Sep 14, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; New York Jets running back Chris Ivory (33) is tackled by Green Bay Packers inside linebacker A.J. Hawk (50) during the second half of a game at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 31-24. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Jets Rushing Offense (1st) vs Bears Rush Defense (27th)
The Jets subscribe to the old school, Doug Buffone football philosophy – run the ball and stop the run. They’re piling up 179 yards per game on the ground. Mind you, it’s against the Raiders and Packers, neither of which have distinguished themselves defensively. The Jets bring a balanced, multi-faceted rushing attack. Through two games, Chris Johnson has 25 attempts and Chris Ivory has 23 attempts. Ivory has gotten more bang for his buck, going for 72.5 YPG to CJ2K’s 44.5 YPG. Quarterback Geno Smith is a threat to run as well, running it for 64 yards in two games.
The Bears had a really rough outing in Week 1, giving up 193 yards to the Bills on the ground and bounced back nicely in Week 2, holding the Niners to 127 on 27 attempts. Progress people, progress. Mel Tucker’s group will be put to the test again under the lights and we’ll see if the Bears can build on an improved effort against the run.
Sep 14, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Chicago Bears Kyle Fuller (23) runs after intercepting San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) (not pictured) in the fourth quarter of their NFL football game at Levis Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports
Jets Passing Offense (29th) vs Bears Pass Defense (10th)
Here’s another opportunity for the Bears to flourish. The Jets don’t throw the ball very well and could be without their #1 wide receiver Eric Decker, who’s nursing an injured hamstring. If he can’t go, look for Jeremy Kerley and tight end Jeff Cumberland (former Illini) to be the top targets. I’d load up the box and make Geno Smith try to beat you.
The Bears pass defense takes a hit with Peanut Tillman done for the season and Chris Conte’s (yes, Chris Harris, did you see that pick?) status in doubt with a bum shoulder. Rookie Kyle Fuller had a coming out party in San Francisco and will be tested often with his expanded role. The Bears brought Isaiah Frey back up, presumably to play the nickel. Takeaways and opportunistic plays could help the Bears, who are +2 in the turnover ration to the Jets’ -2.
What matchups do you think the Bears can exploit? Which matchup will be the toughest for the Bears to overcome?