After clinching the NFC North with a win over the Vikings, the Chicago Bears will try to hold onto the second seed in the NFC. The Jets are coming into Chicago after a big win over the Steelers last week. If the Jets were to win, they would clinch a playoff spot in the AFC.
Keys to Victory:
1. Protect Jay Cutler: This has been, and will be in every Keys to Victory. The Jets like to bring pressure, and they can because of their great cornerbacks. Thirteen different Jets have a sack this season, and they will bring pressure from everywhere. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree for Buddy Ryan's son, Rex.
2. Greg Olsen must be a factor: The Bears got Greg Olsen into the mix again last week, where he recorded four catches. Whenever Olsen is involved, the Bears passing attack produces more points. Going up against a team with two very good corners, Chicago must attack the back up safety and slow linebackers of the Jets.
3. Limit Turnovers: Since the bye week, the Bears have done a solid job of not turning the Ball over for the most part. Jay Cutler will have to be precise with his passes and continue his streak of good play.
4. Pressure the "Sanchize": Mark Sanchez has been a turnover machine since his 8 TD 0 INT start to the season. Since week 5, he's thrown 8 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The Bears lead the league in sacks over the past 7 games, and should be able to get pressure on Sanchez. If they get pressure, he will turn the ball over. In games under 40 degrees, Sanchez has thrown 4 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. With Snow is in the forecast for Sunday, and torn cartilage in his shoulder, that doesn't bode well against a good Bears defense.
5. Special Teams: While Chicago's special teams have been excellent as usual, they are giving up 24+ yards on kickoff returns. New York's Brad Smith has been very good at returning this season, taking back the opening kick off in last weeks game back for a touchdown. He has two so far this season, and the Bears must contain him.
6. Don't Be Satisfied: The Monsters of the Midway must stay hungry on Sunday, and not be satisfied with just clinching the Division. They need to be focused on getting the second seed in the NFC, giving them home field advantage in the playoffs.
7. Continue Offensive Balance: A major part of the success for the Bears offense has been the rise of Matt Forte. Forte has been running great recently, and better than he ever has in his career. Last week against the Vikings, he ran with aggression that he's never had before, and his speed is greatly increased. Forte has a great ability to cut the run outside and create a big run. The Jets linebackers are not speed guys, and Forte should be able to smoke them around the edge.
8. Show Up Barefoot: If the Bears can come onto the field barefoot, Rex Ryan should throw out his entire game plan, giving the Bears an easy win.
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