EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Chicago Bears took advantage of early mistakes by the sloppy New York Jets.
Then they had to hold their breath before hanging on for a 27-19 victory Monday night.
Jay Cutler threw two touchdown passes to Martellus Bennett, and Ryan Mundy returned an interception 45 yards for a score. Cutler finished 23-of-38 for 225 yards, and Alshon Jeffery caught eight passes for 105 yards for the Bears, who got a 45-yard field goal from Robbie Gould to make it an eight-point game with 3:10 remaining.
The Jets (1-2) had one last opportunity to tie, getting into Bears territory on Geno Smith’s 51-yard pass to Greg Salas. But Jeremy Kerley was out of bounds when he caught Smith’s desperation fourth-down heave from the Bears’ 9.
Smith threw for 316 yards and a score with two interceptions – and nearly had a few others. Kerley finished with seven catches for 81 yards, and almost came up with a diving grab off a tipped pass in the end zone on the final drive.
The Bears (2-1) went up 14-0 just over five minutes into the game.
On New York’s second play from scrimmage, Smith didn’t see Mundy lurking in the flat as he floated a screen pass to Chris Johnson. Mundy stepped in front of the toss and ran untouched for a 45-yard score.
After the Jets stopped the Bears on three plays on their first offensive series, rookie Jalen Saunders dropped Patrick O’Donnell’s punt at his 40 and it was recovered by Ahmad Dixon.
Cutler later found Bennett on a 7-yard pass that made it 14-0.