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Thread: ~ ~ Mon., Sept. 22 - 8:30 pm : Bears @ Jets ~ ~

  1. #1
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    Cool ~ ~ Mon., Sept. 22 - 8:30 pm : Bears @ Jets ~ ~

    -- Here are five things we learned in the Chicago Bears' 28-20 victory against the San Francisco 49ers :

    1. NFL is a wild league : Never envisioned the Bears defeating the 49ers in brand new Levi’s Stadium. Especially not after the Bears lost at home in Week 1 to the Buffalo Bills, while San Francisco went on the road and dismantled Dallas. But the NFL is fluid. Calling it a week-to-week league isn’t simply a cliché. It’s the truth. You just never really know what is going to happen on any given Sunday. That is what makes it fun. Would I pick the 49ers again if the two teams re-match in the playoffs? Absolutely. In a heartbeat. But even though I still firmly believe San Francisco is the more talented team, the Bears won on Sunday night. The NFL is unpredictable. Embrace it. I mean, the Bills are 2-0. What is this football world coming to?

    Jon Bostic and the defense kept the Bears in the game until the offense found a spark.

    2. Proud effort on defense : It took the offense until the end of the first half to have a pulse, but the defense came to play from the opening whistle. The 49ers seemed poised to blow the game wide open, but the defense held San Francisco to only 17 first-half points. That is a major accomplishment when you consider the offense and special teams put the defense in bad spots with penalties and poor play. Mel Tucker’s defense produced four turnovers, limited the 49ers to 129 yards rushing, and sacked Colin Kaepernick four times. Not even key injuries to Charles Tillman (triceps), Chris Conte (shoulder) and Jeremiah Ratliff (concussion) slowed the group down.

    3. Kyle Fuller belongs : Fuller is fast approaching Kyle Long status: a first-round draft choice talented and smart enough to make an immediate impact. Fuller looks to be a keeper. His two fourth-quarter interceptions were critical plays. If Fuller fails to get a turnover on either occasion, who knows if the outcome of the game would have changed. It is entirely possible the Bears lose without Fuller’s heroics. The plan always called for Fuller to contribute as a rookie. But Tillman’s injury opens the door for Fuller to get a jump on permanently lining up at cornerback in the base defense, not just in the nickel sub-package. Fuller seems to have adapted to life in the NFL. Not every game will be great. A cornerback will have his share of bad moments versus the plethora of great receivers in the league. But Fuller appears to be confident and mature enough to handle it.

    4. Credit to Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery : The Pro Bowl wide receiver tandem played at less than full-strength in Week 2. But Marshall (ankle) and Jeffery (hamstring) pushed past their respective injuries. Marshall, in particular, had a memorable performance with three touchdown catches, including a spectacular one-handed grab on a 17 yard score in the closing seconds of the first half. Jeffery managed to haul in just three passes for 47 yards, but his mere on-field presence aided the Bears’ offense. The extra day before the Week 3 Monday night game against the New York Jets should help the wideouts further heal.

    5. What’s worse, special teams or officiating ? Pat O'Donnell's 47.6 yard per punt average (32.3 net) saved the Bears from complete embarrassment on special teams. But that phase of the team needs to get its act together. Penalties, blocked punts, lackluster returns ... we’ve seen it all in 2014. Another team that has been suspect is the officiating. The game took forever on Sunday, partly because the officials tossed 26 flags that were accepted. Many more were declined or waived off. Too many. The flow of the game is being stunted by all the yellow flags. I’ve also noticed it is taking certain crews much longer to come to a consensus on calls or explain why a decision is made. Come on everybody, the preseason is over. Act like it.

    > http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/bear...arned-vs-49ers

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    49ers 'smart' but Bears WRs too physical

    -- Strolling through a dark hallway in the empty visitor's locker room at Levi's Stadium after a 28-20 win Sunday over the San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears receiver Brandon Marshall stopped to lean his rolling bag against the wall.

    "I can't tell you everything, man," he said.

    Brandon Marshall caught three touchdown passes for the second time in his career, including a one-handed grab before halftime that sparked the Bears.
    Chicago overcame a dismal opening half in which San Francisco's defensive backs -- armed with the knowledge Marshall and Alshon Jeffery were hobbled all week by injuries -- sat on every route, basically daring the Bears to try to throw it deep. The game plan worked beautifully early on for the 49ers, given Marshall and Jeffery weren't at full speed and never improved. Yet Chicago found a way to overcome it.

    The Bears made subtle adjustments in the way quarterback Jay Cutler targeted his outside threats, and the club took advantage of short fields provided by Kyle Fuller's two interceptions. The result was that the receivers were able to outmuscle San Francisco's defensive backs as Marshall caught three touchdown passes in one game for just the second time in his career.

    "They were mixing it up," Cutler said. "They were sitting on our stuff -- 8, 10, 12 yards -- they were kind of sitting out there. They were showing shell, matching up underneath. They had a good game plan."

    With reports circulating all week of Marshall's right ankle injury and Jeffery's strained left hamstring, not to mention all the drama in pregame warmups regarding whether they'd play, San Francisco's defensive backs knew Chicago's receivers wouldn't just run right by them to haul in deep balls from Cutler. So they sat on routes, ready to jump short throws for potential interceptions.

    "They were smart about how they played us," Marshall said. "We knew that if we did end up throwing it deep, it would just be a jump ball."

