EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — 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.
Cutler took a knee three times to seal the victory for the Bears (2-1).
“Right now I feel I’m very intelligent on the field,” said Bennett, now in his seventh NFL season. “The game is getting a lot easier. I know the offense better. I know what Jay wants.”
Smith was 26 of 43 for 316 yards and a touchdown 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.
“There were some plays you wish you could have back,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said.