Mistakes by Geno Smith, by the New York Jets and the officials, who seem to be doing an awful job this season, helped the Chicago Bears come away with another road win in Prime Time, this time 27-19 with another solid performance from Jay Cutler and the emerging defensive star, rookie Kyle Fuller.
Fuller picked up another interception, one of the two Geno Smith threw. The other, to Ryan Mundy, turned out to be a pick six, giving the Bears a 7-0 lead after only 32 seconds in the game. Smith didn’t see Mundy waiting in the flat, and went with an ill-advised screen pass which was picked off. He has now thrown four interceptions through the first three games of the season, at least one in each game, and has 25 for his career with the Jets, as opposed to just 15 touchdown throws.
Jay Cutler was sharp once again, avoiding interceptions although he did end up fumbling the ball once. He threw two touchdown passes in the game, both to Martellus Bennett. The first came early in the second quarter, as the Bears took a 14-0 lead after less than five minutes from kick off and the other one came early in the second quarter, as the Bears managed to escape the Jets breathing down their neck, making it 24-13 at that point.
The Jets were down 17-3 early in the second quarter but started to pull back as the Bears’ ground game didn’t work for a second straight game – Just 60 yards on 21 carries, 33 of them to Matt Forte. Nick Folk hit a field goal with 9:57 to go in the second, followed by Geno Smith using mostly Jeremy Kerley in a long drive, capped off by a 19-yard touchdown pass to the small receiver, who finished with 7 receptions for 81 yards.
The Jets actually took the lead late in the first half after a fumble recovery by Demario Davis ended up in the end zone. The referees negated the call by blowing their whistle while Davis was going for the six points. They called Cutler to be down by contact after being sacked by David Harris. The replays showed otherwise, so the Jets got the ball, but not the touchdown, and went three-and-out on the following drive, maybe ruining their biggest chance of winning the game.
The Bears opened the second half with a 80-yard drive that ended in the hands of Bennett in the end zone, making it 24-13. The tight end seemed fired up all game long, finishing with five receptions for 54 yards. The Bears did well in the passing game despite Brandon Marshall catching only one pass for six yards. Alshon Jeffery led them with 8 receptions for 105 yards, as Cutler handled the pressure a lot better than Smith did, although he was sacked four times.
Smith was sacked three times, but was an awful 9% completion ratio under duress in the game, also throwing one of his interceptions when put under pressure. The Bears have three interceptions this season, tied for the most in the NFL, when putting the quarterback under pressure. However, not every week are they going to enjoy the special meltdown skills of Geno Smith or a terrible official call like the one on the returned fumble. Their injury crisis on defense is going to catch up with them soon enough if things don’t get better, especially with a running game that isn’t working right now.