Following per week of uncertainty surrounding quarterback Justin Fields’ shoulder injury, the Chicago Bears will play the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.
The Bears are attempting to steer out of a four-game skid and have misplaced seven of eight general.
As kickoff approaches, right here’s our snapshot have a look at the sport.
Bears quarterback Trevor Siemian
With uncertainty surrounding Fields’ left shoulder damage, the Bears could also be leaning towards giving Siemian the emergency begin Sunday. The offense has been readying for that chance for the reason that week started with gamers feeling assured they are going to be capable to adapt with out a lot situation.
Sure, the Bears’ offensive type will look a lot completely different if Siemian begins as a substitute of Fields.
Mentioned tight finish Cole Kmet: “I don’t know if Trevor goes to be popping off any 65-yard runs. And he’s OK with me saying that. I imply, clearly (the offense) modifications just a little bit. They’re several types of gamers.”
With Fields beginning the primary 11 video games and the Bears establishing a run-heavy identification, they’ve the NFL’s No. 1 dashing assault, averaging 197.9 yards per recreation on the bottom with Fields main the group with 834 dashing yards and 7 touchdowns. However the Bears are additionally lifeless final in passing, averaging 128.1 yards per recreation by the air whereas permitting a league-high 40 sacks. (The Atlanta Falcons are the one different group with extra dashing yards than internet passing yards.)
On the very least, it will be fascinating to see how offensive coordinator Luke Getsy would adapt the sport plan with Siemian as his starter.
“I believe that might be a fairly simple transition,” coach Matt Eberflus stated earlier this week. “Trevor is clearly a really sensible particular person and an excellent passer. He has an incredible grasp of the offense. He’s been right here since Day 1. (He has) excessive useful intelligence.”
Added Kmet: “He’s poised. He has clearly been across the league, seen a number of various things. He’s a wise man.”
Having to make a quarterback change — for no matter motive — is nothing new at Halas Corridor. Kmet, in his third season, has been by seven in-season quarterback modifications throughout his profession.
“I’ve grow to be accustomed to it,” he stated. “Not saying that’s an excellent factor. You simply be taught to cope with it. You focus in your job and the issues you could care for. … It’s a part of the league and a part of the scenario you’re in.”
Can the Bears offense make performs in opposition to a high 10 Jets protection?
Even when there wasn’t a query of Fields’ potential to play with a shoulder damage, the Jets protection can be a troublesome take a look at for a nonetheless creating Bears offense.
“Most likely one of many of greatest defenses we’ve performed this yr,” huge receiver Darnell Mooney stated.
The Jets enable simply 310.5 yards and 18.6 factors per recreation, each within the high 10 within the league. They’ve totaled 32 sacks, led by Quinnen Williams’ eight and Carl Lawson’s 5. They’ve 14 takeaways, together with 11 interceptions, led by Lamarcus Joyner’s three.
“This entrance seven is the actual deal,” Getsy stated. “It’s why they’re having a lot success this yr.”
Bears huge receiver Dante Pettis performed for the San Francisco 49ers when Jets coach Robert Saleh was the defensive coordinator there and stated praised the scheme.
“All people is aware of the place they’re supposed to suit into the protection’s puzzle piece, and so they simply play their roles properly,” Pettis stated. “They’ve acquired a number of good gamers on protection.”
Cornerback Sauce Gardner is a defensive rookie of the yr candidate with two interceptions and 14 passes defended. Fifth-year cornerback D.J. Reed is second with seven passes defended.
“The rookie doesn’t play like a rookie,” Pettis stated. “He has some actually good footwork and good persistence. And I’ve performed with D.J., I’ve identified him for just a little bit. He simply retains getting higher. He by no means quits on a play, in order that’s at all times robust. You suppose you have got him beat, and he’ll are available on the final minute and poke the ball out. So that they’re good gamers, and it’s going to be enjoyable.”
Jets quarterback Mike White
The Jets are coping with their very own quarterback chaos this week after benching 2021 No. 2 choose Zach Wilson, who accomplished simply 9 passes for 77 yards in a 10-3 loss to the New England Patriots final weekend.
