The Bears are looking very dangerous, but a Jets team that would clinch a playoff spot if they beat the Bears Sunday should make this game a total toss-up that will be fun to watch.
While the Bears' win over the Vikings was a huge game, don't forget that the Jets walked into Pittsburgh having lost their previous two games and beat the Steelers in a highly contested 22-17 win. Chicago now has some breathing room, but Lovie Smith and company have stated winning the division doesn't make the last two games meaningless, but rather a stepping stone to gain confidence and momentum going into the playoffs.
The Bears' defense continues to be one of the best in the league. They are still limiting the run game, but can be exploited through the seams of the backfield.
The Jets' offense, once hitting its stride, has now been tamed due to Mark Sanchez struggling. They will face similar problems this week if the Bears defense gets at Sanchez. Julius Peppers has six sacks in his last five games and his explosiveness has opened the door for other defensive linemen to get their share of a pass rush.
Rex Ryan has been hailed as one of the best coaches in the NFL today. He needs to have a plan that will test Jay Cutler and avoid kicking the ball to Devin Hester. The Jets' defense is going to have to play tight coverage, stopping the short passing game so that the Bears don't have room down the field.
The Jets are a remarkable 11-4 on the road under Ryan, mainly due to a great defense that limits both the run and the pass. The balanced Jets defense will be tested by the balanced Bears offense. Whose play calling and ability to exploit the weaknesses of the opponent will reign supreme?
Bringing in Mike Martz might have been one of the best decisions of Chicago's recent history. Martz's offense started off slow, but in the later half of the season, Martz adjusted and now has an offense he and fans can be proud of.
Martz moved away from the deep pass and now focuses more on short passes, using Cutler's passing strength and ability of a quick delivery with accuracy to his advantage. Once that is established, Martz likes to air out the deep pass from time to time, as was evident in the Johnny Knox touchdown play Monday night.
The Jets' situation makes this game one of the best games to watch this week, although I have to give the Bears a slight advantage since they've played great recently and it's at Chicago.
Bears win 24-21.
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