Around the NFL  

 

What to watch for in Jets vs. Bears on Monday night

Print

The New York Jets and Chicago Bears are both coming off memorable games against NFC contenders. The Bears stormed back to beat the San Francisco 49ers last Sunday night, while the Jets lost to the Packers in ignominious fashion; a game the fanbase will remember for Marty Mornhinweg's Time Out Call From Hell.

Now the two teams square off on Monday Night at the Meadowlands. Here's what to watch for:

1. Geno Smith played the best football of his young career in the first 20 game minutes against the Packers. His play tailed off down the stretch, contributing to the difficult loss at Lambeau. Which version of Smith will show up against the Bears? Geno and the Jets have to do a better job closing.

2. Jay Cutler has had some career success against the Jets, but he could struggle if Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery aren't themselves. Both wideouts are expected to play, but neither is 100 percent. (Of course, Marshall still managed to catch three touchdowns against the Niners on one leg.) Marshall is working a lot in the slot -- watch for a potential mismatch against Jets cornerback Kyle Wilson.

3. Speaking of the Jets' CBs, this remains a major weak point of an otherwise strong defense. Dee Milliner didn't look right in his return to the lineup last Sunday and is doubtful to play in Week 3. That leaves Antonio Allen (a converted safety) and Darrin Walls as the team's two starters in the secondary. If the Jets lose, there's a good chance it will be because they got lit up by Chicago's potent passing attack.

4. Eric Decker has very much looked like a true No. 1 receiver so far. Unfortunately for the Jets, Decker strained his hamstring against the Packers and is a game-time decision. If Decker sits or is extremely limited, the Jets simply don't have enough depth at wide receiver to get by. This would be a good spot for a breakout performance for tight end Jace Amaro, the team's second-round pick.

5. Expect the Jets to take pressure off Geno by leaning hard on their run game. Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory lit up the Oakland Raiders in Week 1, but struggled against the Packers. They'll have a good chance to make some noise against a Bears rush defense that has allowed 5.4 yards per carry over the last 18 games, according to ESPN.com's Rich Cimini.

6. It's not DJax's Philly return on the revenge scale, but Santonio Holmes will play his first game at MetLife Stadium since the Jets cut ties with the enigmatic wide receiver in the offseason. Rex Ryan was curiously complimentary of his former playmaker last week, conveniently forgetting that Holmes' past petulance is the sole reason the Jets no longer have team captains.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps all of the Week 3 action and picks the top team in the AFC.

Print

Fan Discussion