The Bears didn’t have Khalil Mack available for action Sunday but they didn’t need him. They beat Sam Darnold and the Jets 24-10.
Mack was ruled out after testing his gimpy ankle on the field before the pregame warmups. It’s the first game that he’s missed in his NFL career.
“Trust me he wants to be out there,” said head coach Matt Nagy following the game. “I just think right now that’s was what was best for him and what was best for us and we had guys that stepped up.
Aaron Lynch took Mack’s place at outside linebacker. “We still went out there and played great football,” said Lynch. “Obviously Khalil Mack is a great addition when he is on the field but we showed we don’t necessarily need him to win a game.”
The Bears defense was far from dominant. It had only one sack and it didn’t force a turnover. But it didn’t have to be great against a Jets team devoid of playmakers and with a rookie quarterback at the helm in Sam Darnold. Darnold passed for only 153 yards while completing 14 of 29 passes.
The Bears offense didn’t exactly light up the scoreboard, but there was a highlight play made with 5:24 to play in the fourth quarter when Mitch Trubisky tossed a screen pass to Tarik Cohen and Cohen took it 70 yards for a touchdown.
“It was just a great call by the offensive staff,” said Cohen. “We ran the screen against the blitz and that’s always a good thing. When I turned up field I just didn’t see anybody. I was kind of nervous and I didn’t see anybody. I just seen green grass so I just took it.”
“You see the play call and coach had a great call for that situation,” said Trubisky. “You see the look pre-snap and everything works out post-snap so that’s like a dream scenario for one of the screens that you can get a run like that.”
Trubisky threw a second touchdown pass to Anthony Miller in the third quarter. The Bears also got Jordan Howard involved. He rushed for a four year touchdown with 7:08 remaining in the game to put it away. Howard rushed for 81 yards on 21 carries.
The Bears raised their record to 4-3. They’ll travel to Buffalo next Sunday.