    San Francisco corners Perrish Cox and Chris Culliver limited Marshall and Jeffery to a combined one catch for 4 yards on three targets in the opening quarter. By the end of the first half, the duo had caught a combined three balls on nine total targets for 30 yards and Marshall's first touchdown.

    "They did a good job game planning us defensively," Bears coach Marc Trestman admitted.

    But Marshall one-handed a 17-yard touchdown pass over rookie free safety Jimmie Ward with just 18 seconds left in the first half. That scoring strike ignited the offense, Trestman said. That drive, which spanned 80 yards, allowed Cutler to work his chemistry in the red zone with Marshall, who in turn was able to outmuscle safety Jimmy Ward.

    Niners safety Eric Reid admitted the size of Chicago's receivers gave his team problems, adding that "Cutler made some good throws in the red zone, [and] they made some good catches."

    Jeffery's final numbers were modest -- three catches for 47 yards -- but his 29-yard grab over Culliver set up Marshall's final touchdown. Marshall pointed out he finished the game with just 48 yards receiving and that his last two TDs came from 5 and 3 yards out in the fourth quarter. He added that "it's not like me and Alshon got any better" in terms of their physical condition.

    Marshall declined to discuss whether Cutler adjusted throws to target his back shoulder, which would allow him to use his physicality. But the receiver admitted San Francisco "knew" he and Jeffery weren't at full speed, "and they were smart to play us like that. You've got to give them credit."

    "I was really frustrated," Marshall said. "I tried to stay positive and it worked. We just stayed in it and believed if we could get in the end zone just once, we'd be able to build off that."

    That's precisely what transpired Sunday.

    > http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/bear...s-too-physical

  3. #3
    thanks guy!

    good work SIR!

    now, will there be a series of successive additional posts.....

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bing in Buffalo View Post
    thanks guy!

    good work SIR!

    now, will there be a series of successive additional posts.....
    you're welcome twisted-sister !







    cheers ~ ~

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    If Decker is hurt the Jets WR's suck. Why not Split Amaro out? Time for Ground and Pound against the Bears.

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    Source : Charles Tillman to go on IR

    Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman, who suffered another injury to his right triceps Sunday night, will be placed on season-ending injured reserve, according to a source.

    A source told ESPN that the outlook "was not good" as Tillman was having further evaluation done Monday. He suffered the injury during the third quarter of the Bears' 28-20 victory against San Francisco on Sunday night.Charles Tillman suffered a torn triceps muscle in the same right arm in November, and the setback resulted in the Bears placing the cornerback on the injured reserve with a designation to return.

    "That's really sad to hear," receiver Brandon Marshall said Monday on The Brandon Marshall Show on ESPN Chicago 1000. "He's one of our leaders on this team and much needed. It's sad for the city, it's sad for our team, it's sad for him.

    "It's just bad news because he's just one of those players who brings something to the game that most people can't."

    Tillman suffered a torn triceps muscle in the same arm in November, and the setback resulted in the team placing the cornerback on the injured reserve with a designation to return.

    He had signed a one-year, $3.25 million deal in March -- of which $750,000 was fully guaranteed.

    Tillman sustained the injury when he appeared to become tangled up with a 49ers player near the sideline. Immediately after the injury, head athletic trainer Chris Hanks and a team physician ran tests on Tillman, who appeared to be in considerable pain.

    A 12-year veteran and two-time Pro Bowl selection, Tillman (152 career starts) ranks third in franchise history with 36 interceptions. He leads the franchise in career interception return yardage (675), interception return touchdowns (8) and defensive return touchdowns (9).

    Tillman leads the NFL with 42 forced fumbles since 2003. He is the only player since 2003 to record 40 forced fumbles and 30 interceptions.

    > http://espn.go.com/chicago/nfl/story...espnapi_public

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    The Chicago Bears signed fullback Tony Fiammetta to the 53-man roster, while also adding rookie quarterback David Fales to the practice squad.

    The Bears brought back Fiammetta and Fales after cutting the duo last week in a series of roster moves brought about due to a rash of injuries along the offensive line and at receiver. Fiammetta had been nursing a hamstring injury headed into Week 2, while Fales had missed practice time because of a shoulder injury.

    A six-year veteran, Fiammetta serves primarily as a lead blocker for Matt Forte, and has run the ball 11 times for 26 yards throughout his career, while also producing 130 yards on 12 catches in 50 games with 24 starts.

    Fales, meanwhile, joined the Bears as a sixth-round pick out of San Jose State.

    Over two seasons at San Jose State, Fales started in 25 games, throwing for 8,382 yards and 66 touchdowns with 22 interceptions. Fales has impressed the staff enough throughout his brief tenure with the Bears, that he would likely develop into a potential backup to starter Jay Cutler.With the Bears placing cornerback Charles Tillman on the injured reserve, it's expected the club in the coming days will make more roster moves.

    > http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/bear...iammetta-fales

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    RISING

    Up arrow

    1. Entire defense: There is a noticeable improvement on defense. From top to bottom, the whole group needs credit for keeping the Bears in the game against the San Francisco 49ers, despite suffering a ton of injuries to key starters. Defensive end Willie Young is a gem. He filled out the stat sheet for the second consecutive week with four tackles, two sacks, two tackles-for-loss and two quarterback hits, according to the NFL's official game book. Jared Allen made a couple of impact plays with a tackle-for-loss and forced fumble. Lance Briggs had a bounce-back game. Rookie Kyle Fuller intercepted two fourth-quarter passes in place of injured Charles Tillman (triceps), and safety Chris Conte had a highlight-reel pick before he left early due to a bad shoulder. Safety Ryan Mundy, linebacker Shea McClellin and the first-year interior defensive linemen (Will Sutton and Ego Ferguson) all contributed to the victory. If the Bears can get efforts like this from the defense every week, the team will be in position to win lots of games.

