clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bears vs Jets: Six-Pack Keys to Victory

The Bears again face a mobile quarterback, high-percentage throws, a strong running game, and a ferocious front-line. How can they claim victory on Monday night?

Jeff Gross

1) Let Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery Work

The Jets will send players from just about every direction and probably invent a few new directions in their attempts to get to the quarterback. That can cause some problems in getting a deep passing game going. With two giant mismatches in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, the Bears don't necessarily need that. Get the ball out and let them work, or put the ball in play and tell them to go fetch.

2) The Matt Forte Screen Game

Another tool the Bears might want to consider is the screen game, something the Jets haven't seen a whole lot of, but Matt Forte is fourth on the Bears in receiving yardage with 102 yards on 13 receptions. (Also, did you know Forte only has one more rushing yard [103]? Rushing the ball so far has not been the Bears' forte.)

3) Run Support from All Angles

Feels like it's an every week thing, doesn't it. Mobile quarterbacks, strong rushing tendencies, unpredictable pocket decisions - it'll be another week of sure tackling, rallying to the ball, and making the play. The Bears have been better about it so far this year, and it helps that the linebackers look like they can make tackles, but they need to be able to hold it down for another week.

4) Take Advantage when the Ball is in the Air

Geno Smith has thrown two interceptions on the year with a 63% completion percentage; a lot of their throws are on play-action and shorter throws to more-open targets. The Bears need to find ways to capitalize when the ball goes in the air, like they eventually did against Colin Kaepernick. Getting a pick or two and creating short fields can make taking on a fierce defensive front like the Jets (or Niners, or Bills...) a much more palatable situation.

5) All Hands on Pass Protection

With any and all gaps open for targeting, the Jets can send pass-rushers and blitzers anywhere and everywhere - that includes the interior of the line, where Michael Ola struggled with Justin Smith. The running backs will have to be on point in blitz pickup, including Tony Fiametta. (This may or may not be why running backs haven't been used much in screens - which, see number 2.)

6) Keep Contain on Smith

The problem with mobile quarterbacks, as we've seen over the first two games, is that they can break contain to the outside with a crashing-inside end, and they can also break contain when the middle opens up wide. The faster an end or tackle can get off a block, the better it turns out. Keeping Smith in place until a play can be made will keep him in the pocket and the ball out of his hands.

What are some of your keys to victory on Monday night?