linebacker) to be as flexible with their defense as possible. Also, I see more zone blitzes, especially fire zones (a zone of six players dropping behind a five man blitz). Much like containing Jeffrey and Marshall, the Jets will get to Cutler, the question is how often that will determine who wins the game.

TJP: The Bears, specifically Kyle Long, spoke out Tuesday about disappointment in the run game. Matt Forte is an excellent back. Do you think the Bears will focus on running the ball this week? Is that a good idea against one of the best run defenses in the league?

BGO: I think the Bears are going to focus on winning the game this week. Theytried to run the ball against the 49ers, but they just wouldn’t have any ofthat. So the Bears ended up passing the ball more than running. It workedout to their advantage in the end, but not so much against Buffalo. I willsay, when the Bears run the ball, there are fewer opportunities forturnovers, but the Bears are going to do whatever the matchup dictates. Ifthe Jets are going to challenge Matt Forte by putting all their guys up intothe box, then Cutler will throw it.

BGO: What can you tell Bears fans about GenoSmith? Is he the future of the Jets or just a fill in for now?

TJP: Geno Smith is the Jets future although he hasn’t done enough yet to eliminate all competition and still hold onto his job. He is light years beyond what he was last year. Smith’s accuracy, foot work and overall grasp of the offense has given him greater confidence and that is infectious. He is a duel threat that knows where the 1st down marker is and can do damage with his legs if you lose containment.This would not be a complicated question if the game-tying touchdown he threw was not erased due to Timeout-Gate. Smith led a team that had lost all of the momentum and led them down the field to tie the game (on a 4th and four no less). He did this on the road at Lambeau Field to boot.Smith needs to cut down on turnovers, especially at key junctures in the game, to get to the next level.

Aug 8, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears outside linebacker

Lance Briggs

(55) and cornerback

Charles Tillman

(33) enter the field against the Philadelphia Eagles during a preseason game at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

TJP: How do you think the Bears are going to defend the Jets? Are the injuries suffered on that side of the ball serious?

BGO: I expect the Bears will have the same game plan they had for Kaepernick. The Bears did a great job containing him and weren’t fooled as much by the option as they were in week 1. The Bears secondary has been playing much better and now with Charles Tillman out for the year, it’s now time for the rookie Kyle Fuller to step up and show why he was a first round pick. He already did that last week against the 49ers with his two interceptions, earning him NFC Defensive Player of the Week. I think he will be able to keep performing at that level. But the key is going to be the front seven for the Bears. The defensive line needs to keep getting pressure on the quarterback and the linebackers need to stick with their gap control and not be fooled by play action or option runs.

The only serious blow to the defense so far has been losing cornerback Charles Tillman. He was a leader on the defense, but this is the NFL and it’s next man up time. Luckily the Bears have someone to step in. A lot of the time when you lose a starter, you don’t have any quality players behind them to perform at the same level that the starters were.

BGO: What do you think is going to happen to Rex Ryan after this season if the Jets don’t make the playoffs? 

TJP: The fate of Rex Ryan is tied to the development of the 1st and 2nd year players the Jets acquired via General Manager John Idzik’s 1st two drafts. Most obviously that’s Geno Smith first and foremost but 2013’s class spawned five starters including CB Dee Milliner, DL Sheldon Richardson, Smith, LG Brian Winters and FB Tommy Bohanon. The 4th round pick was traded for RB Chris Ivory. Those players started to come together as the year went along. The 2014 class is headlined by S Calvin Pryor and TE Jace Amaro. Add in free agent signings of Eric Decker, Chris Johnson and Jason Babin and you can see how much John Idzik has turned over the roster.

If owner Woody Johnson and General Manager John Idzik believe that those group of players are developing and another year with the same coaches will help them do something special in 2015 then Rex will be back. If not, they’ll move on.

More from Jets News

I believe the point is moot and the Jets will be a playoff team. The front seven and the development of Geno Smith are the main reasons why. Rex Ryan’s coaching job last year was brilliant as he took a team that very easily could have taken their lumps and won 4-5 games and got them to 8-8 and eliminating the Dolphins from playoff contention on their home field.

TJP: What is your prediction for Monday night? Who wins and what is the score?

BGO: Monday night is a tough one to predict. If the Bears are able to play like they did last Sunday night and force turnovers and limit their mistakes, I think that they are going to walk away with a victory. The Jets are going to make running the ball very difficult for the Bears so the game is going to be in the hands of Jay Cutler and his offensive line. This is probably going to be a close one. I am going to pick the Bears to win by a touchdown, Bears 31 Jets 24.

TJP: I think the Jets will open up the offensive by spreading the Bears out early in the game then go more to the power run as the teams begin to tire in the 2nd half. I believe the Jets defensive line will get to Cutler enough for the Jets to pull out a home victory. Jets 27 Bears 21.