The New York Giants losing streak extended to seven straight games Sunday when they lost 19-14 to the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.
The Giants dropped to 2-9 on the season and the Bears improved to 5-6. A Dallas Cowboys victory over the New England Patriots Sunday afternoon would officially eliminate the Giants from the playoffs.
“Hard-fought game that we came out on the losing end,” said coach Pat Shurmur. “We’ve just got to get back home and get back to work.”
Both the Giants and Bears played a sloppy first half that resulted in a combined 10 points as dropped passes and penalties negatively impacted both teams. Rookie tight end Kaden Smith scored the first touchdown of his career in the second quarter and Bears’ kicker Eddy Pineiro converted a 26-yard field to close out the half with the Giants leading 7-3.
The Bears took a 10-7 lead on their first drive in the third quarter on a 32-yard touchdown catch by Allen Robinson. A Bears field goal and touchdown increased Chicago’s lead to 19-7 as the Giants were held scoreless for the entirety of the third quarter. Down by 12 heading into the fourth, the Giants found the end zone again when Jones completed a 23-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Golden Tate on a fourth-and-18 to pull the Giants within five with just over four minutes to play. The Giants would not be able to pull off the comeback though, falling 19-14.
Safety Jabrill Peppers left the game with a hip injury. It is unclear when he left but he did not play at all in the second half. Peppers had 71 tackles, three forced fumbles and one interception entering Sunday’s game.
Dropped passes for both teams
The Bears entered Sunday’s game second-worst in the league with 17 dropped passes. The Giants, meanwhile, were not far behind at sixth-worst in the NFL with 14 dropped passes. These statistics only got worse on each team’s first-quarter possessions.
On the Giants second possession of the game, quarterback Daniel Jones had a wide open Saquon Barkley on the sideline on third and short. Barkley let the ball slide right through his hands, preventing what should have been an easy first down.
With just over eight minutes left in the first quarter, the Bears started to pick up some momentum and move down the field thanks to a 20-yard pass from Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky to Robinson for 15 yards. But then Bears tight end Ben Braunecker dropped a pass a handful of plays later - something that would come back to haunt them when Giants linebacker Alec Ogletree intercepted Trubisky’s pass up the middle intended for Anthony Miller, to give the Giants back the ball with just under two minutes left in the quarter. The Giants were unable to take advantage of the change in possession though, failing to even enter field-goal territory.
Second quarter: Rosas misses twice
The Bears almost put themselves in scoring position on a 60-yard pass from Trubisky to Robinson that would have put Chicago on the Giants 24-yard line. But a hands to the face call brought the ball right back and the Bears were ultimately forced to punt.
On the Giants’ following drive, wide receiver Sterling Shepard rushed for 22 yards for his fifth carry of the year. Two plays later, a short pass from Jones to tight end Scott Simonson gave the Giants the ball on the Chicago eight-yard line. New York struck first when Jones threw a three-yard pass short left to Smith for a touchdown at 7:43 in the second quarter.
After shutting down the Bears on their following possession, the Giants started in Bears territory for the second straight drive when Jabrill Peppers returned the ball for 42 yards. But another bad snap by Zak DeOssie caused Aldrick Rosas to miss the 42-yard field goal. On the Giants following possession, they started inside the Chicago 50-yard line. After advancing to the Chicago 25-yard line, Rosas missed yet another field goal - this time for 43 yards - wide left. And this one was not DeOssie’s fault. Rosas has a miss in five straight games.
“I think it was pretty obvious what happened today, right?,” Shurmur said. “We just didn’t make ‘em.
“There’s three parts to it, right? You need the snap, you’ve got to hold and you’ve got to kick. We missed two today. We’ve got to just move past that.”
The Bears tacked on three points with 11 seconds left to play in the half when Pineiro converted a 26-yard field goal to pull Chicago within four.
Third quarter: Giants offense shut down
The Bears struck first in the second half when Trubisky threw a 32-yard touchdown to Robinson on their opening drive to give Chicago a 10-7 lead at 12:19 in the third quarter. On the Bears following possession, Trubisky completed a a 49-yard pass to Robinson to advance to the Giants 45-yard line. Trubisky completed his next three passes to give the Bears the ball on the Giants six-yard line. Then, at 7:12 in the third quarter, Pineiro converted a 24-yard field goal to increase the Bears’ lead to 13-7.
On the Giants’ following possession, Jones was sacked at the Giants 14-yard line and fumbled the football, which was then recovered by Bears defensive tackle Nick Williams at the Giants three-yard line. It marked Jones’ 14 fumble this season and his 10th lost fumble, which is the most in the NFL. Trubisky rushed for a 2-yard touchdown score, making the score 19-7 at 5:23 in the third quarter.
The Giants did not convert a first down for the entire quarter.
Fourth quarter: Giants’ rally falls short
The fourth quarter opened up with an interception by Trubisky. His pass was intended for Javon Wims, but was intercepted by Love at the Chicago 20-yard line and returned 30 yards to the 50. Yet again though, the Giants were unable to capitalize on the opportunity and punted the ball on their following possession.
The Giants found their offensive footing for the first time in the second quarter when Jones completed a 23-yard touchdown pass to Tate with 4:17 left in the game. The Giants were then trailing by five with three timeouts left after having recored minus one of total offense in the second half. With 1:50 left and no more timeouts, the Giants went for it on fourth down and four and were unable to convert. The Bears held on to win, 19-14.
Jones was 21 of 36 on the day with 150 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Barkley’s struggles continued as he finished the game with 17 rushing attempts for 59 yards.
Wide receiver Darius Slayton led the team yet again with four receptions for 67 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, cornerback Corey Ballentine led the team with nine tackles, including eight solo.
The Giants will return home for the first time since Nov. 4 when they host the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium on Dec. 1 at 1 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast on FOX.