    Up arrow

    2. Jay Cutler, QB: Cutler and the offense got off to a bad start, but the quarterback recovered to finish 23-of-34 for 176 passing yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions, with a passer rating of 119.2. Cutler beat a good team on the road. That deserves a mention. He stayed in the game after taking an illegal hit to the chest late in the first half. That shot must have triggered something inside Cutler because he played at a different level from that moment on. Cutler no doubt benefitted from the sturdy play of the offensive line (minus starters Roberto Garza and Matt Slauson), but it's hard to throw four touchdowns when the team is struggling to establish the ground game. However, Cutler pulled it off. Even some of the dropped balls were delivered on the money.

    Up arrow

    3. Brandon Marshall, WR: Not a bad performance for a guy with a bum ankle. Marshall played like a man possessed in Week 2, catching three touchdowns, including a miraculous one-handed grab at the end of the first half that proved to be a turning point for the Bears. Marshall vowed all week he planned to play against the 49ers, and he backed it up with a performance that will have Bears' fans buzzing all week. Credit wide receiver Alshon Jeffery for fighting through a tight hamstring to contribute three receptions for 47 yards. The Bears were never going to defeat San Francisco with their two Pro Bowl receivers on the sidelines. Both were active, and the Bears pulled out the 28-20 upset. Coincidence? Hardly. Great players who push themselves often inspire their teammates. The extra day should help Marshall and Jeffery get ready to face the New York Jets on Monday.

    FALLING

    Down arrow

    1. Special teams: Unfair to criticize one person for the mess on special teams, this is a collective issue. But no matter where the fault ultimately lies, the Bears need to clean up the special teams mistakes because it's borderline unwatchable. The Bears committed a ton of penalties (three on one specific play) and had the opening punt blocked. These breakdowns are unacceptable. Rookie punter Pat O'Donnell struck the ball with authority against the 49ers, despite his 32.3 net average. After O'Donnell, there wasn't much to like. And the Bears still cannot figure out the return game. Senorise Perry looks to be very average on kickoff return after two weeks.

    Down arrow

    2. Run game: It was an off-night for the run game. The team basically went away from the ground attack after the 49ers jumped out to a 17-0 lead, but yards were hard to come by whenever the Bears put the ball in Matt Forte's hands. Forte carried the ball 12 times for 21 yards (1.8 yards per rush average). Cutler actually had the best run of the night when he scrambled for 25 yards. It's hard to establish much of a rhythm when the starting tailback is fed the ball only 12 times, but the offense failed to capitalize when the opportunities presented themselves on the ground, no matter how few and far between they were.

    Down arrow

    3. Officials: Twenty-seven combined penalties? Kind of excessive, no? Not to mention the crew took forever to make certain calls and explain the rulings. The game dragged. It was really tough to watch in the first half, for both sides. I'm a firm believer in the fact that officials do not determine the outcome of games. Calls will be missed. That's life. Deal with it. But officials can impact the enjoyment level of watching games. Thumbs down to the officials. Second week in the row the crew assigned to the Bears didn't appear to have their act together. These penalty fests are hurting the league.

    > http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/bear...e-answers-call

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    Willie Colon & Jets Go Back to School
    Jets Huddle Airs Every Saturday at 11:35 PM Only on CBS 2 HD

    video...
    > http://www.newyorkjets.com/videos/vi...7-1bac4cac4cb4

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    A week ago, few in the football world could believe that the Bears lost their season opener to the Buffalo Bills. Seven days later, the shock is that Chicago went on the road and upset the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2.

    According to coach Marc Trestman, that's just life in the NFL.

    "Every week is a new storyline," Trestman said Monday evening on WBBM AM-780's 'Chicago Bears Coaches Show.' "The game is a story within itself."

    The coach and wide receiver Brandon Marshall each hit the airwaves to discuss Sunday's 28-20 over the 49ers in Santa Clara, California. Both mentioned that the team pushed aside distractions after the loss to the Bills and focused on the game ahead, a difficult task given all the noise following the season-opening defeat.

    "Our coaches and players put in the time. We had amnesia about the week before and went to work," Trestman said.

    Marshall went more in depth, saying that the team had to correct the mistakes they made versus the Bills and also block out the noise of the people who were claiming the team's season was already finished.

    "It felt like 60 percent of Chicago started panicking. It felt like that; that our season is over," Marshall said on WMVP AM-1000's 'Waddle and Silvy Show.' "You guys know football, you know better. When you turn the ball over like we did, we don't have a chance."

    The Bears lost the turnover battle to the Bills 3-1. Against the 49ers, Chicago's defense forced four takeaways and the offense didn't give any away.

    "We have a lot of great football in us," Marshall added. "If we continue to get wins like we did (on Sunday), halfway through the season I really think that's when we are going to hit our mark. Because right now, we are not where we should be. But we have the attitude and the work ethic to get there."

    Marshall's presence was key to the Bears victory. He – along with teammate and fellow wide receiver Alshon Jeffery – were listed as questionable heading into the contest because of injuries. Both wound up playing, with Marshall hauling in three touchdown receptions in the win.

