ReFo: Bears @ Jets, Week 3
Riding the momentum of their comeback victory in San Francisco last Sunday into this game the Chicago Bears quickly raced into two touchdown lead against the New York Jets. Try as they might the Geno Smith led Gang Green would fall short in their own comeback attempt as a combination of red zone woes and determined defense from Chicago saw them come up short.
The Bears’ newest additions came up with key plays when they were needed and a Jekyll and Hyde performance by Geno Smith helped ensure that whatever ground they gave up to the Jets was never enough for that decisive play to swing the game.
Chicago Bears – Performances of Note
Lamarr Houston, DE: +1.8
Breakdown: Still waiting for his first sack as a Chicago Bear, Houston notched five pressures (with a sixth nullified by a penalty) last night and added a batted pass in a disruptive display as a pass rusher. Houston played a season-high 17 snaps at defensive tackle last night with two of his pressures coming from an interior alignment.
Signature Stat: Houston recorded his first stop of the season last night, by this point last season he had 11.
Kyle Fuller, CB: +5.0
Breakdown: Fuller backed up his successful fill-in for Charles Tillman last week with a strong first start last night against the Jets, with the only real blot on his copybook the missed tackle that sprung Greg Salas’ 51-yard gain late in the game. Around that, Fuller forced two fumbles and feasted on some of Geno Smith’s worst throws, breaking on late and forced passes to his side of the field collecting a pass defense and an interception.
Signature Play: It would seem that Tillman has been teaching Fuller the “Peanut Punch” with Fuller’s two forced fumbles boosting his grade and his second forced fumble at 11.23 in Q3 was particularly Tillman-esque.
Jared Allen, DE: +3.1
Breakdown: Like Houston, Allen has been quiet on the stat sheet since he arrived in Chicago but hasn’t matched that with strong work that base stats don’t record. He’s still yet to pick up that first sack for the Bears but he was active as both a pass rusher (three hits and three hurries) and run defender (four stops) en route to his highest game grade since Week 9 of last season.
Signature Play: On the first play of the Jets’ final drive (Q4, 3.10) Allen exploited a deep Geno Smith drop to drive around Ferguson’s outside shoulder and hit Smith just after he threw what should have been an interception to Jonathan Bostic.
New York Jets – Performances of Note
Sheldon Richardson, DE: +2.5
Breakdown: The Bears made limited use of their ground attack but that didn’t keep Richardson or Muhammad Wilkerson (+3.9) out of the game on the defensive line. Richardson tied a career high with five pressures (including his first sack since Week 12 last year) and added a batted pass to record the highest single-game pass rush grade (+2.8) of his young career.
Signature Play: Richardson got that first sack in eight games driving inside of Jermon Bushrod with 4.52 left in the third, setting up outside and then fighting inside to snag Jay Cutler as he looked to climb away from Jason Babin on the other side.
Geno Smith, QB: -3.8
Breakdown: If last season was up and down for Geno Smith then last night’s game encapsulated his entire repertoire in a single game. Between the numbers on short and intermediate throws Smith was a very impressive 16/18 for 229 yards and a touchdown (+4.3 passing grade), but around that a paltry 10/21 for 87 yards and two interceptions (-5.1 passing grade) in a performance characterized by poor decision making on broken plays.
Signature Stat: Pressured on 17/47 dropbacks last night Geno went 3/14 for 17 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions, earning a passer rating of 39.6 under pressure.
Nick Mangold, C: +2.0
Breakdown: It has been some time since Nick Mangold was the consensus best center in the NFL, but after a disappointing 2013 season he has started the new season in good form. Yet to surrender a pressure this season, Mangold has earned a positive run block grade each week and sits close to the top of our center rankings after three weeks.
Signature Stat: This is Mangold’s eighth positive grade game in a row dating back to Week 13 last season, his longest streak since the 2011/2012 seasons.
PFF Game Ball
After his first two displays it would seem that the Bears are going to make a relatively smooth transition from Charles Tillman to Kyle Fuller with the rookie immediately replacing Tillman’s playmaking presence in the defense.