The Chicago Bears’ (11-4) offense stepped up today in its 38-34 win against the New York Jets (10-5); however, it was the Bears’ clutch safety Chris Harris who saved the day for the team.
With 52 seconds left on the clock and the Jets marching down the field to score, Harris intercepted Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. The Bears used their remaining timeouts to let the clock run down and took the win.
Harris now leads the team in interceptions with five. The veteran safety was reacquired by the Bears in the offseason from the Carolina Panthers and has proven to be a valuable playmaker for the team this season.
Looking back at the game, the Bears got off to a good start and took a 10-0 lead by the end of the first quarter. However, the Jets came storming back in the second quarter with three straight touchdowns. The Bears narrowed the margin by grabbing a touchdown with 2:44 remaining but the Jets scored a field goal before ending the quarter.
The Bears entered the locker room at the half down 24-17.
In a quarter that is typically not the best for Bears’ scoring, today the third quarter was the lucky charm: the Bears scored 21 points.
After Bears wide receiver Rashied Davis broke up an attempted Jets’ fake punt at the beginning of the third quarter, the Bears had the ball on the Jets’ 40-yard line. It was a momentum change for the Bears and on the next play, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler hit wide receiver Johnny Knox on a 40-yard touchdown pass.
Let the third quarter games begin.
At the 10:29 mark, Hester scored with a 25-yard pass from Cutler, followed by a second Knox touchdown at the 6:06 mark from a 26-yard Cutler pass.
During the third quarter scoring frenzy, the Jets snuck in a seven points to narrow the Bears lead to 38-31. At the beginning of the fourth quarter they had their final score for the day with a field goal. The Bears held onto their 38-34 lead for the win.
Without the monkey on his back, Devin Hester’s high level of play continued and he wore his dual hats well today.
When he wore his wide receiver hat, Hester had three catches for 48 yards and one touchdown. When he wore his Bears kick/punt returner hat, Hester returned one punt for 38 yards and one kick for 40 yards, putting the Bears in good field position.
For the day, Cutler ran for a touchdown in the first half and threw his three touchdown passes in the third quarter. He was 13 of 25 passes for 215 yards, one interception and one sack.
Sanchez was 24 of 37 for 269 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Bears running back Matt Forte was in top form with 19 carries for 113 yards, one touchdown and 56 receiving yards. With today’s numbers, Forte is the first running back this season to rush for 100 yards against the Jets.
Knox had four receptions for 92 yards and two touchdowns. He is 40 yards shy of a 1,000 yard receiving season.
On Sunday, the Bears will travel to Lambeau Field. With today’s rout of the New York Giants, Green Bay kept their playoff hopes alive.
The Bears will look for the Minnesota Vikings to beat the Philadelphia Eagles on Tuesday to get their playoff No. 2 seed and first-round bye; however, if the Eagles win, the Bears will need to get their desired seed the old-fashioned way: by beating Green Bay.
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Written by Debbie Baratz