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Ryan hopeful Jets can contain Bears


The New York Jets have watched the film and don't particularly like what they see.

Going up against the Bears next Monday, the Jets realize their pass defense is going to need to be a whole lot better than it has been through the first two weeks of the season to stack up with Chicago's wealth of offensive playmakers.

"You've got two monsters out there in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. Those are two guys that jump out at you. And the tight end's a big dude, (Martellus) Bennett," Jets coach Rex Ryan said Wednesday in a conference call with Chicago reporters. "And Kyle Long's a Pro Bowl running back and, oh, by the way, you have Jay Cutler."

"It's a strong group. There's a reason why this offense was second in the league last year in scoring."

The Jets pass defense has allowed an average of 221.5 yards during their first two games, and the unit was exposed a week ago in the team's 31-24 loss to Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers threw for 346 yards and three touchdowns, while New York was unable to force any turnovers following the game's opening snap, which Rodgers fumbled.

Now they must face a Bears passing offense that features two receivers that reached the Pro Bowl a year ago in Marshall and Jeffery. Ryan said containing the Bears passing attack will be a test for his team's secondary.

"It's the challenge that every team in the league faces against them," Ryan said. "These guys are matchup nightmares. Brandon Marshall, unfortunately I've had to go against this guy a long time. He is right there with all the best receivers in the game. He uses his big body. He can go deep on you. Run routes, inside, outside. He's an outstanding player."

"And then Alshon Jeffery is a guy that just burst on the scene last year, but I mean he's a big guy that has great ball skills and he can run."

Ryan also has great familiarity with another Bears wide receiver. Santonio Holmes played for the Jets from 2010-2013, helping the franchise reach the AFC Championship Game in his first season in New York.

"I really enjoyed him," the coach said of Holmes. "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 four games."

The Jets will rely on the NFL's top rushing attack to wear down the Bears. New York runs for 179.0 yards per contest, thanks to a strong one-two punch in the backfield, with speedy running back Chris Johnson and physical bruiser Chris Ivory sharing the load.

Johnson, who signed with the Jets during the offseason after spending the first six seasons of his career with Tennessee, told the Chicago media he enjoys his role in the Jets rushing attack.

"You know it's a situation coming over here to a new team, a new offense, new scheme, I think it's a situation where both guys can be successful in the offense," Johnson said. "If you look at the couple games we've had, we probably ran the ball over 30, 35 times (in each one)."

"Running backs don't last long in this league, so I wouldn't sit here and say that I want the ball 35 times every game, so you always need another guy who can get in the game. And the talent level doesn't drop, we still have confidence in whatever guy is in the game. We can mix things up in this offense and be able to have a change-of-pace guy."

New York also has an up-and-coming quarterback in Geno Smith. The team's second-round draft choice in 2013 has improved his accuracy this season, completing 65 percent of his passes. Ryan said Smith's improvement began at the end of last year, when as a rookie, he helped the Jets win three of their final four games.

"The last month of the season when (Smith) had the second-highest quarterback rating in the league, that's when we saw it as well," Ryan said. "This kid's a good football player. He's poised. He can run. He's accurate. And… he's got good command of this offense. He does a good job recognizing coverage now."

"Obviously it's going to be a challenge with the Bears. That's a group that always does a good job in takeaways."

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