A handful of match-up thoughts on the New York Jets taking on the Chicago Bears this Monday night.
1. First off, here is audio from a conference call we took part in with David Harris today (hat tip to Brian Bassett of The Jets Blog for posting this). Harris had a few interesting things to say about Martellus Bennett, Santonio Holmes and Matt Forte. It was also encouraging to hear that rookie Trevor Reilly has been glued to Calvin Pace’s hip around the facility as he tries to pick up as much of the Jets defense as possible.2. The Chicago Bears allowed 90 yards receiving to the San Francisco 49ers tight ends last week and it would have likely been much more if Vernon Davis didn’t get banged up. Look at how vulnerable the middle of the field is for Davis and Derek Carrier to take advantage of.
Especially with Eric Decker potentially being banged up, Marty Mornhinweg needs to make a concerted effort to get Jeff Cumberland and particularly Jace Amaro involved in the passing game. Get Amaro in the slot. Get him out wide. Get him at H-Back. Get him wherever. Just get him some targets on a pass that travels more than 2 yards in the air.
3. Elsewhere among receiving targets, I’d wager on David Nelson seeing at least 3-5 passes coming his way on Monday. He has the size to take advantage of the Bears secondary and flashed open a few times against the Packers.
4. The Bears comeback against the 49ers was immensely impressive but let’s remember it was built on four very costly turnovers from Colin Kaepernick, two of which were simply awful decisions by him. If Geno Smith can protect the football and the Jets establish the run the way they should, this isn’t a bad match-up for them.
5. Speaking of the run…this is a game to hammer Chris Ivory between between the tackles. He has been the Jets most effective runner this season and against this defense he should be a candidate for 16-20 carries. Chris Johnson needs to be incorporated in the passing game but if he is struggling running the ball again, the Jets shouldn’t be hesitant to get Bilal Powell carries as a change of pace back.6. If Dee Milliner is not 100% – SIT HIM OUT. You are only hurting his development and the team by playing him when he isn’t healthy. Darrin Walls at 100% is better than Milliner at 80% and it isn’t even close.
7. I hope Rex Ryan is wise enough to mix in more two high looks and put less on his cornerbacks than he normally does. You are putting Walls, Antonio Allen and particularly Kyle Wilson in position to fail if you repeatedly leave them manned up with Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett. Don’t hand the Bears big chunks of yardage. Make Jay Cutler work the ball down the field methodically, where he is prone to eventually take a chance and make a mistake.
8. We will make our predictions on Monday afternoon but this game is likely to be a PK by kickoff and rightfully so. You will probably see a good mix of Bears and Jets picks as this game is truly a toss-up. If you are looking to track the action leading up to kickoff check out Sportsbook Navigator.