On a cold, blustery day in Chicago, the Bears defeated the New York Jets in a surprising 38-34 shootout at Soldier Field. Quarterback Jay Cutler completed 13-of-25 passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns. It was his sixth 100-plus quarterback rating of the season (104.2).
For the Jets, running backs Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson combined for 98 yards and two touchdowns against a tough Bears defense, but it wasn't enough. In the end, the Bears won the battle of special teams, and it ultimately led them to victory.
The electrifying Devin Hester proved once again that those who chose to kick in his direction do so at their own risk. His sole punt return of the afternoon went for 38 yards, which set up the Bears' second touchdown of the third quarter. His only kick return, a 40-yard dash through the New York coverge unit, set up their next score.
With the win, Chicago remains in line to capture the second seed in the NFC playoffs. Of course, the first two seeds enjoy a week off as they await the winners from the wild card round. With the Eagles now forced to play the Dallas Cowboys on a short week, a bit of rest before their probable playoff run would be a nice reward.
In order to get that first round bye, the Eagles will need to beat the Vikings on Tuesday night and Dallas next week, while the Bears would have to lose next Sunday in Green Bay.
-- Posted by Josh Goldman, 4:30 p.m., December 26