Game Comments: Bears Vs. Jets, December 26, 2010


  1. The Bears came out running and the Jets came out playing aggressive man-to-man defense, crowding the line and blitzing a lot.  The Bears struggled and their wide receivers just weren’t getting open in the short passing game.  The Jets won the first half in this respect.
  2. Late in the first half the Bears stopped running the ball quite as much, which I thought was a mistake. On the other hand they started throwing to Matt Forte out of the back field which was extremely effective.
  3. Jay Cutler’s mobility was a great plus against the Jets blitz and he was constantly running out of trouble and throwing it down field.
  4. On a related note, Cutler’s accuracy was frequently off in the first half and that hurt the Bears (see the first interception when Cutler threw behind Earl Bennett).  Though he’s usually good on the move it didn’t get better until the second half when he was able to stay in the pocket.
  5. And speaking of that, the Bear offensive line did as good a job as they have all year protecting Cutler in the second half.
  6. Kudos also to Cutler for throwing with more anticipation this game in response to the blitz.  He was getting the ball out of his hand quickly in response to the blitz as the receivers adjusted.  He still held the ball too long on occasion when trying to make a play but not as much as he has been.
  7. Matt Forte’s first touchdown came off of a wonderful block by the full back (Greg Olsen?).
  8. There were times when the Jets defense was too aggressive and it hurt them.  For instance, they badly lost contain on Cutler’s touchdown in the second quarter.  I’m wondering if more misdirection in the ground game would have worked if the Bears had done more of it.
  9. The Bears did a nice job of adjusting at half time this game.  Realizing that the short passing game in response to the Jets blitz and their aggressive man coverage wasn’t working, they started throwing deep to great effect.  Touchdowns by Johnny Knox and Devin Hester resulted.
  10. If the Bears threw at Darrelle Revis all game, I didn’t see it.


  1. The Bears came out blitzing and loading the box. Generally speaking they mixed it up with a lot of cover two and even some quarters coverage. But whenever they had to play man-to-man they got burned.  The Jets responded with a lot of sort passes.  The defensive backs played too far off of the Jets receivers and there were large gaps for Mark Sanchez to throw in to.  Ultimately the Bears couldn’t handle the Jet passing game in the first half and it looked like pitch and catch at times out there.  They did better in the second half with some tight coverage.
  2. The Jets attacked the edges of the Bear defense in the running game.  It was also very effective.
  3. Tommie Harris made got good penetration on the first defensive play of the game. How unfortunate that this was the exception to the rule.  The Bears had a lot of trouble getting pressure on Mark Sanchez this game.  Even the blitz wasn’t getting to him most of the game.
  4. Santonio Holmes really thought they should have challenged his fumble in the first quarter but it looked like the ball was out before he was down to me.
  5. There was some bad tackling out there but the real problem that the Bears had with stopping the run was over pursuit.  This used to be b Bear weakness but they’ve done well with it this year up until now.  Hopefully it isn’t rearing its ugly head at the wrong time.
  6. On a related, Lance Briggs overran the play on the Jets first touchdown.  Indeed, it wasn’t a good game over all for the Bears linebackers.
  7. Tim Jennings also had a bad game.  He dropped an interception and he struggled in coverage.  He lost contain on at least on long run around end.
  8. Danieal Manning bit on a short route in the third quarter, resulting in a Santonio Holmes touchdown.  Fortunately Chris Harris didn’t do the same thing on the Jets last offensive play, intercepting the ball.


  1. I watched this game in a sports bar in St. Charles, Missouri.  It was good to be among so many Bear fans.  This must be how the Bears feel while on the road.
  2. Per the Chicago Tribune‘s Brad Biggs’ Twitter, the last time a game was played on a Tuesday was 1946.  The Vikings and the Eagles will now be doing it this week thanks to a blizzard in Philadelphia.
  3. I sure do wish the Bear offensive line would cut down on the penalties.
  4. The ball was dead all day, causing kicks to be short and giving both teams good field position, especially the Bears.
  5. Heaven knows Robbie Gould has earned the right to do it but I’d have appreciated it if he had finally missed in a game which was less close.
  6. The Bears dropped a couple easy interceptions this game (Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman were two culprits).  That can’t be allowed to happen.  I’m not complaining too much but they should have had more turnovers.
  7. There weren’t too many drops this game (not counting the Bear defensive backs) but its hard not to notice that Knox dropped another one.
  8. The Bear defense was a disappointment today.  Although they still played a lot of cover two, the game plan required them to really mix it up and I don’t think they responded well.  There wasn’t much pressure on Sanchez most of the game and they didn’t play with the needed discipline.  The man defense wasn’t as bad as it was against the Patriots but it still needs a lot of work and both Jennings and D.J. Moore are weaknesses.
  9. This was a great game for the Bear offense.  The offensive line did a very nice job of protecting CUtler in the second half.  That was a good team they beat today and they played well.  It was about as good a performance as you can reasonably expect.

Peyton Manning Is Getting Some Help and Other News


  • Dan Pompei at the Chicago Tribune gives us some insight into the way to beat quarterback Mark Sanchez and the Jets offense:

“The best game plan against him is a diverse one that takes away the gimme throws. He can be rattled with pressure, but he also can struggle to put the ball in tight windows versus zone coverage. The key is to keep him off balance.”

Taking away the gimme throws and playing zone at the same time is quite a challenge.  As Pompei suggests, we’ll probably see the Bears mix it up.


    “The signing of Colts RB Dominic Rhodes was a “much-needed shot in the arm,” according to QB Peyton Manning. Rhodes looked good in his first significant action in Week 15, spelling Donald Brown with nine carries for 26 yards, one reception for four yards and a terrific block on blitzing Jaguars LB Daryl Smith. Word is Rhodes’ biggest contribution to the team could come from his contagious energy and excitement that we hear was noticeably present from the moment he walked onto the practice field after being re-signed.”

    Any help that Manning gets is a plus.  In my opinion, he’s been trying to carry that team by doing it all himself.  But even he can’t do that.  Here’s hoping he’s able to relax a bit more going into the playoffs.

    “The Vikings could bring QB Rhett Bomar back next season as someone to throw into the mix. Brett Favre won’t be back, Tarvaris Jackson is a free agent, and Joe Webb could be moved back to receiver, the position he was drafted to play. Bomar, who had been toiling on the Giants’ practice squad until the Vikings signed him, once was a top prospect at Oklahoma before transferring and was a fifth-round draft pick, so he might have some ability worth investigating in the offseason.”

    Bomar appears to me to have the physical tools.  But I can’t imagine a scenario where the Vikings don’t draft a quarterback.  And they’d be fools if they didn’t play it safe by looking for at least one veteran.

    “A former Super Bowl winning coach turned broadcaster not named Bill Cowher might be coming back to the NFL next year. There are some rumblings former Ravens coach Brian Billick could get back in. One team that could make sense for Billick is the 49ers. He grew up in California, was drafted by the 49ers and worked in the team’s public relations office before he got into coaching.”

    Billick is a former public relations man and I think he might be better off as a talker in his current position as color commentator than as a football coach.  He was hired as an offensive guru by the Baltimore Ravens but went to the Super Bowl riding a great defense and a average to poor offense.

    One Final Thought

    “Maybe Gunther Cunningham will do it”