CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 12: Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears looks for a receiver against the New England Patriots at Soldier Field on December 12, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Patriots defeated the Bears 36-7. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jay Cutler
The Jets are playing to get in the playoffs, while the NFC North champion Bears need a win to have a shot at a bye and a good seed. Chicago is a scant one-point favorite, meaning Las Vegas has no clue what's going to happen at Soldier Field today. Here's what you need to know before tuning in.
Revis Island? -- Against the Redskins, Jay Cutler threw four interceptions because he forced passes, challenging top cornerback DeAngelo Hall. Will he do the same against Pro Bowler Darrelle Revis? He's said he would, because he has faith in his receivers. He should have faith in statistics, too. Though Revis has been one of the best corners in the league, he's been hampered by injury and the late start forced by his contract holdout. He doesn't have an interception this season. The Jets only have seven.
Just how special are the teams -- Jets coach Rex Ryan has no plans to let Devin Hester add to his record return touchdown total. The Jets plan not to kick it to Hester. Plenty of teams have made that plan before, but the winds at Soldier Field don't always cooperate. The Bears have their own return problems, as the Jets' Brad Smith is one of the league's best on kickoff returns. He has 1,366 yards and two touchdowns.
Mark Sanchez ready to play -- Despite torn cartilage in his shoulder, Mark Sanchez will start today. He's been up and down this season, with a quarterback rating ranging from 127.3 in the Jets first game against New England to 27.8 in the team's second game with New England.
Ground weapons -- The Jets are averaging 140 yards per game on the ground, thanks to a resurgent LaDainian Tomlinson. The 2006 MVP had a down year in San Diego before signing with the Jets. Now, he's on pace for a 1,000 yard season and will be a challenge for the Bears. Their run defense has stopped other top 15 rushers: Minnesota's Adrian Peterson and Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy had just 53 yards against the Bears.
Let it snow -- For the second week in a row, the Bears will play in snow, but the temperature will be much warmer than the single-digit wind chills that Chicago has become accustomed to. The high for the day is 30 degrees. Balmy!
History lesson -- The Bears and Jets will be playing for just the tenth time. Chicago leads the series 6-3.