Under the spotlight: Nelson and Allen

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Each week we will select two players on the New York Jets -- one on offense, one on defense -- who figure to play a key role in the upcoming game:

OFFENSE: David Nelson, wide receiver -- With Eric Decker (hamstring) a question mark, Nelson's role grows in importance. He was targeted twice in the first two games (both receptions), a stunningly low number when you consider he ran 51 pass routes. Against the Green Bay Packers, he didn't see a ball until the five-minute mark of the fourth quarter. It's difficult to assess the root of the matter -- is he not getting open or is it the play calling? -- but there's a chance to break out Monday night against the Chicago Bears. The 6-foot-5 Nelson will either be covered by a smurf (Tim Jennings, 5-foot-8) or a rookie (Kyle Fuller). The Jets have to figure out a way to maximize Nelson's skill set.

DEFENSE: Antonio Allen, cornerback -- Allen is a neophyte at the position, so he's bound to make technique errors. The Jets will have to live with those as he learns on the job. The one thing they can't tolerate is missed tackles. Allen is an excellent tackler, but he missed two against the Packers. He'll have to be on his game against the Bears' big, physical wide receivers, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. At 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, Marshall is built like a tight end, which shouldn't bother Allen because, as a former safety, he's accustomed to covering tight ends. Marshall is playing with an ankle injury that has diminished his elusiveness. In fact, he has only 24 yards-after-the-catch on 13 receptions, so he's basicaly going down as soon as he catches it. Allen has to make sure it stays that way.