A Hail Mary that came up one-yard short pretty much sums up the Bears loss to New England last week. In all honesty, the 38-31 final score might have been a bit misleading, because before a late surge New England was in control of the game most of the afternoon.
Still, quarterback Mitch Trubisky had one shot to tie it up on the final play of the game and heaved it down field in hopes of a miracle finish. He connected on a 62-yard play to Kevin White, who unfortunately needed 63 yards to send the game to overtime.
Trubisky’s final numbers were disappointing at 26-of-50 for 333 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions (69.8 quarterback rating). It didn’t help the Bears that wide receiver Allen Robinson went down with an injury.
The offensive numbers are still impressive overall. The team has produced 12 pass plays of 25 yards or longer and 12 rushes of 10 yards or longer. The 107 points the Bears have scored the past three games are their most since scoring 112 in Weeks 2-4 in 1989.
But the biggest injury was on the defensive side of the ball where Khalil Mack remained hobbled with an ankle issue that slowed him down again.
Without Mack’s presence, which was so impactful in his first games after coming over from Oakland before the start of the season, the Bears defense regressed and saw Tom Brady & company pin 38 points on the board.
The Bears, who are suddenly a .500 team at 3-3, are going to need Trubisky to get closer to the player he was in the Tampa Bay blowout a few games ago and get more production out of the ground game between Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen.
New York suffered a humiliating 37-17 loss to Minnesota last week, snapping its two-game winning streak.
Rookie QB Sam Darnold had his worst game as a pro, completing only 17 of 42 passes for 206 yards, with three interceptions and a touchdown for a 34.4 passer rating. That putrid performance was punctuated by a string in which he completed 2 for 13 for a total of minus-one yard.
Injuries are hitting the team hard and it will be a struggle to improve in a number of much-needed areas with the IR list growing on a near daily basis. Darnold is a work in progress but he can’t do it alone and needs more contributors to step up.
Mack is still expected to play on Sunday but has been held out of practice this week and it would be a stretch to think he’ll be back to 100 percent.
Robinson is questionable for a return while linebacker Roquan Smith (wrist) and defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (ribs) are going to be game-time decisions.
Injuries have hit the Jets hard and are mounting. They could be without six starters against the Bears:
Throw in season-ending surgery for running back Bilal Powell and safety Doug Middleton out for the season with a pectoral tear and New York is in a world of hurt.
Here are some things for NFL betting fans to consider in this matchup:
Getting Cohen more involved in the offense and establishing a ground game to augment Trubisky’s passing attack is vital going forward for Chicago. That’s happened over the last three weeks and it’s clicked.
Cohen has 30 targets and 22 receptions in the past three games, totaling 280 receiving yards. He’s also added 98 rushing yards and has three total touchdowns in that stretch.
Stopping Chicago especially in the wake of the many injuries depleting its starting core will be a challenge, as will getting Darnold back on track. While his numbers can’t get worse this week than what transpired against Minnesota, even a Bears defense not at full strength will be a formidable foe.
They’ve scored 48, 28 and 31 in the last three weeks, albeit two coming in losing efforts. But even an average outing with a couple of Jets scores in the mix leads to a good number of points getting racked up. Bet the over at 888Sport.
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