Jets will have hands full on road against Mitchell Trubisky’s Bears

There’s no shame in losing to the Minnesota Vikings. They came within one win of reaching the Super Bowl last season, and they entered 2018 with continued high expectations.

But last Sunday’s 37-17 drubbing dropped the New York Jets to 3-4 for the second year in a row. That fact encapsulates the team’s stagnation.

A visit to the Chicago Bears (3-3) doesn’t look promising, either. Although Chicago has lost two straight, the team routinely has played up to its competition. The bar to do so in Week 8 against the Jets is not very high.

Here’s a look at the biggest challenges facing Gang Green on Sunday.

Troublesome Trubisky

The Bears’ franchise quarterback is putting it all together this season after an unimpressive rookie campaign. Trubisky has 11 touchdown passes in his last three games, more than the seven he posted in 12 starts last year. 

Three games doesn’t make him a top passer, but safety Jamal Adams and the Jets’ hobbled secondary have no choice but to respect him and the numbers he’s been posting. Same for the linebackers, who must be wary of Trubisky’s abilities as a runner.

Jets fans can look to Trubisky as an example of a highly touted passer gutting out early struggles to make it right in Year 2. They can only hope the same happens with Sam Darnold.

Mack attack

The Chicago defense once again is a force. Although plenty of players and coaches deserve credit, the preseason trade for All-Pro edge rusher Khalil Mack helped them reach the next level.

Although not statistically as dominant as usual through six games, Mack remains an impact player who demands attention from opposing blockers — not exactly the Jets’ strongest area.

Part of his recent quietness has been due to playing through a sprained ankle. He remains a fixture of the Bears’ injury report, but he can still make Darnold’s day a rough one.

Mounting injuries

The Jets are banged up right now. That’s not unique in the NFL at the midway point, but this team isn’t as deep as its peers. 

The offense in particular figures to suffer this week and beyond. Running back Bilal Powell is done, leaving inconsistent Isaiah Crowell to carry the load. The wideout corps is in tatters, with New York this week signing former Tennessee Titans receiver Rishard Matthews to fill out the roster.

Chicago’s defense ranks second in takeaways. With few healthy playmakers, that’s bad news for the Jets on the road.

Scott’s prediction

Bears 27, Jets 17