    "I don't think they were at their best last night," Trestman said of his Pro Bowl wide receivers. "It was a very courageous job for Brandon and Alshon being out there. Just being out there made a tremendous difference in the game. Alshon drew three (pass interference penalties). Having those guys out there as targets made a difference in the final score."

    Included in the three touchdowns for Marshall was a beautiful one-handed grab at the end of the first half that sparked the team heading into the break. Quarterback Jay Cutler lofted the ball into the endzone and Marshall leaped, spun and hauled in the ball in with his right hand in one fluid motion.

    "If you look at my highlights, I don't have a lot of one-handed catches," Marshall said. "But this, starting in camp, but my left hand has started to feel like it has sticky-glue on it. My right hand… I didn't catch a ball one-hand with my right hand all offseason."

    Marshall said the play, which gave the Bears their first points of the game, making the San Francisco lead 17-7 going into halftime, was a key to the team's come-from-behind win.

    "It lifted us up a little bit, cut that lead a little bit, gave us some momentum," said the wideout.

    The game was not without loss, however. Cornerback Charles Tillman tore his triceps in the victory, ending his season prematurely for the second year in a row. The Bears placed Tillman on Injured Reserve on Monday.

    "On a personal level I'm really disappointed for Charles. He was on his way to a Pro Bowl season," Trestman said. "Really, he had worked so hard this offseason to come back and get ready to go. We'll feel it on our football team. The next man has to step up and we have to play."

    > http://www.chicagobears.com/news/art...e-2da8409c5527

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    Gruden's Key Matchup For Bears-Jets

    Jon Gruden looks forward to how Jay Cutler and the Bears' offense will match up against the Jets' defense on "Monday Night Football."

    video...
    > http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=11542330

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    Getting to know the Bears

    This is the second leg of the NFC North tour.

    The New York Jets (1-1) return home to face the Chicago Bears on "Monday Night Football," an interesting matchup between teams that experienced very different Sundays. A few hours after the Jets lost to the Green Bay Packers by blowing a 21-3 lead, the Bears rallied from a 17-0 deficit to stun the San Francisco 49ers on the road, 28-20. It was the Bears' largest come-from-behind win since 2006, when they beat the Arizona Cardinals and Dennis Green delivered his infamous "They-are-who-we-thought-they-were" rant.

    A closer look at the Bears :

    Record: 1-1

    Head coach: Marc Trestman (9-9)

    Offensive coordinator: Aaron Kromer

    Defensive coordinator: Mel Tucker

    THREE PLAYERS TO KNOW, OFFENSE

    Santonio Holmes, wide receiver: He was one of the most polarizing players in Jets history, a clutch player who turned into a headache after scoring a huge contract extension. It'll be interesting to gauge the crowd reaction at MetLife Stadium. Holmes provided many memorable moments from 2010 to 2014, but his production declined as the injuries piled up. The Jets finally rid themselves of him last offseason, probably forming a Conga line in the hallways of One Jets Drive to celebrate his departure. (By the way, he still counts $2.5 million on their cap, more than any receiver not named Eric Decker.) Holmes was unemployed until Aug. 16, when he signed a one-year deal with the Bears. Their base offense includes three receivers, so he's basically a starter. In fact, he played 73 percent of the snaps against the 49ers. He has only four catches for 41 yards, but he has a flair for the dramatic and would like nothing more than to burn his old team on a prime-time stage.

    Jay Cutler, quarterback: He's always been known as a diva, but Cutler showed a lot of heart in San Francisco. Late in the second quarter, he took a vicious helmet to the chest by Quinton Dial. Cutler shook it off and, without two starting offensive linemen and with no help from the running game, he rallied the Bears to a signature victory. He has one of the best arms in the league, capable of throwing a strawberry through a battleship, as Rex Ryan likes to say. In Trestman's offense, however, he's a dink and dunk passer. In fact, 19 of his 34 passes against the 49ers traveled 5 yards or less in the air, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He was 16-for-19 on those passes, including three of his four touchdown passes. He doesn't hold the ball as long as he used to, resulting in fewer sacks.

    Brandon Marshall, wide receiver: Like Cutler, he delivered a gutty performance Sunday night. Playing on a sore right ankle -- he was a question mark until the pregame warm-ups -- Marshall played one of the best games of his career. He made three touchdown catches, including a one-handed grab while twisting and falling backward in the end zone. He's one of the top receivers in the sport. He played the entire game at less than 100 percent, lacking his usual explosiveness and appearing tentative on cuts. He's averaging only 9.2 yards per catch, in part, because he can't get deep. His partner, Alshon Jeffery (hamstring), also is hurting. Maybe the Jets' beleaguered cornerbacks are catching the Bears at the right time.

    THREE PLAYERS TO KNOW, DEFENSE

    Jared Allen, defensive end: Desperate to improve their front seven, the Bears signed Allen to a four-year, $32 million contract, including $15.5 million guaranteed. It's a lot of money for a 32-year-old pass-rusher, but like we said, the Bears were hurting up front. Interestingly, the Jets showed interest in Allen during free agency. So far, he hasn't done much at all. Playing right end in their 4-3 front, he has no sacks and only four tackles -- and we're talking about an every-down player. He played 93 percent of the defensive snaps against the 49ers. One thing you know you'll get from Allen is a honest day's work. He has one of the all-time great motors, one of the reasons why he has 128.5 career sacks.

