Chicago Bears first-year coach Matt Nagy already has a three-game winning streak on his brief resume.
Now, Nagy will try to avoid adding his first career three-game losing streak.
Chicago (3-3) will attempt to snap a two-game skid when it welcomes the New York Jets (3-4) on Sunday afternoon. This marks the first meeting between the teams since 2014 and the first matchup in Chicago since 2010.
The Bears are coming off a pair of single-digit losses against the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots. Meanwhile, the Jets are coming off a 20-point loss to the Minnesota Vikings after winning their previous two.
“We just keep pushing along,” Nagy told reporters this week in comments published by the Chicago Tribune. “Adversity strikes and you’ve got to be prepared to (go through) peaks and valleys. We’re in a valley right now. So we’ve got to get out of the valley.”
To do so, the Bears will rely on Mitchell Trubisky’s right arm — while hoping the best for linebacker Khalil Mack’s right ankle.
Trubisky is going for his fourth start in a row with 300-plus passing yards. But the second-year signal-caller remains a work in progress following a two-interception performance against the Patriots.
Nagy spent part of this week defending Trubisky, who has an impressive 97.1 passer rating on the season.
“He played a better game than most people think he played,” Nagy said.
Jordan Howard (311 rushing yards, two TDs) and Taylor Gabriel (329 receiving yards, two TDs) represent the Bears’ statistical leaders on the ground and through the air, respectively.
The team’s top playmaker on defense is Mack, but a sprained ankle has placed doubt on his availability (questionable) and potential effectiveness. Allen Robinson (groin) is also questionable.
The Jets are no stranger to injuries, either.
New York placed running back Bilal Powell (neck) and safety Doug Middleton (pectoral muscle) on season-ending injured reserve this week. The absence of Powell likely will increase pressure on running back Isaiah Crowell, who is playing despite soreness in his foot and ankle.
The Jets bolstered their roster this week by signing Rishard Matthews, a former Tennessee Titans wide receiver. Matthews has 228 receptions for 3,147 yards and 21 touchdowns in 82 career games.
“He’s actually a phenomenal player,” Jets linebacker Avery Williamson said during an interview with WFAN-AM. “I played with him in Tennessee for two years. He’s a passionate player and talented, very talented.
“He can add some great things to the receiving corps. Great hands and he can make something out of nothing. I’ve seen him make some phenomenal catches.”
Matthews will be needed, as wideouts Quincy Enunwa (out) and Robby Anderson (doubtful) did not practice all week. Cornerback Trumaine Johnson (quad, doubtful) and center Spencer Long (knee/finger, questionable) also missed practice all week.
—Field Level Media