The Chicago Bears established an early lead and held on to beat the mistake-prone New York Jets on the road, 27-19, on NFL Monday Night Football on Sept. 22.
The Chicago Bears beat the New York Jets, 27-19, on NFL Monday Night Football on Sept. 22.
Martellus Bennett's two touchdowns and Ryan Mundy's pick-six plus several Jets' mistakes sealed the outcome, per The Chicago Sun-Times' Patrick Finley:
"It took an interception returned for a touchdown, another corralled in the end zone and a recovered fumbled punt to mask the Bears' worst offensive game of the season.
"It took two backup safeties to make up for shoulder injuries to Ryan Mundy, who returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown on the second play of the game, and fellow safety Chris Conte.
"And it took the Bears being able to move the ball, despite a rushing attack that would have shamed the old T Formation crowd, to defeat the Jets, 27-19 Monday night at Met Life Stadium.
"The Bears did it by forcing two of their three turnovers in the first five minutes and six seconds. Mundy intercepted Geno Smith's screen pass and sprinted for a touchdown to put the Bears ahead, 7-0.
"When the Bears punted after their next possession, Jets returner Jalen Saunders muffed the ball, then bounced into the arms of rookie safety Ahmad Dixon.
"Jets cornerback Darrin Walls committed pass interference on the next play -- a 33-yard incompletion to Alshon Jeffrey -- and the Bears scored on a seven-yard, third-and-goal pass from Jay Cutler to Martellus Bennett.
"The tight end recorded his second touchdown of the game -- and fourth of the season -- on a 13-yard reception to cap the second half's first drive.
"Wide receiver Brandon Marshall returned in the second half, too, after re-injuring his right ankle while blocking for Jeffrey in the second quarter. The same injury has limited Marshall in practice for two weeks.
"In between Bennett touchdowns, the Jets rallied for 13 of the game's 16 points. Jeremy Kerley caught a 19-yard touchdown after two Nick Folk field goals, and the Jets trailed 17-13 at the half.
"After the Bears scored a touchdown on the first drive of the second half, rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller kept the score 24-13.
"With about five minutes left in the third quarter and the Jets at the Bears' 18, Smith threw an ill-advised pass into the end zone. Fuller leapt and intercepted the pass for his third interception of the second.
"Folk made two more field goals -- a 22-yarder and a 42-yarder -- to pull the Jets within five, 24-19.
"The Bears weren't impressive offensively. Running back Matt Forte gained 33 yards on 13 carries, contributing to what has been, statistically, the nation's worst rushing offense.
"Cutler was solid, completing 23-of-38 passes for 225 yards and two scores. The Bears defense, though, sealed the game.
"Needing a score and a two-point conversion to tie the game, the Jets converted on fourth-and-3 from their own 27 with 2:09 to play. On the next third down, Smith found Greg Salas for a 51-yard gain.
"The Jets got all the way to the Bears' 9 before, with 1:04 to play, Smith threw a fourth-down pass for Jeremy Kerley that landed beyond the back line of the end zone. It was defended by rookie Brock Vereen, one of the team's safety replacements."
ESPN Chicago Bears reporter Michael C. Wright chimed in on Chicago's Week 3 win in his Sept. 22 blog:
"This is the 'backbone' building Marc Trestman always talks about. Two road wins in a row should build confidence for the club before it hosts the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, followed by back-to-back outings at the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons. A 2-1 start with two of the first three games on the road is a major win for the Bears. Remember, after the loss in the season opener to the Buffalo Bills, there was the thought Chicago might start 0-3. That's a distant memory now.
"...The Bears entered Monday having scored 21 points off five takeaways, which tied for third in the NFL headed into Week 3 matchups. Chicago generated two more takeaways in the first half, leading to 14 points. Ryan Mundy scored the first TD 32 seconds into the game, when he picked off Geno Smith's screen pass to Chris Johnson and returned it 45 yards. Recent addition Ahmad Dixon pounced on Jalen Saunders' fumble at the New York 40 teo set up the second score off a takeaway.
"Interestingly, both the Bears' TDs in the first came from former New York Giants Mundy and Bennett.
"In all, the Bears have gobbled up eight takeaways."
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