Many things will go into the Chicago Bears beating the New York Jets, but what are the quickest ways they can win or lose on Monday Night?
Lose: By Not Playing With Common Sense
Obviously the easiest method to losing any football game is when a team beats themselves. That means with penalties and turnovers. It goes without saying. However, another addition to make to that is using simple common sense. What do the Bears know about the Jets? They are a classic team built in the image of old school football. They want to run the ball with Chris Ivory and Chris Johnson, use play action to go downfield to Eric Decker and play good defense under Rex Ryan.
So for head coach Marc Trestman the task should be simple enough without many tactics to it. Everything must begin and end with the defense stopping the run. Lance Briggs, Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston, Jon Bostic and the rest of the unit have to tackle well, hold their gaps and accept the fact it will be a physical game. If that means loading the box with eight players constantly, so be it. The Jets may pop off the occasional pass play but it will change nothing. Their entire system is predicated on a successful ground attack.
Win: Getting A Lead
One thing about teams built like the New York Jets are is that they function best when games are close. Things really start to go wrong if they fall behind in football games and have to catch up. In fact, last season they were 1-8 in games where they trailed by ten points or more at halftime. The reason for that rests on their quarterback. Geno Smith has lots of physical talent but continues to struggle keeping his poise in games when things don’t go well on the ground. He hasn’t yet shown he can carry his team through the air, and that may prove especially true on Monday night since his best target Eric Decker has a hamstring injury.
So for the Chicago Bears their task is simple. Come out of the gates fast and knock the Jets off their game early. Getting a 10-point or two touchdown lead at MetLife Stadium is exactly the kind of formula that will throw the entire Jets game plan out the window. That means Jay Cutler need to put that $126 million arm to good use, throwing against a depleted New York secondary that has struggled in coverage all season. Doing this will serve every purpose they need. It will force the Jets to abandon the run. It will get the crowd out of the game and it will compel Geno Smith, who has an issue with turnovers, to throw more often.
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