A big game awaits the New York Jets this afternoon. Following a devastating loss a week ago, now led by a new starting quarterback in Mike White, the Jets must bounce back and get in the win column today.
Playing at home, against a team they are far more talented than, there is no excuse for the Jets to not be 7-4 by the end of the day. Especially, being in both such a competitive division and conference vying for a playoff spot, the Jets have got to just find a way to get the job done today.
As always, the key team categories will be obvious indicators of who ultimately takes this one. Turnovers, third down, red zone efficiency, penalties, special teams, and time of possession. Particularly for the Jets, the time of possession has got to improve in comparison to what it has been in three of the last four games.
For the Jets to win today, they need to control the football more than the Bears. Since Week 5, the Jets have run more than 60 plays in one game. And in that game (Week 9 vs. BUF), they happened to barely eclipse it, running 61.
The Jets have got to get back to running 65-plus plays a week, something they did each of the first four games. Staying on schedule from a down-and-distance standpoint will be crucial. Running more plays will not only enable more of the Jets’ incredible depth at the skill positions to get involved, but the defense to gain some needed rest.
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New York Jets vs Chicago Bears Preview:
With White now starting for the Jets, it will be interesting to see how the dynamic of this offense changes. The first big game Elijah Moore had last year as a rookie was also the first game White started. From there, most anticipate the wealth being spread around to all of the Jets’ skill talent at running back, wide receiver, and tight end.
The Jets will have Corey Davis available, a big help. Obviously, in the passing game, Davis is a core presence over the middle. But, in the running game as well, the Jets need the size, and physicality Davis brings to help this ground attack.
Up front offensively, the Jets are also expected to have Nate Herbig back today. Knowing the Bears have the 29th-ranked run defense (142.6 yards per game) and 15 sacks (31st in NFL), there are no excuses for the Jets’ offensive line today.
On the defensive side of the football, expect a lot of the same from the Jets in this game. Dominance, whether it be against the run or the pass. The unit enters this one as the ninth-ranked unit (310.5 yards per game). They are not ranked higher thanks to the time of possession issues, which the Jets have got to get corrected starting today. Going up against the 22nd-ranked offense in football (averaging 21.9 points per game), the Jets should limit the Bears to 20 points tops this afternoon.
In the end, this is a game the Jets have to win and ultimately should. Going up against the 28th-scoring defense (24.9 ppg), there is no reason the Jets cannot score over 20, which should be enough for the defense to win this one. The 2022 Jets, for all intents and purposes, must be 7-4 following Week 12.