With the second seed in their sights, the Bears host the freaky foot fetishist New York Jets at Soldier Field. In 2010 the Bears have been a far superior team on the road, often looking lost in front of the adoring home fans. Sunday that must change in a prelude to playoff atmosphere.
- I always like the Chicago Bears.
- This is not a great matchup for the Jets. The quarterbacks that have their way against the Bears secondary are the quick-out, slant types like Tom Brady and when-he's-hot Matt Hasselbeck. Mark Sanchez lacks the accuracy and consistency to be able to dink and dunk the Bears over the haul of a ten or twelve-play drive. (The minor cartilage tear in his shoulder won't help either.) He thrives on play action, which means...
- The Jets will struggle when the Bears stop the run. I have a feeling the entirety of the this week's meetings will involve Lovie showing the front seven highlights of their allowing Toby Gerhart to bounce outside repeatedly. I expect tackling to be the name of the game Sunday.
- Nick Folks kicking field goals at Soldier Field? I don't see it.
- The Jets depend entirely on complicated blitz packages to pressure the quarterback and the Bears thrive in their counter-blitz passing game. When teams can't get to us with their front four, the hot routes become hotter and I expect Martz/Cutler to be ready to unload the ball to Bennett, Knox and Olsen on one and two-step drops.
- Devin Hester has reassumed his role as the guy most discussed by opposing coaches in press conferences.
- The Jets have one significant advantage over the Bears: Brad Smith. Smith is capable of breaking games open with his kick returns and the Bears have struggled mightily in their kick coverage. Containing BS is obejective number one.
- The Jets defense, especially their corners, are very good. Protecting the football will be paramount for Jay Cutler because the Revis and Cromarties of the world are always looking to take it the other way for six.
- That being said, injuries at safety have taken their toll on the Jets. The Bears will have opportunities to look deep down the field.
- Mismatches for the Bears: our big defensive tackles against guard Matt Slauson and Julius Peppers against backup right tackle Wayne Hunter. Rex Ryan thinks Wayne Hunter is an elite tackle and Rex Ryan is wrong. Peppers could have a big afternoon.
- I think people have overrated Sanchez' performance against the Steelers - a secondary that is pretty awful most of the time. I expect six points from our defense at some point. I'm calling Tim Jennings.
Chicago Bears 20, New York Jets 10