EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Returning to the stadium he called home last season when he played for the New York Giants, Bears safety Ryan Mundy made an immediate impact Monday night.
On the game's second play from scrimmage, Mundy intercepted Geno Smith's pass intended for running back Chris Johnson and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown, giving the Bears a 7-0 lead.
"They tried to run a screen pass," Mundy said. "I was playing cover three. I got a good break on the ball. We preach turnovers around here and when you get it you've got to take it to the house. So I'm just doing what I'm coached."
The touchdown was the first of Mundy's seven-year NFL career. He had a 91-yard interception return in last year's season opener with the Giants but was tackled at the 1-yard line.
The Bears have now won 13 straight games when scoring a defensive touchdown, a streak that dates back to the 2011 season finale.
Mundy was unable to finish Monday night's game, exiting in the third quarter with a shoulder injury he sustained while covering a kickoff.
"I wish I could have been out there fighting with my brothers," he said. "It's a tough situation, but I'm going to fight through it and hopefully I'm going to be ready for next week."
Special teams standout: After Mundy's interception, the Bears generated their second takeaway moments later when rookie Ahmad Dixon recovered a muffed punt by the Jets' Jalen Saunders.
"I saw the ball drop and I just sped up and took another step and dove on the ball," Dixon said. "Senorise Perry did a great job of jumping on top of the guy so I could get the ball."
On the Bears' next punt, Dixon raced downfield and drilled Jeremy Kerley an instant after he caught the ball, tackling him for no gain.
"It's the same thing; just get down there as fast as possible," Dixon said. "Coach tells us every day to win with speed. If you win with speed, you'll beat your man, and that's something I tried to take into this week. Last week I was thrown in there. I didn't play with much speed. Coach did a great job of coaching me up this week and helping me make the plays that I made."
Missed opportunity: The Bears could have secured Monday night's win much earlier on the Jets' final possession, but linebacker Jonathan Bostic dropped a Smith pass thrown directly to him.
"I made that game a lot harder than it needed to be," Bostic said.
Starting for the injured Shea McClellin at strongside linebacker, Bostic led the Bears with 13 tackles.
"He played hard," said coach Marc Trestman. "The one thing that was very evident was he was running to the ball. He was hitting. He was playing good assignment football. I was disappointed for him that he didn't get that catch late. That interception would have closed the deal a little bit quicker, but he played very hard tonight and the experience can only help him."
On the ground: The Bears held the NFL's top-ranked rushing offense to 114 yards, 65 fewer yards than the Jets averaged in their first two games against the Raiders and Packers. Chris Ivory rushed for 44 yards on 10 carries and Chris Johnson added 34 yards on 10 attempts.
"Our run defense I thought was very good again," Trestman said. "It was very physical down there, guys running to the ball. It wasn't perfect, [but] it never is."
This and that: The Bears held an opponent to under 20 points for the first time since a 28-13 win at Arizona on Dec. 23, 2012, a span of 20 games. … The Bears have now won 10 of 12 appearances on Monday Night Football since 2008, including six of their last seven. … Tight end Martellus Bennett caught two touchdown passes for the second time in his seven-year NFL career, matching what he accomplished on Sept. 15, 2013 in a 31-30 win over the Vikings at Soldier Field.
Super subs: The Bears played without five opening-day starters. In addition to Bostic filling in for McClellin, replacements included Kyle Fuller for Kyle Fuller at cornerback and Will Sutton for Ego Ferguson at defensive tackle. For the second straight game, Brian de la Puente started for Roberto Garza at center and Michael Ola opened for Matt Slauson at left guard.