    Lance Briggs, linebacker: He's another playing on the downside. Briggs created a firestorm recently when he took a day off from practice to attend the opening of his new restaurant in California. The former Pro Bowl player sought permission from Trestman, and received it, but he admittedly didn't tell his coach why he needed the day off. It was the Monday before the opener and, six days later, Briggs & Co. allowed 193 rushing yards in a home loss to the Buffalo Bills. He fessed up to blowing a gap responsibility on a 47-yard run, sparking criticism from fans and media -- well deserved. Right now, the Bears' run defense stinks, yielding 5.4 yards per carry. They've struggled against the read-option, which could create chances for the Jets.

    Kyle Fuller, cornerback: The Jets were linked to Fuller in pre-draft speculation, but he never made it to the 18th pick. The Bears snatched him with the 14th pick, and it looks like they hit a home run. The former Virginia Tech standout was one of the stars of the comeback, intercepting two Colin Kaepernick passes in the fourth quarter -- both of which set up touchdowns. In a sense, the torch was passed. Charles Tillman, one of the Bears' all-time greats, suffered a season-ending pectoral injury in the game -- perhaps career ending. Fuller was deemed the heir apparent to Tillman, but the grooming plan has been accelerated. Fuller plays like a veteran, an instinctive player with terrific ball skills.

    > http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/jet...know-the-bears

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    Who is going to the game? What are the tailgate plans, if any.... and will JI still be up and running when we get back early the next morning with that big W in our pocket having enjoyed watching Jay Cutler get the crap kicked out of him by the Sons of Anarchy

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    4 Downs: Concerned about run game ?

    Matt Forte was held to just 21 yards rushing on 12 carries against the 49ers.
    Kyle Long said he was "embarrassed" by the Chicago Bears' running game in Week 2. Marc Trestman called it "very poor."

    Facing a 17-point deficit against the San Francisco 49ers, the Bears had to look to pass more, but when they did run it wasn't pretty with Matt Forte rushing for just 21 yards on 12 carries. A week earlier, Forte was effective with 82 yards in Week 1 against the Buffalo Bills, but he got just 17 carries.

    It doesn't get any easier in Week 3 against the New York Jets, who have allowed the fewest rushing yards (105) in the NFL this season. Is there reason to be concerned about the Bears' running game or is it all part of the game plan from week to week? Our panel weighs in on that and more:

    Jeff Dickerson: Fact. Forte is an elite tailback. There is no issue with him. But Long labeled the Bears' effort in the run game "embarrassing" against San Francisco. That sounds a tad extreme. However, Forte only gained 21 yards on 12 carries on Sunday night. The best run came when Jay Cutler scrambled for 25 yards, so I think it's OK to call it concerning. But there's no reason to panic. Keep in mind, the Bears aren't exactly a power running team. They rely more on running outside the tackles with Forte. The ground game isn't the bread and butter of the offense. The Bears are a pass-first team. That's just the way it is. Also, fullback Tony Fiammetta hasn't been available yet this season due to injury and a release before re-signing. Maybe Fiammetta helps when he's on the field against the Jets roughly 15-20 percent of the time.

    Jon Greenberg: Fiction. It's just the way it is. I don't think Trestman is ever going to call a completely balanced game, run-pass wise. It'll always be slanted toward the pass with Cutler. After the opening loss against Buffalo, I asked Forte if he wanted more touches, and he admitted 17 carries was a little low, but that he'll get his touches on short passes ("extended handoffs"). He caught eight passes against the Bills. Those numbers dropped to 12 and 5 against the Niners. I'd like to see the Bears get more creative on runs -- San Francisco showed a few cool wrinkles Sunday night -- and more importantly, give him a few drives where he can really carry the load. Too often he was running on first down, getting stuffed because it was so obvious, and then the Bears went to the pass. But there were drives where they really tried to get him the ball. In the 13-play, 80-yard drive that spanned the third and fourth quarters, he touched the ball six times, four passes and two runs. But he only gained 18 yards, 11 coming on one pass. Long said he was frustrated in their run-blocking, so maybe Trestman was wise to spread the wealth.

    Second Down
    Fact or Fiction: Charles Tillman is the best defensive back in Bears' history.

    [+] EnlargeCharles Tillman
    Grant Halverson/Getty ImagesCharles Tillman's Bears future is uncertain but his inclusion among the franchise's greats is not.
    Jeff Dickerson: Fact. It's a close race between Tillman (two Pro Bowls) and legendary safety Gary Fencik (two Pro Bowls). Fencik holds the franchise record with 50 takeaways (38 interceptions, 12 fumble recoveries) and won a championship in 1985. Tillman is the Bears' all-time leader in defensive touchdowns (nine), interception return yards (675), interception return touchdowns (eight), and ranks third with 36 career picks. However, Tillman revolutionized the game with his uncanny ability to force fumbles from the cornerback position. The "Peanut Punch" has been responsible for 42 forced fumbles since 2003, the second-highest total in the league over that span. Tillman changed the way coaches teach the game to younger players. Tillman gets the nod, in my opinion. But Fencik is underrated in terms of what he provided the Bears' defense in the mid-70s to late 80's.

