The New York Jets host the Chicago Bears tonight, as Gang Green tries to rebound from their first loss of the season. The Bears are coming off an impressive come from behind win in San Francisco. Don’t forget to check out the TOJ 12 Pack to get you ready for tonight’s game. Here is this week’s DOs and DONTs.
DO attack the Bears secondary. The Bears are missing Charles Tillman tonight, and Chris Conte is banged up with an injured shoulder. The Bears are 9th in pass defense, so you’d think this isn’t a match-up favorable to the Jets. However, Geno has done a good job this season of looking off the safeties and taking shots down the middle of the field. A lot of fans are clamoring for Jace Amaro to have a bigger role in the passing game than last week, and he probably will. With that said, this is the perfect opportunity for Jeff Cumberland because the Bears are incredibly vulnerable up the middle of the field. The Jets will be wise to take their shots there.
DON’T hesitate to send extra pressure to rattle Jay Cutler. Cutler’s only been sacked 3 times on 89 dropbacks as the Bears have done a great job protecting him. Matt Slauson and Robert Garza are both out tonight, and the Jets need to get to Cutler because he can be rattled into making mistakes. Mr. Coples? You’re up.
DO use Chris Ivory as the lead back. The Bears are 29th against the run and 30th in the more important yards per carry stat. Chris Johnson should be used as a change of pace back solely tonight, but this is a game that Chris Ivory needs to take over. The Bears were able to hold the 49ers to 46 yards rushing last week. Ivory needs to have double that for the Jets to have a shot at winning this game.
2. DON’T forget to cover Matt Forte. I know this should go without saying, but Forte’s been better as a receiver than as a runner during his first two games. The Jets are arguably the best run stopping team in the league, so it should be a tough one for Forte on the ground. Marc Trestman will try to get him the ball on screens and swing passes. The Jets need to neutralize this.
3. DO block Willie Young. Jared Allen gets all the attention, but Willie Young is the Bears best pass rusher right now. He leads the team with 3 sacks and is someone the Jets need to key on when he enters as a situational pass rusher.
3. DON’T ignore Martellus Bennett. Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey get all the attention, but it’s actually Bennett that leads the team in receptions and is second in TDs. This would usually be where you’d see Antonio Allen lined up, but since he’ll probably be matched up with Brandon Marshall this task is going to fall on Calvin Pryor. The rookie needs to bring his A game and get physical with Bennett early and often.
4. DO put Ellis Lankster on Santonio Holmes. I know some Jets fans swear by PFFs stats, and I agree that they’re a valuable resource. However, few things are better than your own eyesight, and my eyesight tells me that Kyle Wilson is still terrible. Therefore, don’t put him on Santonio Holmes. Put Lankster, or #EllisIsland as Cole Patterson calls him, on him and let Lankster limit any chance of a revenge game for Tone.
4. DON’T play Marshall and Jeffrey with Cover 1 looks. This is to you Rex; I know you trust your corners and think that they can cover anyone, and you’ll go out of your way to prove your point. However, the Jets have a very good chance to be in first place headed into a winnable matchup against Detroit on Sunday. The quickest way to lose this game is to not give Allen and Walls safety help.
5. DO target Eric Decker early and often. Kyle Fuller was impressive last week, but Eric Decker is a better route runner than any of the San Francisco wide receivers. I think Decker is going to have a huge game, and this will be a welcome to the NFL moment for the rookie. Geno needs to take advantage of those one on one opportunities Decker gets and not overthrow him like he did last week.
5. DON’T peek in the backfield secondary. Cutler has an underrated tendency, similar to Big Ben, to get outside the pocket and throw the ball up for grabs for his WRs. The Jets defensive line and linebackers need to get to Cutler when this happens. The Jets secondary cannot be caught trying to come up and bring Cutler down because plays like this leave you susceptible to big plays down the field.