Sep 22, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (17) makes a catch in front of New York Jets free safety Antonio Allen (39) during the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Monday Night’s victory featured some tremendous plays by the Chicago Bears the same way all games do. Cutler’s first touchdown pass to Bennett was a brilliant escape in throw, the Mundy pick 6 was a great read, and the tight coverage by Brock Vereen in the culminating moments was a phenomenal clutch play by a rookie.
However, none of these would get my vote for play of the game. No, the play for me that really defined the game is one about which no one is talking. It came with 8 minutes to go in the fourth quarter on a Bears third and 9.
The Bears offense had gone 3 and out on its past 3 drives and they looked as though they would be punting again. All the momentum seemed to be on New York’s side at that point in the game. On that third down, the Jets sent an all-out blitz on Jay Cutler. Instead of taking a sack or panicking, Cutler faced the pressure and floated a beauty to the exact place he knew Alshon Jeffery was going to be.
The receiver leapt up and made a beautiful catch for a huge third down conversion, putting the Bears closer to Robbie Gould range. Also, it should be noted that Matt Forte’s block saved the play. He got a piece of a rushing Jets player. If he didn’t, Cutler may have been a dead duck. It reminded me of Walter Payton’s block on a blitzing Viking in 1985, allowing McMahon to throw a key touchdown pass in a comeback victory.
If Cutler doesn’t make that throw, the Jets get the ball back with a lot of time and potentially score the game winning touchdown. But Cutler did what the Bears pay him to do. He made a wise, accurate throw in a critical moment in the game to get the win. That play was the one that changed the moment. It was the clutch turning point of Monday night.