To the detriment of Chicago Bears fans everywhere, this Sunday will probably be Chicago’s most boring game thus far, but the delay on some decision making means it could still be consequential.
New York Jets
The New York Jets are not a bad football team, even though the recent past has proved dismal for almost all the New York football teams. The Bills were struggling before Josh Allen’s second season, this year is the first year the Giants have looked good in quite some time, and the exact same goes for the Jets. Yet, they’ve got a glaring issue — the offense isn’t up to par. They are sitting at 6-4 on the season, but have not won many of those games due to a stellar offense showing. Rather, their defense is incredibly well built, great at both generating pressure and locking down the backfield. It should be mentioned that they did have a strong run game, but it has since faltered due to an ACL tear from star rookie running back Breece Hall. As far as passing goes, the Chicago Bears get the first look at a new quarterback controversy in New York. After multiple subpar performances, alongside an abysmal showing last week versus the Patriots, QB Zach Wilson caught quite a bit of flack for what some considered a lack of accountability in the post-game conference. Yet, instead of starting veteran QB Joe Flacco in his stead, the Jets have elected to put Mike White on the field, who was drafted in 2018 and has served as a backup quarterback to the Dallas Cowboys and his current team. He started three games for the Jets in 2021, going 1-2, and showed off some impressive passing ability. So, where does that leave the Jets? At this rate they really are a wild card. The run game seems to be lacking strength, and the quarterback situation is incredibly murky. The ability of the offense is under intense scrutiny, as per CBS’s Chris Towers, the Jets averaged 2.77 inches per play in the second half. Yes, that is a real stat. 2.77 inches per play. Even with all of this, the New York defense is incredibly strong. They are in the top ten for passing yards allowed, rushing yards allowed, and points allowed. On top of that, they are tied for 4th in the league in total sacks (32) and are ranked as the 7th best defense in the league. What does all this mean for the Chicago Bears?
Well, Chicago also finds itself in a quarterback controversy, but not the one you think. Coming off the loss versus the Atlanta Falcons last week, superstar quarterback and overall team MVP Justin Fields injured his non-throwing shoulder, separating it and partially tearing ligaments. However, nobody on the Chicago Bears has committed to his status for the game. He is now officially ruled as questionable, but head coach Matt Eberflus has still been adamant that Fields may see the field. To many fans in Chicago — this makes little to no sense. Fields has proven himself as the future for the Chicago Bears. He is a tough competitor, has a yearning desire to win, and has shown off both impressive arm and leg strength. In terms of impact across this whole season, he is the undisputed on-field leader of the Chicago Bears, and in many games has been the entirety of the offense’s driving force. With all of that in mind, many have a prevailing thought — keep him safe. With a 3-8 record on the season, the Bears aren’t going to the playoffs this year unless they have one of the most improbable win-out seasons of all time, and multiple others teams collapse around the league. Some say if Fields is able to play, he should, getting more reps and meshing with the offense is key. On other hand, with the certainty the Bears aren’t going anywhere fast, why not rest him against a rather inconsequential game versus a top defense? To further add fire to that argument, it has been announced that both starting cornerbacks Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker are out. On top of that, one of the Bears top running backs Khalil Herbert is on injured reserve. The Chicago defense has already been consistently underperforming, and now they’re missing two of their top players remaining after trading away superstars Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn.
Typically this season, the Bears have always had a few things going for them: The run game, the secondary, and Justin Fields. The run game heavily relies on Fields, so that also remains in question along with Fields for Sunday. With the injuries to the secondary, the Bears have lost the best part of their defense. Simply put, their success does not seem likely.
On the other hand, the Jets still have their terrific defense, but an offense that is completely uncertain. If the Bears had a completely healthy Fields, even with the injuries to the secondary, they could still be a solid pick to win. However, with the defense desecrated, and Fields recovering, many Bears fans will hope to see him at rest, and expect the Jets to take this game.
27 – 13 Jets