The Chicago Bears (3-8) will face off against the New York Jets (6-4) on Sunday, where the Bears are looking to break their four-game losing streak. But it’s not going to be easy.
Chicago is coming off a 27-24 loss to the Atlanta Falcons (5-6), where all phases stumbled. They blew a 17-7 first-half lead and failed to mount a fourth-quarter comeback. To make matters worse, quarterback Justin Fields suffered an injury to his non-throwing shoulder, which puts his status in question.
Here are six things to know ahead of the Bears’ Week 12 game against the Jets.
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Chicago leads the all-time series against New York, with a 9-3 record. The Bears have dominated in recent history, winning the last five meetings. These two teams last met on Oct. 28. 2018, when the Bears recorded a 24-10 win at Soldier Field.
How they stack up
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The Bears are averaging 21.9 points per game (19th in NFL) while the Jets are averaging 19.9 (22nd). Chicago has the best rushing attack in the league, averaging 197.9 yards on the ground. New York is averaging 110.3 rushing yards per game, which ranks 20th. The Jets are averaging 201.5 passing yards per game (25th) while the Bears have the worst passing game in the league averaging 128.1 passing yards per game.
Chicago is allowing 24.9 points per game (27th) while New York is allowing 18.6 (9th). The Bears are allowing 196.8 passing yards per game (9th). Meanwhile, the Jets are allowing 200.8 yards through the air (10th). Chicago’s run defense has struggled and is allowing 142.6 yards on the ground (29th). New York’s defense is giving up 109.7 rushing yards per game (9th).
Justin Fields' injury
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The biggest storyline heading into this game is the status of Bears quarterback Justin Fields, who suffered a left shoulder injury in last Sunday’s loss. Matt Eberflus should provide an update at his Wednesday press conference. If Fields is at the podium for his weekly presser, it’ll give us a good indication of just how serious his injury is and whether he has a chance to play in Week 12. Given the Bears aren’t playing for anything this season (and they know they’ve got their franchise QB), it’s not worth risking Fields if he’s not entirely healthy.
Justin Fields vs. Zach Wilson
Even if one or both don’t wind up playing in this game, the comparisons between Chicago’s Justin Fields (who’s ascending in the league) and New York’s Zach Wilson (who was just benched) will be a popular topic. The Jets drafted Wilson with the second overall pick, passing on Fields (as did nine other teams, to be fair), which is an ugly look. Fields has emerged as one of the league’s most electric players (and a great leader). Meanwhile, Wilson is struggling with a boatload of talent around him (and not looking like a leader).
The Jets defense knows how to get after the QB
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With Fields’ status up-in-the-air, this feels like a contest the Bears might want to let him miss. Otherwise, he’ll be facing a dominant Jets defense that knows how to get after the QB. New York has 32 sacks in 10 games, which is tied for fourth in the NFL. In last week’s loss to the Patriots, the Jets sacked Mac Jones six times. They have a sack rate of 8.6 percent, which is fifth. Considering Chicago has given up a league-most 40 sacks this season, it’s an absolute recipe for disaster.
The Bears have been a run-first team from the start, but it doesn’t help that the Jets are also good against the run. New York is allowing 109.7 rushing yards per game, which is ninth in the NFL. With Khalil Herbert on injured reserve and Fields injured, that puts a lot of pressure on starter David Montgomery.
The Bears are betting underdogs for the ninth time this season. Chicago is a 4.5-point road underdog against the Jets, per Tipico Sportsbook. The over/under for the game is set at 39.5.
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