The Bears (1-1) will play in their second consecutive primetime contest when they travel to take on the New York Jets (1-1) in the final game of the Week 3 slate.
What's new: Looking to fix a passing attack that ranked 31st in the NFL last season the Jets signed former Broncos receiver Eric Decker during the offseason. Decker's arrival has helped second-year quarterback Geno Smith, who is completing 65.0 percent of his passes this season after connecting on 55.8 percent as a rookie. In two games, Decker is averaging 15.2 yards per reception, including a 29-yard touchdown last Sunday versus Green Bay. Decker's presence on the outside has also helped the Jets rushing attack, which leads the NFL this season, averaging 179 yards a contest during the first two weeks of the year.
What's old:** As long as Rex Ryan is coaching the Jets, the team will be known for its defense. This season is no different, as New York is a speedy and talented team on that side of the ball. Through two games, the Jets are allowing only 274.0 yards per contest, third-fewest in the NFL. They are especially tough up front, where talented defensive ends Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson lead the way. Opponents run for only 52.5 yards per game versus the Jets, the lowest average in the league.
Last time out: The Jets' Week 2 game couldn't have started out any better. Facing the Packers at Lambeau Field, New York's defense recovered a fumbled snap on the game's opening play from scrimmage, helping them jump out to a 21-3 lead. However, Green Bay rallied back, eventually taking a 31-24 lead near the end of the third quarter. The Jets tried to respond in the fourth quarter and put together a 13-play drive, taking the ball inside the Packers' 30-yard line. But Smith's final three passes all fell incomplete, allowing the Packers to regain possession and run out the clock.
Series history: The Bears are 7-3 all-time versus the Jets, including wins in the last three meetings. The most recent matchup came on December 26, 2010, when the Bears defeated New York 38-34 in an exciting game at Soldier Field. Jay Cutler threw three second-half touchdowns for the Bears, who had already clinched a playoff berth. Even with the loss, the Jets clinched a playoff spot that day as well, thanks to some of their AFC rivals losing. Both teams wound up in their respective conference championship games that season.
Ex-factor: Chicago has two ex-Jets on its roster, while New York has no former Bears. Wide receiver Santonio Holmes played for the Jets from 2010-2013, starting 41 games and hauling in 16 touchdowns. Injured left guard Matt Slauson also played in New York, from 2009-2012.
The strongest connection the Jets have to the Bears is through their coach, Rex Ryan. He is the son of former Bears defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan, who helped lead Chicago to a victory in Super Bowl XX. Rex Ryan served as a ball boy for the Bears when he was growing up and stood on the Chicago sideline during the team's Super Bowl victory.
Injury report: The loss to Green Bay was felt in more ways than just the standings, as the Jets suffered some key injuries in the defeat. Decker hurt his hamstring in the game and left the contest in the third quarter. His status for Monday is unknown, as the team will see how he rehabs through the week. Cornerback Dee Milliner should play versus the Bears, as he was active against the Packers after missing the previous month because of a high ankle sprain.
Did you know?: The only other time the Bears and Jets have met on "Monday Night Football" took place nearly 23 years to the day before this coming game. On September 23, 1991, at Soldier Field, it appeared the Jets were going to escape with a big road win, as they held a 13-6 lead at the two-minute warning of the fourth quarter. Chicago defensive lineman Steve McMichael changed all that, as he stripped the ball from Jets running back Blair Thomas and recovered the fumble, giving his team possession with 1:54 remaining. Quarterback Jim Harbaugh then drove the Bears down the field, throwing a six-yard touchdown to Neal Anderson as regulation time expired to tie the game. In overtime, each team had multiple possessions before the Bears finally mounted a scoring drive, as Harbaugh's one-yard sneak into the end zone gave Chicago a 19-13 win.