Twice is Nice in New Jersey

The Bears went in to the Meadowlands for a second consecutive week and came away with their second consecutive victory. The offense sputtered most of the afternoon, but the defense was impenetrable in a 10-0 blanking of the New York Jets. The Monsters of the Midway move their record to 9-1 on the season and are still in complete control of the NFC.

The Chicago Bears got off to a slow start and allowed the New York Jets to hang around for three quarters, but the Monsters of the Midway made the plays they needed to in the fourth and final period.

Mark Bradley turned a short completion into a 57-yard touchdown 10 seconds into the final quarter as the Bears beat the Jets 10-0 on Sunday.

With Chicago leading 3-0, the Bears faced a 2nd-and-6 when Rex Grossman hit Bradley on a short curl route near the right sideline. Bradley stepped away from Drew Coleman's tackle attempt and sprinted into the end zone untouched.

Chicago (9-1) notched its second shutout this season. The Bears blanked the Packers at Green Bay in the season-opener. Coming off a 38-20 victory over the New York Giants, they also became the first road team since the 1999 Washington Redskins to win two straight games at the Meadowlands.

Thomas Jones had 121 yards on 23 carries, and Grossman overcame an unproductive first half to finish 11-of-22 for 119 yards and a touchdown.

The Jets (5-5), who came into the game off a big win against New England last week, had two long drives end on interceptions thrown by Chad Pennington against the NFL's top-rated defense. The Bears entered the game having forced a league-leading 27 turnovers.

The game was supposed to be a measuring stick of whether the Jets are real playoff contenders. If this performance was any indication, they might have to think twice about making postseason plans.

The teams were scoreless through the first half, the first time that's happened in the NFL since Pittsburgh and Jacksonville were similarly blanked on September 18. But the Jets had the best scoring chance of the first half early in the second quarter.

After starting on their own 24-yard line, the Jets marched down the field and got down all the way to the Bears 6. On New York's 13th play of the drive, Pennington attempted to connect with Jerricho Cotchery, but Brian Urlacher stepped in front of the throw in the end zone and returned the interception 36 yards.

It was just the second interception of Pennington's career in the red zone and the first of two poor decisions that resulted in turnovers.

The Jets moved to the Bears 30 late in the third quarter when Alex Brown put heavy pressure on Pennington, who lobbed a pass to tight end Chris Baker that was easily picked off by Nathan Vasher. Pennington finished 19-of-35 for 162 yards passing and the two interceptions.

New York opened the second half by trying to catch the Bears off guard with an onside kick, but Chris Harris was able to recover at New York's 44. Jones ran the ball on the next seven plays, gaining 42 yards and setting up Robbie Gould's 20-yard field goal that gave Chicago a 3-0 lead 4:21 into the third quarter.

The Jets nearly doubled the Bears in first-half yardage - 156-80 - and Grossman had just seven yards on 5-of-12 passing. The Bears quarterback didn't complete another pass until he connected with Muhsin Muhammad for a 28-yard gain on third down with 4:31 left in the third quarter.

JC


Bear Report Top Stories