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Bears Vs Jets: Notes, Scribbles, and Things Jotted Down

We're going through our notes from last night's win over the Jets.

  • Geno Smith picked a fine way to start the game, if you're a Bears fan - hitting Ryan Mundy in stride for an interception returned for a touchdown. He had to outrun Chris Johnson for 45 yards to bring that one to the end zone, and he's lucky it wasn't 46.
  • The Bears' first offensive series went nowhere, and the punt by Pat O'Donnell was nearly blocked. Fortunately, the Bears got a second offensive series immediately as Jets' returner Jalen Saunders flubbed the punt, recovered by the safety pickup Ahmad Dixon.
  • The offensive first quarter for the Bears was largely a disappointment, even allowing for the touchdown toss to Martellus Bennett. The Bears tried to run the ball three times, two to the edge on a toss, and all three went nowhere except backwards. But towards the end of the quarter, the Bears started hitting Alshon Jeffery and Bennett on short plays and got into a rhythm.
  • However, Jay Cutler looks like he's been preparing for pressure in his face. Or maybe it was the years of actually having pressure in his face. On the touchdown toss to Bennett, I would swear he was about to be sacked, and he stepped up and out to open space and drilled the throw in for a touchdown.
  • Live note at 14:15 in the second quarter for later-game barometer: Feels like a lot of ticky-tack/weaker Jets penalties, and missing one delay of game on the Bears.
  • Ego Ferguson's first career sack came on a coverage sack. Will Sutton came in on a delayed free run, which Geno Smith sidestepped. Ferguson got off his block to lay the hit and finish. The Jets had a receiver in the end zone, but Smith had to worry about escaping a sack thirteen yards deep in the pocket.
  • I love watching a tight end juke oncoming rushers.
  • Jay Cutler can keep plays alive really well, but he can also identify open space and run to it too. See, for example, his 18-yard scramble out of bounds. On another note, it's really fascinating to watch the Jets on defense and all the different alignments they use. Cutler's run featured three defensive backs all coming from the same side.
  • Tim Jennings hit Chris Ivory once, and Ivory just spun him off and kept going for an extra few yards. Ivory's been getting a lot of looks out of the screen game and short emergency dumpoffs.
  • D.J. Williams lost Jace Amaro in coverage. Geno Smith hit him for a 44 yard gain. Please don't lose Jace Amaro in coverage ever again, D.J.
  • Two quarters, two passes batted away at the line of scrimmage by defensive linemen, one for Stephen Paea and one for Lamarr Houston. Also, on Paea's batdown, Will Sutton dove like somebody hit the tackle/dive button in Madden.
  • Kyle Fuller's learned the Peanut Punch, apparently. The first forced fumble went out of bounds directly, the second one, Fuller went out of bounds before trying to dive back on it, and just beat D.J. Williams, who as an inbounds player would have given possession to the Bears.
  • The Jets' touchdown in the second quarter was aided by the Bears the entire time - first, allowing a conversion of third and nine for 11 yards. Then Houston got the "Disrespectful To An Official" flag on second down, and then the touchdown to Jeremy Kerley was promptly added to on the kickoff by a Danny McCray helmet to a defenseless receiver penalty - which was completely deserved. On the touchdown, Isaiah Frey did nothing to reroute or disrupt Kerley.
  • Forte powered through a tackle for a first down on third and one. Commence swooning.
  • Regarding the Cutler fumble, the refs' quick whistle saved the Bears from giving up a touchdown. If the refs let the play play out, that ball's probably in the end zone and the Jets go into the half with the lead. Because of the quick whistle, the only thing that could be reversed is the fumble with a clear recovery - which there was. The play itself was nearly impossible to block completely - somebody's coming free. Unfortunately, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, and that was "Free and right up the middle."
  • Martellus Bennett got his second touchdown thanks to a nifty play design to keep him out of the wash of a Jets blitz covering the entire offensive line. He lined up wide, crossed right to the goal line uncovered, and an easy recognition and pitch and catch. The entire drive, the Jets were extremely aggressive in their blitz schemes, and after a couple stumbles, the Bears mixed in a couple effective screens, got the ball out quick, including on a beautiful lob to Jeffery 44 yards downfield, and would have scored the touchdown earlier in the drive on a similar throw to Marshall if not for a penalty on Michael Ola, who's been having a rough game.
  • D'Brickashaw Ferguson has been doing work on Jared Allen all night. That's a pretty strong offensive line the Jets have there.
  • Kyle Fuller picked off a terrible Geno Smith throw to the end zone, which was an awesome play on his part. What wasn't an awesome play was running the ball out of the end zone. I know you want to make a big play, but just fall down and take your twenty.
  • This is your long list of Bears' offensive linemen having a good game against the Jets' blitz scheme. That was the long list of Bears' offensive linemen having a good game against the Jets' blitz scheme.
  • On the other side, Will Sutton has been having a solid game.
  • The Bears went three straight drives going three and out. Jay Cutler's had to do some playground stuff to advance the ball, including lobbing the ball to the middle of the field for Alshon Jeffery to go grab. Jeffery one-on-one against most defensive backs is kind of a problem for the defensive back.
  • Regarding the "Spot of the ball" challenge, it was a great, no-risk challenge that just didn't work out. They didn't have a close angle to see if the ball crossed the line, however we might have viewed it. I personally thought it was short; I'm not under the hood. Also wasn't thrilled with the Bostic penalty, both for it being called and what it was called on.
  • (/checking above comment about weak Jets penalties)
  • Leave it to sub defensive back Brock Vereen to close out the game with a pass breakup. There's something with sub defensive backs and closing out games. I kind of like it, sucks that it had to be necessary though.


