Bennett's Second TD Of The Game

September, 22, 2014
Sep 22
10:30
PM ET


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Bears tight end Martellus Bennett catches a nice endzone touchdown, and the Bears lead 24-13.

Kerley Gets The Touchdown

September, 22, 2014
Sep 22
9:52
PM ET


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Jets receiver Jeremy Kerley scores on a 19-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Geno Smith.

Wayne Chrebet, Leon Hess to Ring of Honor

September, 22, 2014
Sep 22
9:32
PM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Former New York Jets wide receiver Wayne Chrebet and former owner Leon Hess were announced as this year's Ring of Honor inductees during the first quarter of the Jets-Bears "Monday Night Football" game.

Chrebet was shown on the jumbo television screen in the stadium and received a huge cheer from the fans. He played from 1995-2005 for the Jets and is second in franchise history with 580 receptions.

Hess was part of a partnership that bought the Jets in 1963, and he bought out his partners to become the majority stakeholder in 1973. Hess owned the team until his death in 1999.

Other members of the Jets' Ring of Honor are Joe Namath, Don Maynard, Weeb Ewbank, Curtis Martin, Winston Hill, Gerry Philbin, Larry Grantham, Joe Klecko, Mark Gastineau, Freeman McNeil, Wesley Walker, Al Toon and Marty Lyons.

Bennett Touchdown

September, 22, 2014
Sep 22
8:59
PM ET


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Bears tight end Martellus Bennett caught a nice touchdown in the back of the end zone.

Bears Recover The Fumble

September, 22, 2014
Sep 22
8:57
PM ET


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Jets receiver Jalen Saunders misjudges the catch on the punt return, and the Bears recover the fumble.

Mundy Pick-Six

September, 22, 2014
Sep 22
8:39
PM ET


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Bears safety Ryan Mundy intercepted Jets quarterback Geno Smith for the pick-six.
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Rick Reilly tells how Jets wide receiver David Nelson's charitable work in Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake led to his caring for a number of orphans, who reside in a fully staffed home Nelson maintains on the island.

WR Eric Decker active vs. Bears

September, 22, 2014
Sep 22
7:31
PM ET

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker, who aggravated a hamstring injury last week and missed significant practice time, is active and will face the Chicago Bears Monday night at MetLife Stadium.

The Jets made the final decision about three hours before the game after evaluating Decker in a workout that lasted only a few minutes. He performed quick-step agility drills and ran a few short pass routes at full speed, convincing the coaches and medical staff he's well enough to play.

Decker, who leads the Jets with nine receptions for 137 yards and a touchdown, left in the fourth quarter of last week's loss at the Green Bay Packers. He said he aggravated the same hamstring that hampered him throughout training camp.

He missed three days of practice, but was able to practice Saturday on a limited basis.

The Jets signed Decker to a five-year, $36.25 million contract in free agency, making him their No. 1 wide receiver.

As expected, cornerback Dee Milliner (quad, ankle) is inactive.


(Read full post)


Injured Milliner inactive for Jets

September, 22, 2014
Sep 22
7:30
PM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- As expected, New York Jets cornerback Dee Milliner (ankle, quadriceps) was declared inactive Monday night against the Chicago Bears.

Milliner, who made his 2014 debut last week after missing the opener with a high-ankle sprain, was on track to face the Bears until last Friday. He developed tightness in his quadriceps, forcing him to sit. On Saturday, he was listed as doubtful on the official injury report.

Only 19 games into his career, the former first-round pick is gaining a reputation for being injury prone. This was his fifth missed game.

As reported earlier, wide receiver Eric Decker (hamstring) is active and will start for the Jets. The team made the decision after evaluating him in the pre-game.

Aside from Milliner, the Jets' inactives are wide receiver Walter Powell, linebacker IK Enemkpali, linebacker A.J. Edds, guard Dakota Dozier, tackle Ben Ijalana and nose tackle T.J. Barnes. Safety Josh Bush, who missed the first two games with a leg injury, will make his season debut. He could be involved in the sub packages as the Jets attempt to deal with the Bears' talented receivers.

As expected, wide receivers Brandon Marshall (ankle) and Alshon Jeffery (hamstring) are active for the Bears.

Chicago's inactives are cornerback Sherrick McManis, linebacker Shea McClellin, center Roberto Garza, guard Matt Slauson (ankle), defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff (concussion) and center Charles Leno.

NFL Nation Game Day Live: Bears at Jets

September, 22, 2014
Sep 22
4:56
PM ET
Follow along below for the latest coverage from our NFL Nation reporters on this week's Monday night matchup between the Chicago Bears and the New York Jets.

