Giants Defeat Bears, Even Record to 2-2: It was an old-fashioned, defensive slug-fest, but the Giants’ offense finally came to life in the second half of the game and New York soundly beat the previously undefeated Chicago Bears 17-3 at the New Meadowlands Stadium on Sunday night. With the win, the Giants are 2-2 and find themselves tied for first place in the NFC East with the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles.
The Giants out-gained the Bears in first downs (18 to 6), total net yards (372 to 110), net yards rushing (189 to 59), and net yards passing (183 to 51). The Bears were 0-of-13 on 3rd down conversion attempts and the Giants sacked Bears’ quarterbacks 10 times.
The Giants’ defensive line was relentless, led by defensive ends Justin Tuck (3 sacks) and Osi Umenyiora (3 sacks). Also getting in on the sack-fest was DT Barry Cofield (1.5 sacks), DT Chris Canty (1 sack), CB Aaron Ross (1 sack), and MLB Jonathan Goff (0.5 sacks).
Nevertheless, the Giants only led the game 3-0 at halftime. Aside from New York’s second possession, an 11-play, 76-yard drive that resulted in a 22-yard field goal, the Giants’ offense was completely shut down in the first half. Of the Giants’ other six first-half possessions, four resulted in three-and-outs. The other two did not pick up a first down, one ending with a missed 38-yard field goal and the other a fumble by QB Eli Manning that was recovered by the Bears. At the intermission, the Giants had only picked up four first downs and 98 yards of offense.
The good news was that the Bears’ offense was even more pathetic as Chicago was held to two first downs and 22 yards on eight first-half possessions.
Not much changed at the start of the third quarter. New York went three-and-out on its two first possessions of the second half.
Then came the turning point when the Giants put together an 8-play, 90-yard drive that ended with a touchdown, giving the Giants a 10-0 advantage. The big plays on the drive were a 21-yard pass from Manning to WR Hakeem Nicks on 2nd-and-17, a 25-yard pass from Manning to H-Back Travis Beckum, and a 25-yard run by HB Ahmad Bradshaw. Bradshaw finished the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run.
The Giants’ offense kept the Bears hanging around until late in the fourth quarter. There was another three-and-out, and two lost fumbles. One was a strip against Brandon Jacobs that gave the Bears the ball at the Giants’ 29-yard line. The Bears only picked up seven yards, but it was enough to set up a successful 40-yard field goal that cut the lead to 10-3. Then it looked like the Giants were about to put the game away for good on the ensuing drive. The Giants moved steadily down field, but Bradshaw fumbled the ball away and the Bears recovered at their own 1-yard line.
However, the Giants’ defense – as it did all game – rose to the challenge and only allowed the Bears to gain one yard in three plays. The Bears punted out of their end zone and the ball was returned to the Bears’ 32-yard line. After a 30 yard pass from Manning to Nicks, Jacobs scored from two yards out to give the Giants a commanding 17-3 advantage.
The Giants’ defense was almost as equally impressive in the second half as it was before intermission. In the Bears’ seven second-half possessions, four drives ended with a three-and-out, another with an interception, and the final drive on downs. The Bears were held to only four second-half first downs.
Highlights of the game are available at NFL.com.
Post-Game Injury Report: FB Madison Hedgecock was seen limping badly in the locker room after the game.
DE Mathias Kiwanuka, who missed the game with a bulging disc, told reporters that he might be able to play next Sunday against the Houston Texans.
Post-Game Notes: Inactive for the Giants were WR Ramses Barden, OC Shaun O’Hara (ankle/Achilles), OT William Beatty (foot), DE Mathias Kiwanuka (neck), DT Rocky Bernard (back), LB Keith Bulluck (toe), LB Phillip Dillard, and CB Bruce Johnson.
Former Giant Michael Strahan addressed the defense on Thursday and former Giant Jessie Armstead addressed the entire team on Saturday night.
30 Named to Ring of Honor: The following individuals were enshrined in the Giants’ Ring of Honor during halftime ceremonies of the Giants-Bears game:
- Owners Jack Mara, Tim Mara, Wellington Mara, Bob Tisch
- General Manager George Young
- Head Coaches Steve Owen, Jim Lee Howell, Bill Parcells
- Quarterbacks Charlie Conerly, Y.A. Tittle, Phil Simms
- Running Backs Ken Strong (and punter and kicker), Tuffy Leemans, Frank Gifford (and receiver), Joe Morrison (and receiver), Tiki Barber
- Wide Receiver Amani Toomer
- Offensive linemen Mel Hein, Rosie Brown, Al Blozis (and defensive line)
- Defensive linemen Andy Robustelli, George Martin, Michael Strahan
- Linebackers Sam Huff, Harry Carson, Lawrence Taylor, Jessie Armstead
- Defensive Backs Emlen Tunnell, Dick Lynch
- Kicker Pete Gogolak