    Jon Greenberg: Fact. It's so tough to judge between eras, but given Tillman's singular effect on the defense -- his ability to create takeaways -- and his team records in interception return yards, defensive touchdowns and interceptions returned for touchdowns, let's agree to call him that. Add to that, his 36 interceptions and 42 forced fumbles, he's got a great case. Tillman's had a fantastic career, if it's over.

    Third Down
    Fact or Fiction: There won't be much of a dropoff on the defense with rookie Kyle Fuller replacing Tillman.

    [+] EnlargeKyle Fuller
    AP Images/Tony AvelarKyle Fuller came up big in place of Charles Tillman against the 49ers.
    Jeff Dickerson: Fiction. Fuller looks ready to assume a full-time starting role. He belongs. But rookies always experience a certain degree of growing pains when pressed into action straight out of college. That especially holds true at the cornerback position where players are taught to have short memories. The Bears play in a division with Calvin Johnson and Aaron Rodgers. I don't care how ready a player is, the Packers and Lions can throw the football. Fuller will be tested. I believe he will hold up OK, but let's hold off on the Tillman comparisons. Fuller will be making his first career NFL start on Monday night. Tillman made 158, including the postseason. Maybe Fuller eventually becomes the next Tillman. But it doesn't happen overnight. Give the rookie time.

    Jon Greenberg: Fiction. That's tough to say after two games. Check out the Bears' schedule, Fuller will have some difficult receivers to cover if the Bears throw him to the wolves and Megatrons of the league. The Bears are lavishing praise on him, and his two-pick game against the Niners augur good things to come. Fuller looks like an All-Pro, and he's got young legs, but while Tillman was getting older, experience is often a cornerback's greatest weapon. Tillman had seen it all and his instincts let him gamble for those punch-outs. The Bears would be better off with three strong cornerbacks.

    Fourth Down
    Fact or Fiction: Special teams will cost the Bears at least one win this season.

    [+] EnlargeAaron Lynch
    Jeff Gross/Getty ImagesThe Bears were able to recover after a blocked punt led to an early 49ers touchdown.
    Jeff Dickerson: Fact. This has been a problem since the summer. The Bears just don't seem talented, organized, or intelligent enough on special teams. They were lucky to avoid a complete meltdown after the 49ers' blocked punt led to an early touchdown. Next time, they may not be so fortunate. In the past, the Bears used to make their special teamers into positional backups. Now, the Bears try to make their positional backups into special teamers. The philosophical shift is partly to blame for the decline. Losing players such as Devin Hester, Craig Steltz, Eric Weems, Blake Costanzo, Zack Bowman, Anthony Walters and Jordan Senn hurts. I think it's fair to say coordinator Joe DeCamillis needs to do the best coaching job of his career to turn it around. DeCamillis has 26 years of experience coaching special teams in the NFL. This is probably one of his toughest assignments to date.

    Jon Greenberg: Fact. This group is awful. Disorganized and sloppy. Whither Dave Toub? Oh yeah, he's in Kansas City. It's not just coaching, it's the caliber of players in the group, and that's on GM Phil Emery and the coaches. The Bears cut Shaun Draughn after he committed two penalties on special teams and missed a block that led to a blocked punt. So it's not like the Bears aren't aware of the problem. So yeah, unless they can find some players on special teams, I think they could lose a game because of it.

    > http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/bear...about-run-game

  15. #15
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    New York Jets coach Rex Ryan on Wednesday disputed the notion that Santonio Holmes was a divisive player in the locker room during his tenure there.

    Santonio Holmes has fit in nicely with the Bears after being cut by the Jets.

    "No, that is totally untrue," Ryan said in a conference call with the Chicago media. "That was one of the biggest ... that's a joke. He wasn't that way at all."

    Holmes spent four seasons with the Jets (2010-13) before signing in August with the Chicago Bears as a replacement for Marquess Wilson, who suffered a fractured clavicle during training camp. With the Jets, Holmes caught 146 passes for 2,168 yards and 16 touchdowns, but he came under fire toward the latter portion of his tenure after signing a five-year contract coming out of the NFL lockout in 2011 worth $45 million.

    One New York Daily News report, citing anonymous sources back in January 2012, quoted a player saying Holmes is "a cancer. It's like dealing with a 10-year-old."

    Former Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson discussed a rift between Holmes and current Eagles backup quarterback Mark Sanchez on Showtime's "Inside the NFL" shortly after, saying, "It is as bad as I've ever been around, honestly."

    Sanchez played for the Jets from 2009 to '13.

    "In all seriousness, Santonio, obviously, he is a great player," Tomlinson said. "There are some things that obviously he needs to work on as far as being a leader."

    Ryan, meanwhile, described his experience with Holmes as pleasant.

    "I really enjoyed him," Ryan said. "When this guy's healthy, he can be a game-changer. The first year we had him, he was a major, major factor in us winning games. My second year here, he helped lead us to the championship game. He looks kind of funny in that [No.] 14 [Bears] jersey."

    Shortly after joining the Bears, Holmes acknowledged some of the struggles he experienced with the Jets but also said he enjoyed playing there. Throughout his short tenure in Chicago, Holmes continues to work with receivers coach Mike Groh to learn the nuances of the club's offense while also serving as a mentor to some of the club's younger receivers.

    In the locker room, Holmes has actually been one of the club's quieter players.

    Receiver Brandon Marshall said "I love it" when asked about the acquisition of Holmes, while quarterback Jay Cutler said Holmes "can definitely still go. It's fun just trying to catch him up to speed."

