The Chicago Bears (3-8) will battle the New York Jets (6-4) on Sunday, where Chicago is looking to snap a four-game losing streak.
The Bears are coming off a 27-24 loss to the Atlanta Falcons (5-6), where quarterback Justin Fields suffered a separated left shoulder, which has left him dealing with some pain. His status for Sunday is in doubt, and it seems like Fields could very well be a game-time decision.
Still, there’s a good chance that Fields doesn’t suit up (which most fans are hoping for, as his health comes first). Which means we could be in for a matchup featuring Trevor Siemian vs. Mike White.
Will Chicago get back in the win column against New York in Week 12? Our Bears Wire staff share their game picks for Sunday’s matchup.
Alyssa Barbieri (5-6): Jets 23, Bears 17
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
I’m going to be honest, I don’t know how to make my prediction this week given the looming question of whether or not Justin Fields is starting this week. My hope is he rests, as there’s no point risking further injury in a meaningless game. But, call me crazy, the way Matt Eberflus and Fields have been talking this week, it certainly sounds like Fields is going to try to play – depending on the pain. Still, my gut tells me we’re going to get a front seat to Trevor Siemian vs. Mike White.
Obviously, there’s a huge dropoff between Fields and Siemian. Expect to see a different game plan if Siemian is under center, compared with Fields, who is an elite runner of the football. Although, if Fields does suit up, don’t expect many (or any) designed QB runs that put him at risk for further injury.
Regardless of who’s at quarterback, the one thing that won’t change is the Jets’ elite defense, which honestly is reason enough to rest an ailing Fields. New York’s defensive front knows how to get after the quarterback, and they should have plenty of success against this struggling Chicago offensive line. The Jets have 32 sacks this season, tied for fourth most in the league. Meanwhile, the Bears have allowed 40 sacks, the most in the NFL. Quite honestly, it’s a recipe for disaster.
The Jets benched Zach Wilson this week, which couldn’t have come at a better time considering the guy they passed on (Fields) is potentially going to suit up in this game and remind them they made a horrible mistake. But in terms of winning this game, I think New York stands a better chance with White at the helm. So, sorry Bears defense, things just got a little tougher.
Brendan Sugrue (4-7): Jets 24, Bears 20
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Will Justin Fields play this week? That’s the million-dollar question being asked this week at Halas Hall after the starting quarterback suffered a left shoulder injury. If Fields can manage the pain and give it a go this week, then the Bears will only lose by a few points instead of double digits.
The Jets have a ferocious defense and if backup Trevor Siemian is the one behind center, it’s going to be very difficult for the Bears to manage points. New York has a top-10 defense this year and has playmakers at each level. From Quinnen Williams on the defensive line and C.J. Mosley at linebacker, to Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner at cornerback. Should they get pressure on the Bears, turnovers and mistakes could happen if Fields is playing and WILL happen if Siemian starts.
On defense, things may have actually gotten more difficult for the Bears after the Jets benched quarterback Zach Wilson in favor of Mike White. Wilson has struggled to do much of anything this season and White has at least lit up the scoreboard in limited appearances last season. Couple that with the fact rookie defensive backs Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker may be out with concussions and a strong performance could be on the way. White gives the Jets a better shot at scoring points, and this could be a game that brings their team together after they lost in more ways than one against the New England Patriots.
The Bears are catching the Jets at a point where they need to change course to stay afloat in the AFC playoff race. A quarterback change can spark a team and I’m sadly betting that happens against a Bears team that could struggle to move the ball. The points and yards hinge on Fields but a loss is coming regardless.
Ryan Fedrau (6-5): Bears 27, Jets 21
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images
Even on the four-game losing streak I have faith that the Bears are going to beat the Jets. New York is the better team, their defense has played strong, and they are bound to have a good finish to their season. But the Bears are a trap game. Coming off of an upsetting finish to their game last week, losing on a punt return, they’re going to want to turn things around quickly. That’s where the Bears and their explosive offense come in.
I think if Justin Fields plays, he won’t be using his legs as much. I think they’ll run the hall more with David Montgomery instead of Fields. If Trevor Siemian plays, fans are going to be surprised. He will do better than many expect, en route to a Bears victory.