The Bears struggled on both sides of the ball Sunday throughout a lopsided 31-10 loss to the Jets at MetLife Stadium.
Backup quarterback Trevor Siemian led the Bears offense in place of the injured Justin Fields despite hurting his oblique during pregame warmups. While third-string QB Nathan Peterman was announced as the starter about 45 minutes before kickoff, Siemian ended up taking the field on the Bears' first offensive series.
Siemian told reporters postgame he wanted to play through the injury since he wasn't limited and "could do everything I needed to do."
"Just throwing, something wasn't right, flared up on me," Siemian said of his pregame injury, "and then got back in the locker room, figured something wasn't right again, but gave it a go. That was that."
Siemian led the Bears offense on back-to-back scoring drives to open the game, including a 4-yard touchdown pass to receiver Byron Pringle. But the unit was held scoreless for the remainder of the contest.
"The first half was competitive; we were in it," Eberflus said. "I thought our offense did a good job driving the ball a couple times versus a very good defense. We had a three-and-out, we did a nice job, then they drove the ball, but missed the field goal. So I thought we were very competitive there.
"And the second half, just wasn't good enough. We didn't tackle well enough on defense, didn't play good enough third-down defense. Obviously we had a bunch of three or four-and-outs on offense."
The Bears defense allowed four touchdowns and 466 total yards in the game. Jets quarterback Mike White completed 22 of 28 pass attempts for 315 yards and three touchdowns. Receiver Garrett Wilson was targeted eight times, catching five passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns.
Siemian finished the game with 14 completions on 25 attempts for 179 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Running back David Montgomery totaled 79 rushing yards on 14 carries.
Heading into Sunday's game, the Bears were without Fields (left shoulder) and rookie defensive backs Jaquan Brisker and Kyler Gordon—who both missed the contest with concussions—among others. They also lost several others to injuries during the game including safety Eddie Jackson (foot) and receiver Darnell Mooney (ankle).
When asked what the Bears offense lost when Mooney got injured in the third quarter, Siemian said, "speed, explosive plays, leadership."
"It stinks," Siemian said. "As a player, terrible, but if you've spent any time with Darnell, he's one of the best dudes in the locker room. So that's the part of the game that stinks, but he's a strong dude. But like I said, guys like that, when anybody gets hurt, but especially Darnell, it's tough to see."
With their fifth straight loss, the Bears fell to 3-9. The Jets improved to 7-4 with the victory.
The Jets opened the game with a 9-play, 75-yard scoring drive as White found Wilson open in the end zone for an 8-yard touchdown. White completed six of his seven pass attempts for 69 yards on the drive, finding Wilson three times. New York faced just one third down on the possession, which resulted in the TD.
Kicker Cairo Santos put the Bears on the board with a 22-yard field goal to make it a 7-3 game with 5:59 remaining in the first quarter. On third-and-six at the Chicago 29, Siemian completed a short pass to running back David Montgomery, who shed a tackle and took it for a 26-yard gain to the Jets 45. Siemian then found running back Darrynton Evans over the middle with room to run, allowing for a 33-yard pickup to reach the New York 9, but the Bears' offense stalled in the red zone as Siemian's pass attempt to receiver Chase Claypool in the end zone on third-and-goal fell incomplete.
Siemian and Pringle connected for a 4-yard touchdown at the start of the second quarter, giving the Bears a 10-7 lead. After the Bears defense forced a three-and-out, Siemian came out firing, completing a 20-yard pass over the middle to Claypool on the first play of the drive. Three plays later on third-and-1, Siemian kept the drive going with a successful QB sneak. He then threw a deep ball to Claypool, who made a leaping grab along the sideline at the Jets 9 despite being interfered with by cornerback Sauce Gardner. Facing third-and-goal, Siemian then found Pringle in the back of the end zone as the receiver snagged the ball over the head of cornerback D.J. Reed.
"I mean, BP just running in the back of the end zone, made an awesome play," Siemian said on the touchdown throw to Pringle. "I mean, dude is tough as nails, he's athletic, big catch radius. So he made a great play on that, made another great tough catch at the end on a slant. But he's a fun player to play with for sure."
The Jets looked to tie the game up in the middle of the second quarter with a 36-yard field goal attempt, but holder Braden Mann fumbled the snap. The Bears took over at their own 18, but went three-and-out as Siemian was stopped on a third-and-1 quarterback keeper.
On the ensuing Jets possession, White threw a 54-yard touchdown pass over the middle to Wilson, just over the outstretched hands of linebacker Matthew Adams, giving the Jets a 14-10 lead with 4:57 to play in the first half. Wilson caught the ball in front of Kindle Vildor, then juked the cornerback to move up the field. Jackson injured his foot shortly after White threw the ball, leaving an open lane for the receiver to reach the end zone.
New York increased its lead to 17-10 just before halftime as kicker Greg Zuerlein connected on a 57-yard field goal. White completed back-to-back 9-yard passes to receiver Corey Davis and running back Michael Carter to reach the Chicago 38. Defensive tackle Armon Watts then recorded the Bears' first sack of the day for a loss of seven yards, bringing up third-and-13. White found receiver Denzel Mims, but the Bears defense stopped him two yards short of the first-down marker, sending out the field goal unit.
White threw his third touchdown pass of the day, this time a 22-yard completion receiver Elijah Moore, putting the Jets up 24-10 with 6:35 to play. The Jets went 53 yards in six plays. On their only third-down attempt, White found Moore deep down the left side for the score.
A 32-yard touchdown run by running back Ty Johnson gave the Jets a 31-10 lead with 2:28 to play in the third quarter. White completed a deep ball to tight end Tyler Conklin for a 29-yard gain then threw a 14-yard pass to running back Zonovan Knight to reach the Chicago 32. On the next play, Johnson broke multiple tackles down the left side of the field to get free for the score.
With 8:09 to play, Zuerlein missed a 53-yard field goal attempt, allowing the Bears to take over at their own 35. While Siemian led the offense downfield, completing a 12-yard pass to receiver Dante Pettis then an 8-yard pass to Pringle to reach the New York 10, he was intercepted by linebacker C.J. Mosley at the 3-yard line on a pass intended for tight end Cole Kmet.
Watch the Bears' Week 12 matchup against the New York Jets unfold through the lenses of our sideline photographers at MetLife Stadium.