It wasn’t the result the Jets wanted, a 27-19 loss to the Bears, but this team deserves some credit. Down two touchdowns midway through the first quarter, they battled back and made a game of it, even threatening to take the lead on a couple of occasions.
Bad quarterback play from Geno Smith, including two poorly thrown interceptions, killed any hopes of a Jets comeback. But there is plenty to take away from this loss. Despite a 1-2 record, the Jets have hung with two of the better teams in the NFL back-to-back weeks.
We look at three positives to take away from the loss.
1. Mr. Consistent
Time after time, Jeremy Kerley has become a consistent force on third down. But he was much more than that on Monday night. Kerley became the playmaker downfield with Eric Decker active but severely limited due to a hamstring injury. He had a 19-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter, part of a night where he had seven catches for 81 yards. They were not gaudy numbers, but considering the poor quarterback play, it is clear Kerley is the catalyst for the offense when Decker is not on the field and a very consistent No. 2 for the Jets.
2. Tone Time didn’t strike
Current Bears wide receiver Santonio Holmes was quiet in his return to New York after four seasons with the Jets. Yes, he got booed during a punt return in the first quarter and was booed again later in that same quarter when he made a 6-yard connection with Cutler. Before the game, Holmes shook hands with several members of the coaching staff, including head coach Rex Ryan, but the Jets defense wasn’t so friendly. They did a good job limiting him, even when Brandon Marshall went down in the second quarter with an ankle injury. He finished with just two catches for nine yards and had a negligible impact on special teams. Holmes was hoping for a big return to New York, instead he was a nonfactor in the Bears win.
3. Automatic from anywhere
Nick Folk continued his strong start to the season with field goals of 43 yards and 42 yards. One of the few bright spots of the offense, he had four field goals on all four of his attempts as he continues to justify his longterm deal this offseason. Folk has made all seven of his field goal attempts this year — three of which have been greater than 40 yards. The season is young, but he certainly is worthy of some Pro Bowl chatter as his field goals kept the Jets alive as the offense struggled.
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.