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ESPN Jets reporter Rich Cimini and ESPN Bears reporter Michael C. Wright discuss their keys for the Bears at Jets on "Monday Night Football."

Top stats to know: Bears at Jets

September, 22, 2014
Sep 22
2:02
PM ET

AP Photo/Tony AvelarThe Chicago Bears have provided solid protection for Jay Cutler in 2014.
The Chicago Bears and New York Jets meet for the second time on Monday Night Football (8:30 ET on ESPN/WatchESPN). Here are the statistical angles of note for tonight’s game.

Bearing down
The Bears were staring at an 0-2 start but outscored the San Francisco 49ers 21-0 in the fourth quarter last week in a 28-20 win.

It was the first time they won a game after trailing by at least 17 points since 2006 against the Arizona Cardinals – which is also the game then-Cardinals coach Dennis Green uttered the famous postgame words, “The Bears are who we thought they were.”

Through two games, the Bears have been outscored by 20 points in the first half. They’re plus-25 in the second half.

Protect the quarterback
The Bears’ Jay Cutler has had much better protection to start this season. In two games, he’s been sacked on 3.4 percent of his dropbacks, continuing a positive trend for the past few seasons.

He’s feeling the heat much less overall, facing duress on 12.5 percent of his dropbacks in two games – best in the league entering Week 3. For context, Peyton Manning led the league in this category last season, facing duress on 14.9 percent of his dropbacks.

Cutler will be making his 70th start with the Bears. His record with Chicago is 40-29 (.580).

Ground-and-pound
The Jets enter this game tops in both rushing offense (179.0 YPG) and rushing defense (52.5 YPG). The Jets are the first team to hold that distinction after any week of an NFL season since the Vikings ended 2007 leading in both categories.

That would appear to be bad news for a Bears defense that allowed 193 rush yards in Week 1 and 129 in Week 2. Defending the run has been a major issue for Chicago, ranking at or near the bottom of every defensive rushing category since the start of last season.

Odds and ends
• The Bears are in a stretch that will see them play four of five games on the road. They host the Green Bay Packers next week, then play the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons on the road.

• The Bears are 11-3 on Monday Night Football since 2006. They won both of their appearances last season (Week 9 at Green Bay and Week 14 against Dallas). They appear twice this season with the second game coming in Week 15 (host the Saints).

• Geno Smith is making his second career start on Monday Night Football. In Week 5 last season, he went 16-20 for 199 yards and three touchdowns in a 30-28 win at Atlanta.
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The EA Madden simulator predicts the outcome of the Bears-Jets matchup on "Monday Night Football."

W2W4: Bears vs. Jets

September, 22, 2014
Sep 22
7:00
AM ET
The New York Jets have a better team than last year (we think), but there was one admirable quality they wouldn't mind borrowing from that 2013 group: its resilience. Those Jets were 6-2 after losses, demonstrating a bounce-back ability that could be attributed to Rex Ryan and the team's character. But that was then.

After a week of TimeoutGate and fallout from the meltdown in Green Bay, the 2014 Jets will tell us in Week 3 how they handle adversity. They face the Chicago Bears (1-1) at MetLife Stadium, a matchup on paper that bears a striking resemblance to last week's game against the Green Bay Packers. In other words, it's the strong men versus the trapeze artists under the big top of ESPN's "Monday Night Football."

This is the first of two Monday night home games for the Jets (1-1), the only team to have that distinction. Kickoff is 8:30 p.m. The top storylines:

1. All eyes on Marty: Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg was on fire for the first three drives in Green Bay, but no one will remember that because of the timeout fiasco. Mornhinweg, Ryan & Co. need to clean up the sideline operation because it was costly and embarrassing to the franchise. You can bet Mornhinweg will get extra face time in this game, with a prime-time audience looking for another glitch. Ryan said he didn't change anything about how he communicates with Mornhinweg and the offensive coaches during the game. So, basically, he's hoping the perfect storm doesn't strike twice in eight days. Maybe the ESPN folks could start a "Where's Sheldon?" graphic when the defense is on the sideline.

2. The Marshall plan: After surrendering a 209-yard receiving day to Jordy Nelson, the Jets face another elite receiver in Brandon Marshall. The good news is Marshall (ankle) missed a lot of practice time and still isn't 100 percent. The bad news is he's still Brandon Marshall, and he'll be a tough cover for the Jets because he's deployed all over the field. Five of his 13 receptions have come from the slot, including three of his four touchdowns. How do the Jets handle that? Kyle Wilson? Come on, that would be a mismatch. Ryan has to cook up a creative plan for his secondary, especially now with Dee Milliner (ankle, quad) unlikely to play. Antonio Allen could see a lot of Marshall (6-foot-4) because he's their only corner with the size (6-foot-1) and aggressiveness to compete with his skill set. The Bears also have Alshon Jeffery (6-foot-3), giving them a couple of "NBA small forwards," according to defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman.

