I suspect this will be a week focusing again on the Bears "luck" because ten years in and any game the Bears win assisted by turnovers will be regarded as their opponent "giving the game away," and I'm fine with that. The deck was stacked against the Bears this week, although not as badly as it was in San Francisco. Already down four starters (and Roberto Garza) from opening day, they lost Conte and Mundy early in the ballgame. The Jets front seven took away the run as they are wont to do, and their blitzes were pretty effective at taking advantage of the Bears banged up OL. To make matters worse, Marshall went out with an injury, giving Rex most of the second quarter to turn up the heat even more.
In the end, none of it mattered. The Bears capitalized off turnovers, they got two big, momentum killing drives at the start of the second half and in the middle of the fourth quarter to take the wind out of the Jets sails, and in the red zone in particular the defense held nearly every time the Jets threatened to tie the game. They did what a good team does when it's banged up and nowhere close to 100%, they won anyway.
Kyle Fuller: He had a brutal miss in coverage that let the Jets get into the red zone on the last drive, but it's easily forgiven because he was around the ball every. fucking. play. I don't think a single play ended without him at least in the picture. He finished with 7 tackles, 2 pass deflections, and an INT, and he came very close to nabbing two more. He also punched out two fumbles that the Bears weren't able to recover, but he's looking like, well, you know who.
Alshon Jeffery: He still wasn't at full speed, but he made some tough, tough plays to grind out 8 catches for 103 yards, including one 13 yard grab on 3rd down that kept the Bears game clinching drive alive in the fourth.
Martellus Bennett: Love you, Marty. For the third straight week he's had to carry the load for the injured receiving corps and he managed 5 catches for 54 yards and 2 TDs.
Defensive Line: I wanted to put Jared Allen in the bad column, but once the Jets were forced to pass every down, Allen tee'd off on D'Brickashaw and made some plays. He still needs to end up a 3rd down specialist, but he escaped the bad column. Otherwise Houston, Paea (1 sack), Willie (1 sack, because that's just what he does), and most excitingly, Sutton and Ego (split a sack) all got pressure. The Jets offensive line has some players in Mangold and Ferguson and Willie Colon, so they were able to let Geno do a lot of good things, but the Bears got pressure and got off the field when it really mattered, particularly on the last play of the game. They also played a big part in the Bears weathering yet another great rushing attack without breaking. The Jets longest run was just 17 yards, and they held the RBs to just 4 yards per rush. Outside of a limping Cam Newton (who currently has no healthy RBs), they've weathered the storm of read-option teams that we feared to start the season and come out of it 2-1. There's room for improvement but it's a night and day difference from last year already.
Jay Cutler: It must be killing him to have to embrace his inner Alex Smith, but for the second straight week Jay mostly took what the defense gave him, made big plays on third down, and used his athleticism to buy time to extend plays and drive his team downfield for big scores. His TD:INT ratio is up to 4:1 right now (8 TDs, 2 INTs) and through three games he's sitting at 66.7% completions with a 98.2 rating, and that's with half his weapons ailing. He'll only get better from here.
Mel Tucker: Credit where it's due again, he's had three good gameplans, and he managed to get his guys in position to win despite yet another plague of injuries.
Matt Forte: I know why it's happening, and to his credit Matt made some plays when they really needed tough yards, but it does suck to watch them just get pounded. Things should get better from here.
The Offensive Line: They struggled to open up the run game, which isn't surprising, but I was disappointed with the blitz pickups. They had opportunities for big plays downfield and Jay was hit or running for his life before they could capitalize. They gave up four sacks for just the third time in the Trestman Era. A rare off night, but there aren't too many defensive lines out there like the Jets have.
Jon Bostic: I hate to put him here because he actually had a good game (and I think he stopped Amaro short on that 3rd down...) and he's had a good season overall, but good lord, son, catch that football.
Injuries, Again: Fuck this shit. Stop happening. Brandon gritted it out again but it's going to be hard for him to get back to 100% at this rate. Mundy and Conte went down but hopefully will be back before long. Going to need all hands on deck on defense and offense to beat Green Bay.
Officiating: They blew the whistle too soon on that Jets play, but they did a nice job of screwing both teams otherwise. They blew the review on the Amaro catch, as I said. The PI called on Alshon was crap, but the defensive hold on Bostic was worse. Cut this ticky-tack shit out, guys.
That's it for now. Things will get easier. Get guys healthy, find some defenses that aren't loaded up front, get Forte going, and things will start to roll. For now, I'm content with winning however they can and they did that. Go Bears.
HATE WEEK BEGINS NOW!
Fuck Green Bay.