In what many thought would be a battle of good defenses, the New York Jets and the Chicago Bears played the highest-scoring game on Sunday, eventually won by the Bears, 38-34. The Jets had reason to celebrate Sunday, as Head Coach Rex Ryan learned his team clinched a playoff berth while talking to the media after the Washington Redskins defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars in overtime, 20-17. “Not the way I wanted it, but I’ll take it.” Ryan said after the game.
The Jets won the battle of first downs, 24-16, converted more first
downs and had a better percentage, 7 of 14 to 3 of 9, had more yards, 393-322, and won the battle of the clock, 33:51-26:09. So how was the game lost?
With a 24-17 lead, the Jets made a risky decision to go on fourth and three from their own 40 with a fake punt, a play that should have been completed, but wide receiver Brad Smith dropped a pass from quarterback Mark Sanchez that lead to a turnover on downs. On the next play, quarterback Jay Cutler completed a 40-yard touchdown pass to Johnny Knox that tied the game. After a three and out for the Jets and a good punt return by record-setting return man Devin Hester that took the ball to the Jets 32, the Bears scored on three plays on a 25-yard touchdown pass to Hester from Cutler.
The Bears opened the scoring on a Robbie Gould 37-yard field goal, and took a 10-0 lead on a 22-yard touchdown run by running back Matt Forte after a fumble by Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes. The Jets would score on a three-yard touchdown run by running back Shonn Greene, and, on the next possession, Dwight Lowery would return a Jay Cutler pass for a touchdown, giving the Jets a 14-10 lead. Running back LaDanlian Tomlison would score on a three-yard touchdown run to give the Jets their biggest lead of the game, 21-10, but the Bears would come back and score on a Cutler pass to offensive lineman Kevin Shaffer. The Jets would get a 26-yard field goal from kicker Nick Folk for a 24-17 halftime lead.
Things fell apart for the Jets after the third quarter gamble and the two quick scores by the Bears, but they were able to tie the score at 31 on a 23-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes. The Bears would score again on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Cutler to Johnny Knox, and the Jets would only be able to manage a field goal the rest of the way.
The Jets host the Buffalo Bills Sunday, while the Bears play the Packers in Green Bay.