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Jets vs. Bears: Bigger Can Be Better on Deep Balls

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

There aren't many teams in the NFL who have the size at the receiver position the Chicago Bears do. Brandon Marshall is listed at 6'4". Alshon Jeffery (you might remember him as the 1,400 yard receiver who the Jets passed on to take Stephen Hill) is listed at 6'3". Together they represent a matchup nightmare for most teams in the NFL, particularly teams with iffy cornerback play like the Jets have.

Last year Jay Cutler only played 11 games and still had the 7th most completions in the league with 24 completions traveling at least 20 yards. Jeffery and Marshall both rated in the top 6 among wide receivers in deep catches.

What makes this offense so difficult to face is the playmaking ability Marshall and Jeffery have. Even if they don't run past you, they still are capable of the big play. Cutler doesn't mind throwing the ball up and letting his big guys outleap and outphysical the defensive backs. Take a look at where Jeffery and Marshall have been this season on deep completions when Cutler has been ready to get rid of the ball. There isn't a ton of separation.




You can see where this has the potential to be a big problem for the Jets. 6'2" Antonio Allen has the best physical attributes to try and combat this, but he's still very raw at a brand new position and seems to have problems tracking the ball. Darrin Walls and Kyle Wilson are both 6'0" and below and not terribly physical. Who even knows where Dee Milliner is going to be physically heading into this one?

Two receivers like this you can trust to win contested balls are a dream for a quarterback like Jay Cutler, a big time physical talent prone to mechanical lapses and bad decision-making. Even playing banged up on Sunday against the 49ers, they made an impact.

Ultimately the pass rush is going to probably have to step up to prevent the Bears from being able to attempt long-developing passes. I'm not sure there's another way.