Bears @ Jets
Final Score: Jets 31, Bears 10
Writer: Mike Miklius (@SIRL0INofBEEF on Twitter)
With Justin Fields out hurt and Zach Wilson benched, we were treated to the battle of the back-ups amidst a constant rain. For Chicago, that meant Trevor Siemian, which became Nathan Peterman after Siemian was injured during warm-ups, which became Trevor Siemian after he was cleared to go. Moments before the game started, the announcers had no idea who was starting for the Bears. For New York, Mike White was given the start. The Jets started strong, taking the opening drive 75 yards and capping it off with a Mike White touchdown pass to Garrett Wilson from eight yards out. The Bears responded with a pair of scoring drives–a field goal and then a Trevor Siemian to Byron Pringle connection from four yards out to make it 10-7. The Jets answered with two scoring drives and it was 17-10 at halftime. New York dominated in the second half, scoring another 14 unanswered points in the third quarter and ultimately cruising to a 31-10 win.
Trevor Siemian: 14/25, 179 Yards, TD, INT | 4 Carries, 8 Yards
Trevor Siemian was called upon to start today after a long week of deception by the Bears’ coaches–acting like Fields could still go. Then, he injured his oblique during warm-ups and was also nearly a last-minute scratch. Siemian played well early, keeping the offense moving and grabbing an early lead. That being said, most of Siemian’s completions were catch-and-run plays where the back did most of the work. David Montgomery and Darrynton Evans both took short throws and turned them into big gains on the opening drive. Siemian also threw a few INT-worthy passes that fell incomplete. His touchdown to Byron Pringle was underthrown, and Pringle made an excellent save on the play. He took a deep shot to Chase Claypool that was badly overthrown and Claypool saved the play. Siemian also threw a pick on a pass intended for Cole Kmet. The Jets defense read it and easily undercut it. Siemian is capable enough to keep the offense moving with some success, but he is not a difference-maker. This is not a group to get excited about with Siemian behind center.
David Montgomery: 14 Carries, 79 Yards | 4 Targets, 3 Receptions, 34 Yards
Darrynton Evans: 9 Carries, 34 Yards | 1 Target, 1 Reception, 33 Yards
David Montgomery was the lead dog with Khalil Herbert still out, and he filled out the stat sheet nicely. Montgomery had a nice catch-and-run on the first drive for a 26-yard gain. He runs hard–as we usually see–and he is good enough to hold down a workhorse role. The worrying thing for me here is how much Darrynton Evans was worked into the game plan. Rather than Montgomery becoming a clear one, he mostly saw the same role as the last few weeks and Evans imply replace Herbert and Trestan Ebner.
Darrynton Evans saw a big workload today and made a few nice plays, but ultimately he is just a place-holder until Khalil Herbert returns. Evans’ biggest play came early on a short catch-and-run when the Jets were giving up easy plays to the Chicago running backs. Once the Jets adjusted, that was mostly it for Evans. He ran well, but nothing game-changing.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Chase Claypool: 5 Targets, 2 Receptions, 51 Yards
Cole Kmet: 6 Targets, 3 Receptions, 27 Yards, 1 Fumble (Recovered)
Byron Pringle: 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 12 Yards, TD
Dante Pettis: 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 12 Yards
Equanimeous St. Brown: 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 7 Yards
Trevon Wesco: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 3 Yards
Khari Blasingame: 1 Target
Velus Jones Jr.: 2 Carries, 6 Yards
Darnell Mooney left the game without a target and ultimately left hurt. Mooney was blocking for a run and a defender rolled up on his leg. He looked very hesitant with his ankle after the play and did not put any weight on it. Mooney was officially called questionable, but it looked more serious to me.
Chase Claypool led the Bears in targets and almost had a touchdown on the team’s first drive. Claypool got behind his defender and was grabbed–not drawing a flag in the end zone. He made a nice 31-yard grab–this time also drawing the flag–later in the game. Claypool seems like he is still learning the playbook and his ceiling is limited if he isn’t playing a full set of snaps. Still, I can see potential here.
Cole Kmet had a few catches, but nothing substantial. The passing attack mostly disappeared in the second half, so there just wasn’t much opportunity to go around. Trevor Siemian’s lone interception came on a target to Kmet where Siemian waited too long to make the throw and it was easily read. I still like Kmet as a tight-end streaming option if you are desperate.
