So far week 3 has not been kind to the AFCE. The lone victory came from a team that looked as bad as the ones that lost, if not worst. The Patriots are not that explosive anymore and the 34+ points per game are a distant mirage. The Bills’ game plan against a good opponent was ridiculous and inexperienced. Problem for the Bills: @Texans, @Lions, home to the Patriots. The Dolphins? HC Philbin better find a way to beat the Raiders in London, if not the season and his job go into a tailspin.
Tonight the Bears visit Met Life after beating the 49ers in their new stadium. Wow! The 49ers really? Thanks Arizona for showing the world that the 49ers are not the team we think they are, just a mirage (see Patriots).
What to watch for tonight from the Bears
Jay Cutler and the Bears will come out trying to establish the running game, yes, the running game. If they can’t, they become one-dimensional and Rex will unleash his attacks. If Forte cannot get going to keep the Jets defense guessing, it will be a long night for Cutler. Eventually Cutler will go back to passing every down, that will be exactly what the Jets want.
Marshall is coming off a monster of a game, and he will need another one tonight, he will be matched up to Darrin Walls. Walls is quick, but small. He is not in Marshall’s class. Jeffery will be guarded by his college teammate, Antonio Allen. Both Jeffery and Marshall are banged up, and the Jets D plays physical, being banged up will not help them. Expect Calvin Pryor and Landry to support the CBs all night.
One interesting note, this game brings Santonio Holmes back for the first time since Jets dumped him. He will be primed to go, which means that at some point he will do something stupid.
Defensively the Bears cannot stop my grandmother from running the ball. They will need to jam the box with 8, and that too will play in the Jets’ game plan.
What to watch for tonight from the Jets
This should be simple, but nothing is ever simple for the Jets. I think they will have Geno throw early to establish the running. Chicago is not good at stopping it. This DL is older and if the Jets continue to pound it, by the third quarter I expect a couple of big gains. Decker will be very limited, time for Jace Amaro to be worked into the equation more. Geno will need to spread it around and not throw more than 25-30 times.
Defensively the DL and LBs will key on Forte early and often. When Cutler drops back, expect a barrage of blitzes coming from the unexpected, like Pryor, Davis and Coples. This defense had 4 sacks and chased Rodgers all day, almost won the game in GB. Cutler is no Rodgers, and this is not Chicago. In the past Cutler has always made mistakes when rattled, Jets game plan? To be in his face all night.
The Jets enter this game as the NFL leaders in rushing defense and offense for the first time in their history, clearly a Rex team. I fully expect the defense to stop their running game, making Cutler throw 50+ times tonight. The Bears will accumulate all sorts of passing panic yards, but that is a recipe for disaster.
Jets win 27-20