3. Steal the ball: The Jets desperately need to force turnovers. They have only one takeaway in two games, and they had nothing to do with it (a botched snap by the Packers). Their goal is to force Jay Cutler into his old "gunslinger mentality," as Thurman called it. The old Cutler took chances because of his big arm, holding the ball and trying to force it into tight windows. Cutler has 114 interceptions in 106 games, so you know he's prone to picks. Bears coach Marc Trestman has turned Cutler into a dink-and-dunk passer, so it could be hard for the Jets to get to him and cause mistakes. But, wait: Center Roberto Garza and left guard Matt Slauson, the ex-Jet, are out with injuries. Look for Ryan to unleash A-gap blitzes and interior stunts to exploit the replacements.

4. Monsters of the Midway? Ha! Make no mistake, these aren't your Buddy Ryan Bears on defense. They've allowed 5.4 yards per carry over the last 18 games, practically inviting the Jets to do what they do best -- pound the rock. They own the league's top-ranked rushing attack, although there were some hiccups last week, especially with guards Brian Winters and Willie Colon. They need to get that cleaned up because they will see a lot of eight-man fronts, especially if wide receiver Eric Decker (hamstring) doesn't play. Know this: The Bears have struggled with the read-option. The Jets usually run it a handful of times per game, but look for that number to increase.

5. Play 60 minutes: The Jets were outstanding for 20 minutes last week, but they went cold, self-destructed and blew an 18-point lead. They can't do that against the Bears, who proved last week they have no quit in them -- outscoring the San Francisco 49ers 21-0 in the fourth quarter. In fact, the Bears have the second-highest point differential (plus-25) in the second half. The Jets are minus-10.

6. Tone Time: Santonio Holmes returns to his old haunt, looking to haunt the Jets. They'll never hear the end of it if he does.

Jeremy Kerley important cog for Jets

September, 21, 2014
Sep 21
3:40
PM ET
Receiver Jeremy Kerley is more than just an option for the New York Jets, even though he can run that, too.

Kerley
Against the Raiders, Kerley caught all five balls sent his way for 38 yards. In two games this season, Kerley has eight catches for 60 yards, which doesn’t count the touchdown that was nullified by offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg’s timeout.

During the four years the former TCU wide has played, he has been used primarily as a slot receiver, eventually becoming the most veteran receiver with the Jets. At times over the years, the former high school quarterback has taken the snap.

"I don’t classify myself as just a slot guy or an inside receiver, or a third-down receiver," Kerley said. "I’m an every-play receiver. I’m a Whenever-you-need-me-I’m-there receiver. I tell Geno (Smith) that, I tell Marty that."

Kerley’s versatility is something his teammates recognize.

"His talent level he can be a big-time playmaker for us," offensive lineman Willie Colon said.

This season, the Jets have a new wide receiving group. After parting ways with Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill, the Jets brought in Eric Decker and drafted a few young players to develop.

"I think with the guys who have been here the last two years -- me David (Nelson), Greg (Salas), our second year being with Marty, second offseason, second year with Geno, -- our timing, our chemistry is getting better," Kerley said.

There is an understanding that no one player can carry the entire load, though on Monday night against Chicago, Kerley could have a larger role than usual if Decker (hamstring) is limited.

"Nobody is trying to overstep, no one is trying to be 'that guy.'"

Kerley is incredibly reliable -- and a clean receiver. Decker was the only receiver who contributed to the 11-penalty game against the Raiders. Kerley can be a steady short-distance receiver or, as he proved in Green Bay, make it to the end zone to catch the jump ball.

One thing he won’t do is showboat after he gets in the end zone.

"That’s not me, I’d rather go out there and make 50-40 whatever plays and they say, 'well, they’ve got to throw me the ball.'"

Maybe his lack of self-promotion after a great play keeps him from getting more of a spotlight, but it’s also why his teammates have so much respect for Kerley.

"Some guys aren’t going to hit their chest and talk about their type of game," Colon said. "He’s one of those guys that has motivation inside. What motivated him is just going out and doing his job well. I respect that a lot about him. I’ve seen receivers who are so Hollywood and tweet this and "look at me here" and want to stunt after a touchdown. He’s like 'Hey, thank you,' and runs to the bench. And I appreciate that."

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