The Chicago Bears showed they could dominate on defense, even with Khalil Mack out of the lineup.
Then again, playing the Jets didn’t hurt.
The Bears were ready without Mack, shutting down Sam Darnold and New York’s struggling offense in a 24-10 victory Sunday they sorely needed.
“We played together,” linebacker Aaron Lynch said. “We played as one, we played aggressive and we had fun doing it. And we attacked the field every time we went out there.”
There were no eye-popping statistics from any of the Bears’ players. Chicago (4-3) had just one sack and no interceptions.
But the defense delivered a solid all-around effort, helping the Bears win on a day when Mitchell Trubisky threw for two touchdowns and guard Kyle Long got helped off the field with a right foot injury.
The Bears outgained New York 395 yards to 207 and held big advantages in rushing (179-57) and passing (216-15). The Jets didn’t even reach 100 yards in total offense until the fourth quarter, and by the time they finally got going, Chicago was putting this one away.
“I don’t want to go back and forth about what any in particular guy does on this defense,” defensive end Akiem Hicks said. “I want to talk about our entire defense as a whole, and how dominant we have been and how dominant we will continue to be the rest of the year.”
Here are some things to know after the Bears bounced back from consecutive losses and handed the Jets their second in a row:
While the Bears’ defense did its part, the Jets did plenty to stop themselves.
They had false-start penalties on each of their first three drives. They also had one on their first possession of the third quarter, making it tougher to move the ball.
“We shot ourselves in the foot on that,” Jets coach Todd Bowles said. “Especially when the crowd wasn’t that loud, those were just concentration things. It was pretty much a different guy each time.”
Jordan Howard has gone a career-long 10 straight games without a 100-yard rushing effort. But he showed signs of picking it up with 22 carries for 81 yards — his highest total since he had 82 in the opener against Green Bay.
The 22 attempts were the second-most for him this season. And he set up his 2-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter with a 24-yard run, his longest of the year.
Mitchell Trubisky’s scrambling continues to help keep the Bears moving, even when the passing game has been inconsistent. He ran for four first downs and gained 51 yards on six rushes.
“We needed to continue to find ways to stay on the field and sometimes it’s me pulling the ball down and making the play for the offense,” Trubisky said.
In the previous game against New England, Trubisky ran for a career-high 81 yards.
Jets rookie tight end Christopher Herndon now has touchdown catches in three straight games.
He had a 16-yard scoring pass in the fourth quarter — his lone reception. A fourth-round pick from Miami, he has 12 catches for 161 yards.
The Bears have some options if Long is out for a few games or the rest of the season.
Veteran Eric Kush could take over for him at right guard, though he has been bothered the past few weeks with a neck injury that kept him out on Sunday. The Bears can also turn to newly acquired Bryan Witzmann, a guard/tackle who signed three weeks ago and has knowledge of the offense because he played in it for the Chiefs under Nagy.
Source: The Associated Press