White, a Dallas Cowboys fifth-round choose in 2018, will make his fourth profession begin Sunday. He began three video games in 2021 when Wilson was injured, throwing for 405 yards in his first begin in a win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
However the Jets misplaced the following two video games beneath White, together with a four-interception efficiency in a 45-17 loss to the Buffalo Payments. Eberflus stated the Bears should change their preparation for a special type of quarterback play.
“(Wilson) has the flexibility to flee — to not say that Mike doesn’t,” Eberflus stated. “(Wilson) can transfer. He’s an athlete. He can do the keepers, a number of issues on the sting of the protection, the place Mike is extra actually good at passing. He’s extra of a pocket man.”
Saleh advised reporters the Jets intend to get Wilson back on the field this season — but it surely gained’t be Sunday. Joe Flacco would be the Jets backup with Wilson inactive.
“There are some primary elementary issues which have gotten actually out of whack for (Wilson),” Saleh stated. “That is simply a chance for him to take a seat again, deal with these issues and discover a method to reconnect with all of the various things we fell in love with in the course of the draft course of. It’s one thing I really feel like he’ll be capable to do.”
The Bears have gotten into a foul behavior of gifting factors not too long ago with opponents scoring a return landing in every of the final 4 video games.
It began with Micah Parsons’ 36-yard fumble return rating within the Dallas Cowboys’ 49-29 blowout win in Week 8, a pivot level that successfully halted the Bears’ comeback try. The next week, Andrew Van Ginkel blocked a Trent Gill punt and rumbled 25 yards for a rating that put the Miami Dolphins forward 21-10 of their eventual three-point victory.
In Week 10, Detroit Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah got here up with a game-tying 20-yard interception return TD on an errant Fields display move. Final week, former Bear Cordarrelle Patterson rumbled 103 yards for a kickoff return rating, setting a brand new NFL document for profession kickoff return touchdowns together with his ninth.
“Clearly the man made a heck of a play. However we had a pair guys get out of place,” Bears particular groups coordinator Richard Hightower stated. “We corrected it within the assembly room. Clearly, we’re not going to behave prefer it didn’t occur. We’ve acquired to be higher there.”
The Bears are actually 1-6 this season in video games determined by one rating. It isn’t serving to that they’ve discovered methods to beat themselves with expensive errors that flip into touchdowns going the opposite manner.
Along with Fields’ damage, the Bears had been once more with out rookie defensive backs Jaquan Brisker and Kyler Gordon for Thursday’s follow. Each gamers remain in the concussion protocol after struggling head accidents in opposition to the Falcons.
Of the 4 models on the sector — Bears offense and protection and Jets offense and protection — New York’s protection is by far the perfect. The Jets have allowed 14.2 factors on common over the past six video games. The Bears had a troublesome time dealing with Giants defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence of their final journey to MetLife Stadium, and Jets defensive deal with Quinnen Williams is a fair larger downside. The Jets have among the finest move rushes within the league and infrequently blitz. Add it up and it is a difficult matchup for the Bears.
Jets 20, Bears 13
This isn’t the simplest prediction this week given the quarterback upheaval on each side. No one may be certain what the Jets are going to get from Mike White in his fourth profession begin, however his eight interceptions in 4 video games final season has to look good to the Bears protection. In the meantime, what can we anticipate from the Bears offense both with an injured Justin Fields or with backup Trevor Siemian? What I do know is the Jets protection ought to have the sting in that matchup, so the Bears could possibly be their fifth straight loss.
Jets 24, Bears 20
Each groups have handled completely different variations of quarterback turbulence this week. The Bears offense, although, figures to be extra affected after Justin Fields injured his left shoulder in final week’s loss. Alas, it seems like a winless November for Matt Eberflus’ squad, which can stay aggressive and feisty however nonetheless lacks sufficient playmaking firepower past Fields to get it executed.
Jets 24, Bears 20