Byron Pringle’s touchdown catch was an excellent play. He was behind his defender and the pass was thrown short. Pringle reached over him and somehow stole the catch. It saved an interception and was an awesome play. Needless to say, Pringle is not on anyone’s radar.
New York Jets
Mike White: 22/28, 315 Yards, 3 TD | 3 Carries, 2 Yards
Braden Mann: 0/1, 1 Fumble (Recovered)
Mike White played well today, but it feels fair to say he benefited from a terrible performance by the Bears’ secondary. White found a rhythm early, making accurate throws on quick-hitting passes. The opening drive was capped off by a wide-open throw to Garrett Wilson. On the Jets’ third drive, White hit a wide-open Elijah Moore who ran for a 42-yard gain and set up a game-tying field goal early on. White’s best throw was probably his second touchdown. White threw the ball just out of reach of a Bears’ defender and found Garrett Wilson for a big gain. Bears’ safety Eddie Jackson was injured on the play, and this helped Wilson run free for the long score. White threw a few interception-worthy passes of his own, but he escaped without a mistake. White showed much better than Zach Wilson last week and should be the starter moving forward. Just don’t go crazy; the Bears are a bad defense, they were missing their top two corners, and they lost a starting safety in the first half as well. White will face a tougher test next week.
Zonovan Knight: 14 Carries, 69 Yards | 3 Targets, 3 Receptions, 34 Yards
Ty Johnson: 5 Carries, 62 Yards, TD | 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 16 Yards
Michael Carter: 6 Carries, 21 Yards | 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 15 Yards
The Jets ran well against the Bears’ defense and spread the ball around: seven different players recorded a carry. Michael Carter saw the first crack, but he was mostly quiet after the team’s first couple of drives. He ultimately left the game due to an ankle injury and didn’t have the big day some expected. He looked fine, but I was hoping for more receiving work.
Zonovan Knight was the big winner on the day, taking the majority of the work and spelling in early with Carter. Knight ran well but mostly feasted against an over-matched defense. Knight is a solid runner and should be on the radar with Carter questionable and Breece Hall out until next season. I didn’t see a game-changer though; just a guy with opportunity on a team that played hard today.
Ty Johnson was mostly quiet but broke a long touchdown run late. With the Jets already up 24-10 ad the third quarter winding down, Johnson found space towards the left sideline. He broke through some contact and found daylight. It was a good run, but the Bears’ defense looked pretty defeated at that point. Johnson is a name to watch if Carter is out next week.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Braxton Berrios: 2 Carries, 9 Yards | 1 Target, 1 Reception, 4 Yards
Garrett Wilson: 1 Carry, -1 Yard | 8 Targets, 5 Receptions, 95 Yards, 2 TD
Elijah Moore: 1 Carry, -4 Yards | 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 64 Yards, TD
Tyler Conklin: 3 Targets, 3 Receptions, 50 Yards
C.J. Uzomah: 3 Targets, 3 Receptions, 17 Yards
Denzel Mims: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 11 Yards
Corey Davis: 3 Targets, 1 Reception, 9 Yards
It didn’t take long to figure out who New York’s best receiver is. Garrett Wilson is a stud in the making, and he had an easy time beating the Bears’ secondary to routinely get open. On his first touchdown, Wilson basically had no one around him to try and stop him. Part of this falls on a bad defense, but it also shows a receiver who knows how to beat coverage. On Wilson’s second touchdown, he again easily broke free and benefited from an injury in the Chicago secondary. Wilson shows the elite ceiling we saw when he went tenth overall, and I would love to see what he could do with a better quarterback. At least he was counting on Zach Wilson today.
Elijah Moore’s day was mostly comprised of his 42-yard catch and it was a great play. Moore was lined up in the slot and found space thanks to a good cut. The first tackler couldn’t bring him down, and Moore kept running for more yards. Moore shows talent, but he is the #2 in an offense that hasn’t shown it can support two guys. There is still plenty of talent here to get excited about.
Most of the Jets’ remaining stats can be attributed to short catch-and-runs, broken plays, and overall lousy coverage. Still, they executed well in what they were given.