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Game Previews Tom Kiss

Week 11 Preview: Chicago Bears at NY Jets

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By Tom Kiss
From the moment that Shaun Ellis put Tom Brady in the dirt, the ball rolling around as time expired, every fan of the New York Jets expressed a feeling of jubilation and redemption.  “Finally, finally we beat Belicheck� cried out from all over the tri-state area.  Even Jets head coach Eric Mangini extended his “5-second rule� to about ten or fifteen seconds to celebrate this win.  Coming off this tremendous win against their division rivals, there couldn’t be a bigger game for the Jets.  The Chicago Bears (8-1) come back to the meadowlands this week after beating the Giants there last Sunday night.  In that game a Bears offense which had struggled after a fast start, found itself after a 26-yard draw run by Thomas Jones on a 3rd and 22 midway through the game.  Jet fans can trust however, that Mangini and his coaching staff will have their team ready to go against the NFC’s top team.
When the Jets have the ball:
What would you do against this Bears defense?  The Bears are a complete defense, ranking first against the pass and tenth against the run.  Their defensive line will present the biggest challenge of the year for this Jets offensive line.  They will have to try to come up with their best performance of the season to be able to have a chance against this team.  Look for the Jets to try and run the ball, if just to keep that Bears defense honest, with Kevan Barlow and Leon Washington providing two different looks for Brian Urlacher and company.  Brian Schottenheimer will have to try and keep the Bears defense off balance by using much of his playbook (look for the Jets to use Brad Smith more than ever this week).    
Chad Pennington will try and keep on doing what he does, protect the football, make smart throws, and believe it or not, take shots down field.  Pennington has taken more shots downfield this year than ever before in his career, and though his arm isn’t the strongest, his ability to place the football allows for some great throws (see: Pennington to Moss in the San Diego playoff game).  If the Jets can do enough offensively to be in the game, look for Pennington to take a shot (probably to McCariens or Cothchery) to try and steal a win from the Bears. 
When the Bears have the ball:
As opposed to the defense, the Bears offense is hard to figure out.  Quarterback Rex Grossman and the rest of the Bears O started the season like a bat outta hell, as the Bears where destroying teams for the first four weeks by a combined score of 116 to 29.  Since then, the consistency of their offense has been lacking.  Last week they seemed to come out of it, but they are running into a Jets defense which looked much better against the run after the bye week.  The Jets front seven will have its hands full when dealing with two top ten picks running the ball, Cedric Benson and Thomas Jones.
If the Jets can control the Bears running game, look for the Jets aggressive blitzing to continue as they try and get to Grossman.  Grossman is still young, especially in game experience, and the Jets know that he will still make mistakes when he is out of rhythm.  Dewayne Robertson, named AFC defensive player of the week for his performance against the Patriots, will continue to make more strides this week.  Robertson, for all the flack he has gotten since coming here, has really started to look better and better this year.  If the Jets are able to win this game, Dewayne Robertson will have a big hand in it.
Match up of the game:
Dewayne Robertson vs. Olin Kreutz
Kreutz, the Bears talented center will try and take Robertson out of the game and allow his guards to get to Jonathan Vilma and Eric Barton.  Robertson will try not only to push the line of scrimmage, but also try and get Grossman dirty.  This match up presents a chance for Robertson to fight off some of those “bust� descriptions around him right now.
Prediction:
Jets 24-Bears 21

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