The New York Giants mounted an impressive comeback but ultimately fell short, 17-13, to the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on Sunday afternoon. New York drops to 0-2 on the season as Chicago improves to 2-0.
The first half of Sunday’s game against the Bears was all Chicago. The Bears had the ball for 20:01 compared to 9:59 for the Giants and Chicago scored 17 unanswered points to claim a commanding lead to start the game. Both of Trubisky’s touchdown passes were completed on third down and the lone field goal of the first half came after Daniel Jones fumbled and turned the ball over.
An interception by Julian Love in the third quarter set up a Giants field goal that put New York on the board for the first time in the afternoon. Shortly after, New York put together a 95-yard scoring drive at the end of the third quarter that ended in a touchdown run by Dion Lewis and pulled them within seven. A James Bradberry interception set up another field goal in the fourth quarter to pull the Giants within four.
New York got the ball back with just over two minutes left to play in the game and no timeouts. A missed field goal by Chicago set the Giants up on the 40-yard line. Jones led his team down the field and converted two fourth-down conversions to get all the way to the Bears’ 10-yard line. On the final play of the game though, Golden Tate was called for offensive pass interference and the final score stood at 17-13.
“I’m very proud of the way our team fought,” Joe Judge said after the game. “I’m proud of the way they finished the game in the second half.”
Oh no, Saquon
After a Week 1 performance in which he recorded just six rushing yards and then had to face critique from Tiki Barber on his ability to be a complete back, Barkley seemed to be off to a stronger start with 22 yards in the first quarter alone.
But his luck ran out on the opening drive of the second quarter. The Bears’ Eddie Jackson tackled Barkley to the ground and Barkley immediately grabbed his right leg and removed his helmet. Barkley was taken off on the cart for X-Rays. He did not return to the game.
Running back Wayne Gallman was not activated for the game, so the run game promptly fell to the veteran Lewis in Barkley’s absence.
“I don’t have a diagnosis on his knee,” Judge said. “He’s going to see some doctors tomorrow. Obviously we’re all praying for the best. Regardless of the outcome, I’ll just say this: I wouldn’t fall asleep on 26. It’s going to be a hell of a story either way.”
The turnovers continue
After he threw two interceptions against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1, the concerns about Jones’ turnover rate from last season resurfaced. In his rookie campaign, he recorded 18 fumbles in 13 games and 23 giveaways.
Today, Jones was sacked in the first quarter, which resulted in a turnover that led a Bears field goal. Then in the second quarter, Jones threw a pass up the middle that was intended for Evan Engram. Engram slipped on the play however, giving Deon Bush an easy interception.
Regardless, that’s four turnovers for Jones in six quarters of play to open up the 2020 season.
Third down for the Bears? No problem.
Last week against the Detroit Lions, the Bears were two-for-11 on third down, an obvious weak spot in the offense that the Giants should have tried to exploit.
Yet the Bears were a different team on third down from the opening drive of Sunday’s game. They converted four of five third down plays on their first drive alone, leading to a 12-play, 82-yard scoring drive that gave the Bears an early 7-0 lead.
Those third-down giveaways included a deep pass over the middle from Mitchell Trubisky to Allen Robinson for 17 yards, a short five-yard gain by Tarik Cohen and the touchdown play itself was a 28-yard pass to David Montgomery on third-down-and-seven.
Chicago’s ability to extend plays not only highlighted the defense’s inability to finish, but also kept the offense off the field for the majority of the first quarter. Admittedly, Jones’ fumble on the Giants opening drive is also to blame for that. But the Bears had the ball for 12:04 minutes, compared to the Giants’ 2:56.
Then, to close out the first half, Trubisky completed a 15-yard touchdown pass to Darnell Mooney to give the Bears a 17-0 lead heading into the locker room. The Bears completed the play on third-down-and-eight.
Chicago successfully converted seven-of-10 third downs in the first half alone, and logged 192 total yards.
A couple of positives
The Giants forced a turnover of their own in the beginning of the third quarter when Bradberry batted the ball away from Robinson, allowing Love to intercept the pass. A third-down drop by Darius Slayton forced the Giants to kick a field goal. Graham Gano converted the 39-yard kick to put New York on the board for the first time in the game.
Also in the second half, Sterling Shepard was officially ruled out of the game with a toe injury. He was seen going back and forth to the locker room earlier in the game, but received an official designation in the third quarter.
Another tough injury to swallow for the Giants, especially for Jones who finally had healthy receivers/backs on the field. That didn’t last long...
But let’s get back to the positives.
The Giants only reached Bears territory on two possessions in the first half and did not have any plays in the red zone. They finally put together their best drive of the game at the end of the third quarter. New York started at its own five-yard line and drove all the way down the field to complete an 11-play, 95-yard scoring drive that culminated in a one-yard touchdown run by Lewis. With that score, New York found itself trailing just 17-10 at the start of the fourth quarter after an abysmal first half of play.
Mounting a comeback
That 95-yard scoring drive got New York back in the game. Then, the interception by Bradberry on the sideline when he grabbed the ball out of Robinson’s hands with 12:21 left in the game officially gave the Giants momentum. New York was unable to reach the endzone on the drive, but did convert a 37-yard field goal to make it a four-point game.
The Bears attempted a 50-yard field goal with just over two minutes left in the game, but Cairo Santos missed it. This was significant not so much because of the missed points, but because New York got the ball at the 40-yard line to set up a potential scoring drive in which they would have needed a touchdown score regardless.
The Giants converted two fourth downs on their final drive of the game to move all the way up to the Bears’ 10-yard line, but it was not enough as Golden Tate was called for offensive pass interference and the Giants fell, 17-13, as time expired.
Jones recorded 25 completions in 40 attempts for 241 yards, and one interception in the game.
Lewis had 10 rushing attempts for 20 yards and one touchdown.
Seven different Giants recorded at least one reception in the game.
On the defensive side of the ball, Blake Martinez led the team with eight total tackles, one quarterback hit and one tackle for loss. The Giants defense recorded four sacks in the game.
The Giants will return home next week to host the San Francisco 49ers at MetLife Stadium at 1 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast on FOX.