Sep 7, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Chris Ivory (33) celebrates after running for a 71-yard touchdown against the Oakland Raiders during the fourth quarter of a game at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Raiders 19-14. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Old School, New School
Da Windy City
Expect an old-school approach from the New York Jets. They ranked tops in the league in both running the ball and stopping the run heading into Week 3. That’s bad news if you drafted Matt Forte in your fantasy league. He’ll most likely take another week to get the ground game going. You’d like to see Trestman and Cutler get Forte involved in the passing game with some screen passes to take some of the pressure off Cutler.
On the other side of the ball, the Bears defense needs to build on a stronger outing in stopping the run. The Jets will come at them with Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory in a pretty balanced attack. The Bears will have to pull together their rush defense with a few new school starters on defense. Jeremiah Ratliff, Peanut Tillman and Shea McClellin will miss the game so Jonathan Bostic, Kyle Fuller and Will Sutton will most likely get more meaningful snaps. As we’ve seen over the last couple of seasons, it only takes one guy to be out of his gap to get gashed for a big run.
Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall have been hobbled by injuries the last couple of weeks. They both head into Monday Night listed as Questionable and that will scare some Bears fans. Fear not, both gutted it out last week and you can expect both to give it a go to provide Jay Cutler with a couple of big targets. On defense, the Bears will already be without some of their starters, but one of the playmakers from the first couple of weeks has his status still in doubt. Chris Conte has been having a nice bounceback this season. Sure, he got a pony ride from Fred Jackson en route to the Bears’ first loss but he’s made a couple of nifty interceptions in the first two games.
For the Jets, they could be missing a couple of key weapons on both sides of the ball. Cornerback Dee Milliner is listed as doubtful while wide receiver Eric Decker is listed as Questionable. If either of those two misses the game, it hurts the Jets.
Whichever team overcomes their injuries wins the game.
Sep 7, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears defensive end Lamarr Houston (99) during the second quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
The Bears will be without two of their Week 1 starting offensive linemen as Roberto Garza and Matt Slauson both sit out their second straight week with ankle sprains. Brian de la Puente and Michael Ola have filled in admirably but the Jets will present a challenge. They will bring the kitchen sink at Jay Cutler, hoping to force the ball out early and to make mistakes. Sheldon Richardson and Muhammed Wilkerson are a handful and will challenge the Bears offensive line.
On the other side, it’s time to see more from Lamarr Houston. He’s failed to make a strong impression in the first couple of weeks. With Ratliff sidelined, Houston needs to step up his game. Jared Allen needs to build on a strong outing in Week 2 while Willie Young just needs to keep up his high level of play.
It starts up front and for the Bears if they can control the line of scrimmage, they’ll run away with this one.