Bears Shut Down Jets for 10-0 Victory
Sunday, November 19th 2006, 3:48 pm
By: News On 6
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) The Chicago Bears allowed the New York Jets to hang around for 3 quarters. Everything changed when the 4th quarter began. Mark Bradley turned a short completion into a 57-yard touchdown 10 seconds into the final quarter, and the Bears beat the Jets 10-0 on Sunday.
With Chicago leading 3-0, the Bears faced a 2nd & 6 when Rex Grossman tossed an 11-yard pass to Bradley neat the right sideline. Bradley stepped away from Drew Coleman's tackle attempt as the cornerback slipped, allowing Bradley to sprint untouched into the end zone.
Chicago (9-1) notched its second shutout this season, the Bears blanked the Packers at Green Bay on September 10th. The Bears, coming off a 38-20 victory over the New York Giants, also became the first road team since the 1999 Washington Redskins to win two straight games at the Meadowlands.
Thomas Jones had 121 yards on 23 carries, and Grossman overcame an unproductive first half to go 11-22 for 119 yards and a touchdown.
The Jets (5-5), who came into the game off a big win against New England last week, had two long drives end on interceptions thrown by Chad Pennington against the NFL's top-rated defense. The Bears entered the game having caused a league-leading 27 turnovers.
The game was supposed to be a measuring stick of whether the Jets are real playoff contenders. If this performance was any indication, they might have to think twice about making postseason plans.
The teams were scoreless through the 1st half, the first time that's happened in the NFL since Pittsburgh and Jacksonville did it September 18th. But the Jets had the best scoring chance of the first half early in the 2nd quarter.
After starting on their own 24-yard line, the Jets marched down the field and got down to the Bears 6. On New York's 13th play of the drive, Pennington attempted to connect with Jerricho Cotchery but Brian Urlacher stepped in front of the throw in the end zone and returned the interception 36 yards.
It was the second interception of Pennington's career in the red zone, and the first of two poor decisions that resulted in turnovers.
The Jets moved to the Bears 30 late in the 3rd quarter when Alex Brown put heavy pressure on Pennington, who lobbed a pass to Chris Baker that was easily picked off by Nathan Vasher. Pennington finished 19-35 for 162 yards passing and the 2 interceptions.
New York opened the 2nd half by trying to catch the Bears off guard with an onside kick, but Chris Harris was able to recover at New York's 44. Jones ran the ball on the next 7 plays, gaining 42 yards and setting up Robbie Gould's 20-yard field goal that gave Chicago a 3-0 lead 4:21 into the 3rd quarter.
The Jets nearly doubled the Bears in 1st-half yardage, 156-80, and Grossman had just 7 yards on 5-12 passing. The Bears quarterback didn't complete another pass until he connected with Muhsin Muhammad for a 28-yard gain on 3rd down with 4:31 left in the 3rd quarter.