Analysis: It's not fair to blame a game on one play, but you have to admit the Jets going for it on 4th-and-3 from their own 40 with a 7-point lead really got the Bears started on offense. Cutler hit Johnny Knox on the very next play for a 40-yard TD play. From that point, the Jets defense got picked apart. Offensively, the interception notwithstanding, it was a good day for Sanchez. He spread the ball and it for several long plays. The Jets (10-5), despite the loss, are still playoff-bound, however, because the Jaguars loss to the Redskins, 20-17, in overtime. If the playoffs started today, the Jets would be the sixth seed. With a win at home against Buffalo next Sunday, the Jets could get the fifth seed if they end up with the same record as the Steelers (11-4).
The Bears (11-4), meanwhile, can clinch a first-round bye next week if they win.
Fourth quarter: Mark Sanchez was intercepted on the Jets final drive to seal it for the Bears.
The Bears were forced to punt with 1:14 left in the game. The Jets have it 1st-and-10 from their own 28 with 1:03 left. A bad punt came up short and hit a Jet and rolled back 10 yards.
After two straight three-and-out by the Jets offense, Weatherford had another fantastic punt, pinning the Bears on their own 5 with 3:02 to go.
After starting from their own 25, the Jets drive stalled at the Bears 35. But they punted and have the Bears working from the 9 with 5:33 left in the game.
The Jets defense held, although it was a nailbiter. The Bears had the ball 1st-and-10 from the Jets 16, but a sack of Cutler and a pass defense in the end zone prevented Chicago from extending its lead. Robbie Gould missed a 35-yard field goal attempt. The Jets take over 1st-and-10 from the Bears 25.
Third quarter: The Jets did a nice job trying to answer, but fell short as Sanchez missed Holmes on a 3rd-and-6 play. But the Jets did get three points on a 34-yard field goal by Nick Folk. Key plays: Edwards 12-yard catch, Keller 7-yard catch, Tomlinson 8-yard run. Drive: 11-plays, 51 yards. Bears 38, Jets 34.
Back and forth they go. The Bears came right back as Cutler connected with Knox, again, for a 26-yard touchdown. The key play was Hester, again, with a 40-yard kick return that set the Bears up with a 1st-and-10 on the Jets 49. Knox also had a 13-yard catch the play before his touchdown. Bears 38, Jets 31.
The Jets stemmed the tide quickly as Sanchez directed a quick 4-play, 66-yard drive. Holmes was on the receiving end of a 23-yard scoring pass from Sanchez. Key Plays: Edwards 19-yard catch, Greene 18-yard run. Drive: 4-plays, 66 yards, 1:53. Holmes 18-yard TD. Jets 31, Bears 31.
The avalanche is really beginning to pick up for the Bears. After the Jets ill-fated attempt to go for it on 4th-and-3 and the Bears answer on the next play with a 40-yard score, Cutler hit Devin Hester on a 25-yard TD pass. Hester set this up with a 38-yard punt return that set the Bears up with a 1st-and-10 on the Jets 32. Bears 31, Jets 24.
Just like that the score is tied as the Bears took advantage of the Jets going for it on their own 40. Cutler connected with Johnny Knox for 40 yards and a TD. Jets 24, Bears 24.
Not a great way to start the second half for the Jets. After what looked like a simple three-and-out and a punt, the Jets kept their offense in and decided to go for it. Sanchez' pass was knocked away and the Bears took over on the Jets 40.
Hafltime stats -- Passing: Sanchez 13-15, 156; Cutler 7-14, 98 1 INT. Rushing - Greene 8-44, 1 TD; Forte 8-46, 1 TD; Receiving: Keller 4-61, Holmes 3-46, Edwards 2-29; Forte 3-52.
Second quarter: The Jets didn't flinch after the last Bears TD as Shonn Greene helped his team take a 24-17 lead on a Nick Folk 26-yard field goal. Jets could've taken a 28-17 lead, but Keller dropped a pass in the end zone. Key Plays: Greene 12-yard run, Holmes 18-yard catch, Greene 11-yard run. Folk 26-yard FG. Drive: 8-plays, 59-yards, 2:25. Jets 24, Bears 17.
The Bears are really starting to exploit the Jets lack of a pass rush as Cutler sat back and went to work completing 4 of 6 passes for 67 yards on a 7-play, 64-yard drive. He scored on a 2-yard run around the right corner. Key plays: Forte 24-yard catch, Bennett 14-yard catch, Forte 24-yard catch. Drive: 7-plays, 64 yards, 2:55. Jets 21, Bears 17.
The Jets offense has found its groove. Sanchez connected on a 16-yard pass play to Holmes and Brad Smith took a wildcat run play 12 yards, setting up the Jets with a 1st-and-goal from the Bears 3. Tomlinson finished off the drive with a 3-yard TD run on the next play. The key was the Jets defense forcing the Bears to punt from their own 3. It was a poor punt and the Jets took over on their own 36. Key plays: Holmes 16-yard catch, Smith 12-yard run. Drive: 6 plays, 36 yards, Tomlinson 3-yard run, 2:39. Jets 21, Bears 10.
The Jets have made it two straight TDs as Dwight Lowery picked off a Jay Cutler pass and returned it 20 yards for the touchdown. Jets 14, Bears 10.
The Jets came right back. And Mark Sanchez was the catalyst as he went 5-for-5 for 70 yards during a 9-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a Shonn Greene 3-yard TD run. Key plays: Dustin Keller 13-yard catch, Keller 26-yard catch, Keller 18-yard catch, Braylon Edwards 13-yard catch. Drive: 9-plays, 80-yards, 4:58. Bears 10, Jets 7.
First quarter: The Jets fumbled twice on their first drive. Right guard Brandon Moore recovered Tomlinson's fumble, but Santonio Holmes fumbled again two plays later. The Bears recovered on the Jets' 45. All it took was four plays for the Bears to convert as Matt Forte scored on a 22-yard run. Key plays: Johnny Knox 13-yard catch on a ball that was tipped by tight end Greg Olsen, Forte 8-yard run. Drive: 4 plays, 45 yards, 1:53. Forte 22 TD run. Bears 10, Jets 0.
The Jets bend-but-break philosphy on defense was put to the test again. The Bears converted on two of three third-down plays, although one was because of a Calvin Pace pass interference call. But the Jets defense held as Brodney Pool made a nice tackle on Matt Forte on a 3-and-7 screen play. Robbie Gould kicked a 37-yard FG. Key plays: Devin Hester 14-yard catch, Calvin Pace, 19-yard pass interference penalty. Drive: 11 plays, 66 yards, 5:20. Gould 37 FG. Bears 3, Jets 0.
We're back a for another exciting game on the Jets blog. Marcus Henry is back to take you through an critical game between the Jets (10-4) and the Bears (10-4) from Soldier Field.
Although the Bears have clinched a playoff berth by virtue of winning the NFC North, Lovie Smith's crew would love to clinch a first-round bye. They currently have the same record as the Philadelphia Eagles and will likely need to win at least one of their final two games to have a shot at the bye. Meanwhile, the Jets have yet to clinch a post season berth. A win today, or a loss by either the Colts (8-6) or the Jaguars (8-6) would give the Jets the nod.
The Jets are certainly smiling now that both Mark Sanchez (shoulder) and Santonio Holmes (turf toe) will play this afternoon. It's a relief when you consider the mini "controversy" the Jets had to endure with this Rex Ryan foot-fetish fiasco. The Jets seem to be masters at playing with this type of drama. Last week the Jets shook off the after-effects of "Tripgate" and tripped up (pun intended) the Steelers.