48 degrees/ Cloudy/ 11 MPH wind
Key Coaching Decision #1: (CHI ball/ No lead/ Fourth – and- 3/ CHI 30/ 5:24 Q1)
• The Bears picked up where they left on the first drive.
• On the Bears first drive of the game, they moved the ball down the field, but kicker Cory Parkey missed a 40-yard field goal, wide to the right.
• The Bears got the ball back after the Jets punted on their first drive. They got the ball on their own 12-yard line and quarterback Mitchell Trubisky found rookie wide receiver Anthony Miller for an 18-yard gain.
• On second down and 10, Trubisky found Tarik Cohen on a short screen pass and he flew down the sideline for a 70-yard touchdown. The Bears had the right playcall in as the Jets brought a blitz and Avery Williamson, Jets linebacker could not recover. After this score, the Bears offense went dormant for the remainder of the first half.
Key Coaching Decision #2: (NYJ ball/ CHI leads 7-3/ Fourth – and- 1/ CHI 46/ 1:12 Q1)
• The Jets successfully attempted a fourth and short as rookie running back Trenton Cannon rushed for a three-yard gain. Had this rushing attempt fallen short, the Bears would have gotten the ball back in favorable field position with a seven-point lead. This was a risky maneuver. The Jets later scored on a 42-yard field goal on this drive to make it a 7-3 game. This would remain the score until after halftime.
Key Coaching Decision #3: (CHI ball/ CHI leads 14-3/ Fourth – and- 1/ NYJ 23/ 2:03 Q3)
• Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky snuck ahead for a first down conversion to extend a Bears drive. The Bears kicked a field goal later in the drive and in the fourth quarter to go ahead by two touchdowns, 17-3.
• The Bears did not attempt a field goal from this distance and instead had Trubisky attempt a conversion probably because the memory of the earlier Parkey miss from a similar distance was probably still fresh in the Bears’ coaches minds.
Key Coaching Decision #4: (CHI ball/ CHI leads 17-10/ First-and 10/ CHI 21/ 11:03 Q4)
• Early in the fourth quarter, the Jets finally scored their first touchdown of the afternoon to cut the Bears lead to 17-10.
• The Bears with a second-year quarterback in Trubisky that is prone to inaccuracy don’t play conservative. They came out throwing deep passes. On the first play of the possession after the Jets score, Trubisky failed to connect with wide receivers Taylor Gabriel on a deep pass. On the next play, Trubisky again threw the ball down the field and found Anthony Miller for a 23-yard gain. The Bears moved the ball down the field with a series of additional down field throws and some strong running by Trubisky and power back, Jordan Howard. The Bears ended the drive and the Jets chances with a touchdown to put the game out of reach at 24-10.
New York Jets
• Rookie QB Sam Darnold was without a significant amount of offensive firepower as he was without running back Bilal Powell and wide receivers Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson. We know that injuries are a part of the game, but this is a significant loss and was a significant factor in the Jets offensive issues and the outcome of the game.
• The Jets must cut down on offensive penalties that stalled too many drives. They had seven penalties on offense, including five false starts. This was a main reason as to why they were woeful on third down (3 of 14), for a second straight game.
• There was one major defensive penalty as well. One of the key plays in the game came in the middle of the third quarter (7:19) when the Bears faced Third and Goal from the Jets nine-yard line. A neutral zone infraction by Leonard Williams and the related five yard penalty made it Third and 4 for the Bears. Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky connected with rookie wideout Anthony Miller for a touchdown pass. The score was just 7-3 at the time of the penalty. Holding the Bears to a field goal here would have kept the game to a 10-3 lead. The Jets were having issues moving the ball and scoring. The Jets would have been able to better defend the end zone and hold the Bears to a field goal attempt when facing third down and goal from the 9-yard line as opposed to from the 4-yard line.
• We are impressed with the work done by the Bears wide receivers and tight ends and specifically their blocking at the perimeter. These key blocks were crucial in the short passing game and in helping the Bears establish a presence on the ground. The Bears gained 179 rushing yards. It was a balanced attack of running backs Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen and quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
• As nimble and effective as Trubisky is as a runner, he was inaccurate at key points in the first half. The Bears left points on the field in the first half because Trubisky missed on some key throws. Trubisky was just 5 of 13 for 116 yards in the first half. He was much improved during the second half.
• The Bears entered the game 3-3, desperately needing a victory after two straight losses to the Dolphins and Patriots after the early BYE week. The Bears are now again over .500 and in first place in the NFC North.
• The defense was without Khalil Mack who is dealing with a nagging ankle issue. Even without Mack, the Bears limited the Jets to 207 total yards. The Bears limited the explosive plays in the game. The only explosive plays were three passes, all late in the game after the Bears had built a two-score lead. They did however miss Mack as they were unable to get any takeaways and sacked Darnold just once.