Last season, New York head coach Todd Bowles squeezed five wins out of a team expected to tank the season for draft position.
This season, he has rookie quarterback Sam Darnold and a series of no-name supporting staff looking at a .500 record at the midway point of their season.
Meanwhile, rookie coach Matt Nagy finally cranked up the offense fans expected to see from the former Chiefs’ offensive coordinator. Unfortunately, Khalil Mack’s initial raising of the Bears’ defense has come down a peg as the star defensive end nurses some bumps and bruises.
NFL Week 8 Game Preview: Jets (3-4) at Bears (3-3)
Both teams are at a sort of crossroads. Another win puts them in the playoff discussion. A loss keeps them in the pack of not-quite-ready contenders. In the middle of partial rebuilds with young players at quarterback, that would be enough for many fans and team management.
But being in the playoff discussion is much better.
New York has a tall task in front of them. Injuries in the defensive backfield and offensive skill positions have them scrambling to find healthy players to line up.
It’s a perfect time for the Bears’ defense to reassert themselves.
Injuries and notes
Quincy Enunwa will miss another game. After waiving Terrell Pryor last week, the team was left with little behind Robbie Anderson and Jermaine Kearse. They signed Rishard Matthews Monday to help out.
Reliable running back Bilal Powell is done for the year with a neck injury. Rookie Nick Cannon will see snaps behind Isaiah Crowell.
Free safety Marcus Maye, cornerback Trumaine Johnson (quad), and slot corner Buster Skrine made it to the practice field, but none are sure things to play Sunday. Backup free safety Doug Middleton might have a torn pectoral muscle, leaving the Jets with a third-string free safety.
Jets’ center Spencer Long is also questionable with finger and leg injuries.
Bears’ corner Marcus Cooper is the only name to appear on their injury list. He is questionable to play Sunday.
Todd Bowles continues to enjoy the support of his ownership group as they put him in impossible conditions with player choices. But there is allegedly a plan in New York, at least now that they have Sam Darnold. The general feeling is that the team will give Bowles at least another year to see the rookie bloom.
Matt Nagy has the Bears within striking distance of the Packers and Vikings, and even with the Lions despite a pair of tough losses. He is unveiling new wrinkles each week and has Bears fans as excited as they have been in years.
How to watch the Bears-Jets game
CBS Sports will handle the broadcast of this early-slot game in the greater New York area and upper Midwest. For a whole lot of Bears and Jets fans, that means grabbing their favorite internet device and enjoying live stream NFL action via Sling TV.
Sling grabs the original CBS broadcast in real time so you can watch live stream NFL action for a fraction of the cost of satellite or cable television.
Internet television providers like Sling, DirecTV Now, and Fubo TV require no contracts or expensive equipment to enjoy. With dozens of movie and television channels along with your favorite NFL teams, there’s no reason to pay cable and satellite prices anymore.
Who will win the Bears-Jets game?
Todd Bowles has done some good work with subpar talent with the Jets, but with his injury list growing every day, this is just too much to ask for.
The Bears need a win and they will not overlook the opportunity in front of them. New York gives it a shot, but the Bears pull away late.
Final score: Bears 33, Jets 19