    As for Holmes, he's just excited "to embrace" his latest opportunity with the Bears.

    Asked about his experience in New York, Holmes said, "It was great. I had a lot of fun. It was a great move by the organization of picking me up and giving me the opportunity to be the No. 1 guy. I made a lot of friends there, and we won a lot of ballgames."

    > http://espn.go.com/newyork/nfl/story...espnapi_public

  16. #16
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    Jets' Eric Decker on sideline at practice

    -- New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker, who aggravated a hamstring injury in the fourth quarter of Sunday's loss to the Green Bay Packers, didn't participate in practice during the 30-minute window open to the media.Decker, expected to sit out the entire practice, stretched with the team and spent the rest of the early portion in the rehab area, working with trainers. He did some agility drills and light running, but nothing extreme.

    His availability will be one of the key storylines for the run-up to Monday night's game against the Chicago Bears. The Jets have yet to comment on his status for the game. Decker, who signed a five-year, $36.25 million contract as a free agent, leads the Jets with nine receptions for 137 yards and a touchdown. He first hurt his right hamstring in training camp.

    Cornerback Dee Milliner, still recovering from a high-ankle sprain, also remained on the sideline during the media period. He, too, is expected to miss practice. Milliner made his 2014 debut against the Packers and played 40 snaps in a reserve role, but admitted after the game that he took himself out because his ankle injury was flaring up.

    With an extra day to prepare for the Bears, the Jets used Wednesday as a "bonus" practice. Thursday will be the heaviest workload of the week.

    > http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/jet...ne-at-practice

  17. #17
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    O, captain, my ex-captain: Jets wary of Santonio's Holmes-coming

    The Jets don't want to see Santonio Holmes celebrating in his return to MetLife Stadium.

    -- Let's start off by making this perfectly clear: The New York Jets made the right move by releasing Santonio Holmes last offseason. Too much money, too much baggage and not enough production.

    Unfortunately for them, this isn't a case of out of sight, out of mind, because Holmes is very much on their mind as they prepare for the Chicago Bears. Even though he's a diminished player, he poses a threat to the Jets because he's a wide receiver, and any wide receiver with two healthy hands and sub-5.0 speed in the 40 has to be classified as dangerous against their porous secondary.

    It's the Jets' worst nighmare, Holmes turning "Monday Night Football" into his personal stage, scoring a big touchdown and doing that silly jet-plane celebration. It's not a far-fetched scenario. For all his shortcomings, he's always been a big-moment player. He has a Super Bowl MVP trophy to prove it.

    Imagine the fallout if the Jets go from The Timeout to Tone Time in one week. Actually, you don't want to imagine that.

    Rex Ryan, not wanting to give Holmes any motivational fuel for his homecoming, gave his former player a glowing endorsement Wednesday during a conference call with the Chicago media. He portrayed Holmes as a cross between a Boy Scout, an altar boy and Jerry Rice, insisiting it's "totally untrue" that the petulant receiver was a divisive influence in the locker room during his five seasons with the Jets.

    I believe Ryan when he says he genuinely likes Holmes, but Ryan also knows that Holmes, whose mouth sometimes was like the bull in the china shop, was the root of the locker-room turmoil that made the Jets a national punchline in 2011.

    Who could forget the end of the 2011 season, when Holmes clashed with teammates and was thrown out of the huddle with two minutes remaining in the final game of the season? At the time, one member of the organization described him as "a pain in the ass." They probably would've cut him if they didn't owe him so much guaranteed money, the result of a five-year, $45 million contract extension before the '11 season. He still counts on their salary cap, $2.5 million.

    Holmes is the reason why the Jets no longer have captains. Ryan appointed Holmes a captain in 2011, certainly not one of the coach's most inspired decisions. The power went to his head, and his mouth, as he publicly criticized the offensive line after a particularly tough loss. When the season ended, Ryan announced, "No more captains."

    Reminded of that sorry chapter, Ryan claimed the decision wasn't based on the misbehaving Holmes. Pressed, Ryan finally acknowledged, "It might not have been a great selection," meaning his choice to put a "C' on Holmes' chest. He also admitted that Holmes threw teammates "under the bus" for his critique of the offensive line, but Ryan doesn't think Holmes meant it to come out as criticism. He called him a good teammate, a "dude who won a lot of games for us."

    They don't want him to win Monday night in MetLife. Obviously, the Jets are focused on Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, Jay Cutler's favorite targets, but they can't forget about Holmes. His surgically repaired foot is healthy and, despite only four catches for 41 yards, he looks like the Holmes of old, according to the Jets' defensive players. He played 73 percent of the offensive snaps in last week's win over the San Francisco 49ers, so you know he'll be out there a lot.

    Not surprisingly, Holmes declined a request this week to speak with the New York media via conference call. As much as he disliked the New York media, he occasionally created headlines with foot-in-mouth remarks. There was the time last December when he said the Carolina Panthers' secondary was "the weakest link" on their defense, infuriating the defensive backs, who played career games in a win over the Jets.

    Hey, maybe Holmes will incite the Jets by insulting their secondary. Said one player: "I don't think anyone would mind that."

