Bears Ground Jets 27-19
By Benjy Lipsman in News on Sep 23, 2014 4:20PM
For the second straight week, the Bears played on the road in front of a national prime time audience and emerged victorious with a 27-19 win over the New York Jets on "Monday Night Football."
- Kyle Fuller: The rookie moved into the starting line-up after Peanut Tillman's season-ending injury, and he's starting to play like a veteran. Fuller picked off the Jets' Geno Smith in the end zone to kill a red zone opportunity, and twice stripped the ball from Jets receivers. Fuller already has three interceptions in three games, which leads the NFL.
- Ryan Mundy: The Bears safety picked off Smith on the second play of the game and returned the ball 45 yards for the pick-six to give the Bears an early 7-0 lead.
- Alshon Jeffery: One of the Bears banged up starting wideouts had an excellent game. Jeffery, still hamstrung by a hamstring injury, caught eight passes for 105 yards as the Bears leaned heavily on the passing game to provide offense.
- Jay Cutler: Despite some cold streaks and head-scratching decisions, Cutler completed 23 of 38 passes for 225 yards, a 94.7 QB rating and 2 TD passes to Martellus Bennett. By no means did Cutler have the kind of game he did last week. He fumbled once on a sack and was fortunate not to have a wobbling, tipped pass picked off when it a Jets defensive back right in the chest.
- Matt Forte: The Bears Pro Bowl running back was no match for the Jets stellar run defense. Forte managed a meager 33 yards on 13 carries on the night. Forte has rushed for just 136 yards in three games and, with the Bears declining to spend on an established running back in the offseason, there are no real options behind Forte to get the running game on track.
- Brandon Marshall: While Jeffrey had a big game playing injured, the Bears' number top receiving option caught just one pass for six yards, re-injured his ankle and missed some of the game. Marshall did catch a TD pass that was wiped out by a penalty.
- Team Health: Injuries continue to mount for the Bears. In addition to Marshall's re-injured ankle, fullback Tony Fiammetta left with a hamstring injury. Safety Chris Conte re-injured his shoulder and had to leave the game. Ryan Mundy injured his shoulder in the second half and did not return. By the end of the game, the Bears barely had enough defensive backs to field a secondary, yet they managed prevent the Jets from scoring a potential game-tying TD late in the game (with a successful two-point conversion), as rookie Brock Vereen made they key play on fourth down.
It was by no means pretty, but the Bears added another victory, despite the injuries and Forte's vanishing act. In many ways, this was a classic Bears win as the defense held the Jets to field goals, while the defense and special teams forced turnovers to help put enough points on the board to add another notch in the win column. The Bears now stand at 2-1, and are tied with the Detroit Lions atop the NFC North. Their biggest rivals, the Green Bay Packers, come to Soldier Field this Sunday as the Bears finally face one of their divisional opponents.