On a day where the Jets top two wide receivers, top cornerback, and best running back were out, the Jets had to travel to Chicago to face an ascending Bears team with one of the best defenses in the NFL.
Well, considering what you just read, you would think it would be a tough day for the Jets, and it sure was. The Bears, even without Allen Robinson and Khalil Mack dominated this game from start to finish.
The Jets offense struggled for most of this game, they had six three and outs, 207 total yards and averaged 3.3 yards per play. Jeremy Bates didn’t help matters either with an ultra conservative gameplan that saw the Jets run on first and second down which put Darnold in a lot of tough third and longs. Darnold did the best he could, he flashed his ability to process quickly and feel pressure, remain calm and try to make a play. Darnold finished the day 14 for 29 for 153 yards with 1 TD and 0 INT. He threw a TD pass to Chris Herndon for the third straight week, a 16 yard strike in the fourth quarter to make it a one score game at the time. Rookie wide receiver (and Darnold’s USC teammate) Deontay Burnett led the Jets in catches (4) and yards (61) including a great 29 yard catch over Kyle Fuller.
The Jets defense kept them in it for the most part but gave up maybe the easiest 70 yard touchdown you will ever see, a screen pass to Tarik Cohen who went untouched into the end zone thanks to Todd Bowles sending an all out blitz on the play (a great call by Matt Nagy). And after the Jets made it a one score game they got gashed on a 8 play, 79 yard touchdown drive which made it 24-10 and pretty much put the game to bed. Mitchell Trubisky finished the day 16 for 29 for 220 yards with 2 TDs and 0 INT including 51 rushing yards on six carries. The Bears destroyed the Jets on the ground today combining for 179 yards on 34 carries, an average of 5.3 yards per carry.
Overall it was an ugly all around day for the Jets, which was tough to watch. They fall to 3-5 on the year and need to get healthy quickly not only to salvage the season, but so Sam Darnold can continue his progression in his rookie year. The next two games before the bye are winnable, a trip to Miami to face the Brock Osweiler led Dolphins and a home game against an awful Bills team.