So, some end-of-game observations:

  • This team is beat up. Like, really beat up. Like, they were one play away from having to actually depend on Ahmad Dixon to play safety long-term and then having him in for a play beat up. But what's impressive is that for as beat up as both the wide receiving corps and defensive backfield are, they still pulled out two wins in the fourth quarter on the road (granted, different styles, but still). And a huge part of that last night was the linebackers, especially Jon Bostic, who might have just had the best game of his young career. Kyle Fuller picked right up where he left off against San Francisco (some great plays, but some rookie/young mistakes that'll iron out). Brock Vereen didn't strike fear in me as a Bears fan - which is an improvement for a young safety backup. Ahmad Dixon was everywhere on specials. And the young defensive tackles in Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton played well. And for the injuries, the other units have stepped up as well. Even though the defense allowed a 300-yard passing Geno Smith and 114 team rushing yards to the Jets, holding them to one touchdown and four field goals was enough to pull out a victory.
  • So why did the Jets have the ball for longer than the Bears (31:52 to 28:08) with such dominant yardage numbers (414 total yards to 257)? A combination of penalties (The Bears had 9 penalties for 95 yards) and the Jets moving the ball through the air unexpectedly. Jace Amaro got free for 44 yards. Jeremy Kerley always looked like he was catching a ball every time I looked at the TV. The Jets had three drives of double-digit plays and four drives of over 55 yards.
  • The Bears had four drives (the fourth being game-ending kneeldowns) end in negative yardage, with four three-and-outs; on those drives they accumulated -14 yards. They had two drives of double digit plays - 12 and 15. Both ended in field goals.The rest of their drives counted 38 plays for five punts, two touchdowns, one fumble, halftime, and the end of the game, totaling 150 yards.
  • The Bears allowed the Jets to run for 4.4 yards per carry, the lowest they've allowed all season.
  • Jared Allen struggled mightily against D'Brickashaw Ferguson, but later in the game seemed to get some pretty good pressure, especially in the final drives.
  • Boy, it's nice having a reliable target like Martellus Bennett in the middle of everything.
  • Jay Cutler had the Bears' longest run; his total rushing yardage was less than that carry (14 to 16).
  • Rashad Ross seemed to figure out as the game went on that taking the ball out from deep in the end zone is a bad idea. Though I loved the Dante Rosario toss back to Ross that he took to the 27.
  • The thing is, this team has had to win the last two weeks on the strength of its defense. Think about that for a second, and think about how hard you would have laughed at a person telling you that in the preseason. It hasn't been the prettiest, but the Bears kept the Niners and Jets off the scoreboard just enough to make it matter, which is a huge step up.

That's what I've got for you this victory Tuesday. What's on your minds about last night's game?