After stunning New England last Sunday, the Jets have given themselves a fighting chance at the playoffs. They've dropped some games they shouldn't have, but they've also rebounded when necessary. Their 5-4 record is a surprise given the lack of expectations around this team when the season began. And their remaining schedule is hardly daunting, except for this Sunday's home date with the Chicago Bears.
At 8-1, the Bears have proven themselves to be the class of the NFC. Their win against the Giants last week means that, barring a collapse, the road to the Super Bowl in that conference will go through Chicago. Their dominance has made them touchdown favorites over the Jets for the game at the Meadowlands.
The Jets' challenge will be to not treat this game as a house-money game. Who knows where they'll slip up along the way through the rest of their schedule? Coming off a win against a division rival, the Jets will have to guard against a letdown. The Bears will too, since they just played a prime-time game against a rival for playoff positioning. When all is said and done, the Jets defense will have to play like it did last week, and their offense will have to hope the Bears defense takes a day off. Otherwise, it will be a long day for quarterback Chad Pennington, and the Jets will be back at the .500 mark they've grown familiar with this season.