The Chicago Bears were far from perfect on Sunday afternoon against the New York Jets.
They left six points on the field via a missed field goal and a heinous penalty from Kyle Long that negated a big play. Eddie Jackson committed an equally boneheaded personal foul to extend a New York drive in the fourth quarter. And most worrisome, Mitch Trubisky’s accuracy was erratic at best and dreadful at worst.
Luckily, it was the New York Jets who came to town and not last week’s New England Patriots. Even without Khalil Mack and Allen Robinson, the Bears played as a team and shut down the Jets on the way to a 24-10 win.
The game began semi-promising. Over the first 2 possessions, the Bears moved the ball well despite the missed field goal and the Jets put together nothing resembling a scoring drive. Chicago put seven points on the board when the Jets ran an all-out blitz against a Tarik Cohen screen pass.
Cohen caught it behind two blockers, James Daniels and Cody Whitehair, but there was nobody to block except green grass. Cohen easily found pay dirt to give the Bears an early lead.
Through most of the middle quarters and a half of the game, both offenses stagnated more than they did anything else. Trubisky ran well and didn’t throw any turnover-worthy passes but his arm was off, sailing an open Anthony Miller in his most egregious error.
Defensively, Akiem Hicks and Bryce Callahan were (as they’ve been all season other than 52) Chicago’s best players. Hicks drove his opponents back into Sam Darnold’s lap constantly and Callahan contributed multiple PBUs and a sack on a well-disguised nickel blitz. Hicks additionally shut down New York’s normally potent run game, stifling everything for gains of negative one to positive three yards.
Trubisky started to get his act together late in the third, completing a beautiful back-shoulder throw to Miller in the back of the end zone for a score. The Bears added a field goal to go up by 14 one drive later and the game looked to be over until the Jets drove down the field with some pretty Darnold passes and a “Mossing” of sorts by Deontay Burnett over Kyle Fuller.
While that drive gave the Jets some life, Trubisky and the Bears made a statement on their next possession. Trubisky completed a beautiful pass to Miller for a key first down early in the series, scampered for a couple more chain-movers, and let Jordan Howard do the rest.
Sadly, the Bears did lose Kyle Long to what looked like a devastating ankle injury late in the game. It could very well have been the last we’ve seen of Long in a Bears uniform.
The Bears face the Buffalo Bills next week, a disaster in every phase of the game. They should be 5-3 by this time next Sunday, ready to face a daunting stretch of division and conference opponents.
Follow Jack on Twitter–Featured Photo Credit: (Armando L. Sanchez and Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune)