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Week 12 Game Preview: Bears-Jets

The Bears enter a game in late November and aren’t the team with a quarterback controversy for a change.

Cincinnati Bengals v New York Jets Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Hard to believe that this is the last Chicago Bears game in November.

It will be December already and then, well we all know that the NFL season is quickly coming toward the end. But let’s not accept that reality yet.

Here, in week 12, the Bears are pretty much a known commodity. They have a great, young quarterback, who is still ascending and getting better. Other than that, they’re a very bad team. Very bad.

The New York Jets, on the other hand, are at a crossroads. They have a winning record, but are once again facing the possibility that they have a dud at quarterback.

Bears fans can be empathetic to that position, but you’ll have to excuse us if we don’t share the sympathy. Chicago has wandered the vast wasteland of terrible quarterbacks for longer than the Jets.

The Jets are a lot like many Bears teams of the recent, and not-so-recent, past. Great defense, and offense that either has to do just enough or stay out of its own way, to win.

This one won’t be easy though. Not even if Justin Fields was 100 percent healthy.

New York Jets

SB Nation site: Gang Green Nation

Record: 6-4, third in the AFC East

Last week: 10-3 loss to the Patriots

Game day, time, TV: Sunday, noon CT, FOX

Spread: According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Jets are 6-point favorites. The total is set at 38.5 points.

Bears all-time record against: 9-3

Historical meetings: The last time they lost to the Jets was 22 years ago this very weekend, week 13 of 2000 (Nov. 26 to be exact).

The 7-4 Jets hosted the 3-8 Bears at the Meadowlands in the rain.

The Bears allowed no sacks but still had an absolutely dismal day of offense. Shane Matthews went 13-of-32 for 98 yards and a touchdown. He had 22 yards in the first half.

James Allen, who finished the game with 122 yards, fumbled three times (remember, it was raining), losing all three.

The Jets managed to take a 17-0 lead at halftime and never looked back. The Bears made a small comeback but lost 17-10.

Last meeting: Week 8, 2018, the 3-3 Bears and 3-4 Jets played at Soldier Field.

The defense kept Sam Darnold and the Jets out of sync, while Mitch Trubisky found Tarik Cohen on a screen that Cohen took 70 yards for a touchdown.

Anthony MIller scored on a four-yard touchdown pass from Trubisky and Jordon Howard scored on a two-yard run in the fourth as the Bears won comfortably 24-10.

Injury report: The Jets listed six players as limited or non-participants in Wednesday’s practice.


  • OT Duane Brown (shoulder)
  • CB Sauce Gardner (calf)
  • G Nate Herbig (shin)
  • ILB Quincy Williams (ankle)

Did not participate

  • NT Sheldon Rankins (elbow)
  • TE Kenny Yeboah (calf)

Offense: The Jets offense comes into the game ranked 22nd in points and 28th in yards.

Their passing offense ranks 25th and their rushing offense ranks 20th.

You probably have heard that second overall pick Zach Wilson (55.6 pct cmp./1,279 yds./4 TD/5 INT) has been benched for Mike White (2021 numbers: 66.7 pct. cmp./953 yds./5 TD/8 INT in three games).

Rookie WR Garrett Wilson (44 rec./533 yds./2 TD), a former teammate of Justin Fields, is playing very well given the questionable quarterback play. TE Tyler Conklin (35 rec./331 yds./3 TD), WR Cory Davis (19/351/2) and Elijah Moore (18/220/0) are also weapons in the passing game.

RB Michael Carter (93 att./349 yds./3 TD) is taking the bulk of the load in the running game, with help from former Jaguar and trade acquision James Robinson (25/75/0). Carter also plays a role in the passing game (26 rec./194/0), while WR Braxton Berrios (12 rec./69/0) also factors into the run game (7 att./82/2).

Defense: The Jets come into this week ranked ninth in points allowed and eighth in yards.

Their passing defense ranks 10th and their rushing defense ranks ninth.

This defense is actually built to be able to stop a running quarterback, perhaps more so than any of Chicago’s recent opponents.

Their LBs are C.J. Mosley (97 tkls./4 TFL/4 PD/1 sk/1 QB hit), Quincy Williams (55 tkls./2 sk./5 TFL), and Kwon Alexander (45 tkls./3 TFL/1 PD).

Their defensive line is menacing and features Quinnen Williams (8 sk./7 TFL/18 QB hits/1 FF), Carl Lawson (5 sk./1 FF/5 TFL/17 QB hits), John Franklin-Myers (3.5 sk./3 TFL/14 QB hits), and Sheldon Rankins (2 sk./3 TFL/4 QB hits), who is working back from an injury.

The secondary features top young players like first round pick Sauce Gardner (45 tkls./2 INT/14 PD) and S Jordan Whitehead (2 INT/6 PD/52 tkls.). Lamarcus Joyner (3 INT/42 tkls./5 PD) and Michael Carter (2 INT/36 tkls./6 PD) are also making plays.

Key matchups: For the Bears, it might just come down to their OL vs. the defensive line of the Jets. The Jets are going to be focused on making the Bears and Justin Fields one dimensional and they have the players to do it.

The Bears are going to have to throw it more in order to stay in this game. Especially with a banged-up Justin Fields.

For the defense, it’s about pressuring Mike White. He’s a young, relatively inexperienced quarterback. Disguise the coverages and blitz and make him beat you. On the outside, Cory Davis and Garrett Wilson are good receivers, so Jaylon Johnson and Kyler Gordon will have their hands full. Things could get ugly all over the defense if Jaquon Brisker remains in concussion protocol.

Key stats

  • The Bears average 197.9 yards per game on the ground. The Jets are allowing just 109.7.
  • The Jets defense has allowed the 14th-most rushing yards to opposing quarterbacks.
  • The Jets have the fourth-highest pressure rate in the league, but blitz the third-fewest in the league.
  • Opposing passers have the third-lowest QB rating in the league against the Jets defense with a 77.2. The Jets defense has more interceptions (11) than touchdown passes allowed (9).
  • New York ranks 29th in third down offense, while Chicago ranks 31st in thrid down defense.
  • The Jets have one fewer takeaway than the Bears do (14 to 15) but have played one game fewer, due to their bye week.
  • The Jets rank 26th in passing first downs allowed.

Can the Bears beat the Jets as big road underdogs? Will Mike White carve up the Bears’ defense or will he make Jets fans clamor for more Zach Wilson?