    > http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/jet...-holmes-coming

  18. #18
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    Under the spotlight: Nelson and Allen

    -- Each week we will select two players on the New York Jets -- one on offense, one on defense -- who figure to play a key role in the upcoming game :

    OFFENSE : David Nelson, wide receiver -- With Eric Decker (hamstring) a question mark, Nelson's role grows in importance. He was targeted twice in the first two games (both receptions), a stunningly low number when you consider he ran 51 pass routes. Against the Green Bay Packers, he didn't see a ball until the five-minute mark of the fourth quarter. It's difficult to assess the root of the matter -- is he not getting open or is it the play calling? -- but there's a chance to break out Monday night against the Chicago Bears. The 6-foot-5 Nelson will either be covered by a smurf (Tim Jennings, 5-foot-8) or a rookie (Kyle Fuller). The Jets have to figure out a way to maximize Nelson's skill set.

    DEFENSE : Antonio Allen, cornerback -- Allen is a neophyte at the position, so he's bound to make technique errors. The Jets will have to live with those as he learns on the job. The one thing they can't tolerate is missed tackles. Allen is an excellent tackler, but he missed two against the Packers. He'll have to be on his game against the Bears' big, physical wide receivers, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. At 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, Marshall is built like a tight end, which shouldn't bother Allen because, as a former safety, he's accustomed to covering tight ends. Marshall is playing with an ankle injury that has diminished his elusiveness. In fact, he has only 24 yards-after-the-catch on 13 receptions, so he's basicaly going down as soon as he catches it. Allen has to make sure it stays that way.

    > http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/jet...lson-and-allen

  19. #19
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    Jets' challenge : One ball, several options

    -- In Sunday's loss to the Green Bay Packers, the New York Jets' passing attack was a two-man show, Eric Decker and Jeremy Kerley. They're taking steps this week, behind closed doors, to make sure other players get involved.Wide receiver David Nelson, targeted only once in the game, said there have been discussions with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg on the subject. Nelson described them as positive in nature, not gripe sessions, adding that these type of conversations are typical throughout a season. "It's been brought up, I'll leave it at that -- not in a dysfunctional manner, though," Nelson said. "It was brought up to identify that we want to get more guys involved. I'm not singling myself out. It's not me complaining about not getting the ball. It was just, as an offense, we're identifying we want to get the ball to more guys. Hopefully, we can do that, moving forward.

    "A lot of it has to do with us trying to find out identity, trying to fit the pieces," he added. "In the preseason, you're trying to see what guys can do. With Eric and Jace (Amaro), there are a lot of new additions. The coaches want to see what the flow is and what guys can do. I think you'll start to see it be more fluid."

    Nelson said he has talked with Mornhinweg and quarterback Geno Smith."We're having healthy conversations," he said. "There's no panic, there's no frustration. It's just that guys are competitors. They want the ball, they want to show what they can do. At the end of the day, it's about winning."

    After two games, Decker (nine catches) and Kerley (eight) are the leading receivers. Nelson, a starter, has only two receptions. Jeff Cumberland leads the tight ends with five; Amaro has only three catches. The Jets drafted Amaro in the second round, expecting him to upgrade the passing game. Just last week, Rex Ryan said Amaro was on the verge of becoming a "major" factor. "His time will come," Smith said of Amaro. "He's got to stay patient within the offense, we all do. It's early. Everyone wants to make plays, everyone wants to be the guy who's sparking the offense, but we've got to depend on one another and continue to do that."

    Decker is nursing a hamstring injury and his status for Monday night against the Chicago Bears is uncertain. Obviously, the dynamic would change if he doesn't play. Nelson and Kerley would be the every-down receivers, with Greg Salas playing in three-receiver packages.

    > http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/jet...everal-options

  20. #20
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    Decker, Milliner on pace to play

    -- New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker expressed some optimism that he could play on Monday despite a lingering hamstring injury that kept him out of practice on Wednesday.

    “Well, it’s one day, my mentality is to take it one day at a time,” Decker said. I would love to play, so [I] am just making sure that we take the right steps. Don’t do too much, but do enough to feel it out and make a decision once that day rolls around.”

    Jets coach Rex Ryan addressed Decker and Dee Milliner, who had a high ankle sprain but played in Sunday’s loss in Green Bay. “Both of those guys we will see how they progress,” Ryan said. “They were not practicing today, but we will see how they do. We’re confident that they will be ready. We know that they are going to work to get out there. I’m confident, we’ll see how it goes during the week, but I should say I guess I’m hopeful that they will play.”

    Decker said that he didn’t have an MRI on the hamstring and that he doesn’t think there is a tear or any new or more concerning injury. This is likely a continuation of the training camp issue and he said he just needs to be careful with it. “I can’t give you a timeline,” Decker said. “I can just tell you that right now, every day I am going to try and do a little bit more and see how it feels, and keep at it, whether it’s a strengthening program, or a stretching program, whatever they have for me, and we are going to be smart with it. But, I want to get out as soon as I can for my teammates, so I am going to obviously make a smart choice, but try to get out there.”

    “[The trainers] seem to be feeling pretty confident that these guys can get better,” Ryan said. “They’re already since they left on Sunday.”

    Milliner didn’t play as well as the team expected. The second year cornerback played for the first time since he sustained the high ankle sprain Aug. 10.

    “I have been doing good,” Milliner said. “Like I said, I am still doing my rehab, progressing day in and day out.”

    Does Ryan think he brought Milliner back into a game too quickly ?

    “I don’t feel that way,” Ryan said. “I thought he started the game well. Obviously at the end of the game he didn’t play as well as he’s capable of, but no, I don’t think so.”

    > http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/jet...n-pace-to-play

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