Nov 212016
 
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Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (November 20, 2016)

Sterling Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants 22 – Chicago Bears 16

Overview

Before we get into the minutiae of the Giants-Bears game, sometimes it is important to take a step back and look at the overall picture. With 10 regular-season games down and six to go, the New York Giants find themselves with the third-best record in the NFC. Before the season started, most Giants fans would have gladly accepted a 7-3 record at the 10-game mark (though no one envisioned the Cowboys being 9-1 with a rookie quarterback, and the Giants clearly played the Packers and Vikings at the wrong time).

With six regular-season games left to play, the Giants already have more wins than they did in 2014 and 2015, and the same amount of wins they had in 2013. The Giants are winning the close games as seven of their victories have been by a total of 27 points. The Giants have gone from 32nd in defense to 16th (11th in in scoring defense) despite being 29th in team sacks with 18. On the other hand, the Giants offense has fallen from 8th in the NFL in 2015 to 20th in 2016 (rushing game from 18th to 31st being the biggest culprit). Perhaps the most remarkable statistic is that the Giants are 7-3 despite being 29th in the NFL in turnover differential (-7).

What this all means is there is still tremendous room for improvement. The defense has rapidly improved despite struggling to sack quarterbacks and forcing turnovers until the last few games. The offense is still capable of dramatically improving if it cuts down on turnovers and sustains drives better with a more consistent running game, the latter which is finally showing some signs of life. The Giants have yet to score more than 28 points in a single game. They can do better than that.

As for the game, the Bears had to be thrilled with the windy conditions. Jay Cutler is not a good quarterback, but he has the type of arm that can cut through the wind. Eli Manning doesn’t and the conditions helped to neutralize the strength of the Giants offense. Greater emphasis was placed on the ground game where the Bears held the advantage coming into the contest. In effect, the playing field was leveled for the Bears. This was the type of game where you are just thrilled to get out with a win and relatively healthy.

Giants on Offense

Some fans will say the Giants offense stunk in the first half because the team only scored nine points. But the Giants only had three first-half offensive possessions, and two of those resulted in scoring drives. That offensive success continued early in the 3rd quarter as the Giants scored two touchdowns. However, after the Giants gained a 6-point lead, the offense went into a shell for the rest of the game as the next five possessions resulted in only two first downs and five punts. Had New York lost this game by 1-point, the fans and the media would be calling for Ben McAdoo’s head. Good defense covers up a multitude of sins.

That all said, on a terribly windy day, the Giants played a very clean game. No turnovers. No sacks. One offensive penalty. The Giants were 3-of-3 (100 percent) in the red zone. The Giants only had one offensive play over 21 yards.

Quarterback

Statistically, it was not an awe-inspiring game for Eli Manning as the team was held to 6.3 yards per pass play. But it was an efficient game despite treacherous windy conditions. Manning finished 21-of-36 for 227 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no interceptions for a quarterback rating of 95.5. What impressed me was the way Eli calmly avoided pressure to buy more time to deliver the football. The Giants scored four times on their first five possessions (three touchdowns and a field goal). Manning was 5-of-6 on the first TD drive, including a 15-yard pass on 4th-and-2. And despite six incompletions on the second scoring drive, Manning helped to set up the 46-yard field goal with a 5-yard pass on 4th-and-2. (Manning was lucky that the ensuing 3rd-and-10 pass was not intercepted). On the third scoring drive, Manning had key passes of 12 yards to Sterling Shepard on 3rd-and-8, a 20-yard sideline shot to Odell Beckham, and then a 9-yard touchdown throw to Will Tye. On the final scoring drive, Manning rushed for four yards on 3rd-and-4, made an excellent play by scrambling out of trouble and finding Victor Cruz for a huge 48-yard gain, and then threw a 15-yard scoring strike to Shepard on 3rd-and-4. In the last five possessions, Eli was 2-of-7 for nine yards. Both of his completions came up 1-yard short of the first down marker. His dumb-ass moment of the game was his last throw when he forced a 3rd-and-10 pass to Jennings that came close to being a game-winning pick-6 for the Bears.

Running Backs

The backs were not great, but it was a respectable performance on windy day where the Giants desperately needed their running game to be respectable. Rashad Jennings was the leading runner (7 carries for 34 yards and a touchdown) and receiver (5 catches for 44 yards) for the Giants in the first half. The longest gain on the team’s first scoring drive was his 16-yard screen reception, and he finished this drive off with a 2-yard touchdown run. Jennings was responsible for 49 of the team’s 57 yards on the field goal drive, including a 12-yard reception, a 21-yard run, a 10-yard reception, and a 5-yard, tackle-breaking catch on 4th-and-2. On the second TD drive, Jennings gained four yards on 3rd-and-1. While Jennings did pick up two first downs on the last five possessions (10-yard run on 2nd-and-4 and a 12-yard run on 2nd-and-9), Jennings and the rest of the team failed to move the chains the rest of the game.

Paul Perkins only carried the ball four times for 16 yards. The niftiest run of the game was his 11-yard cutback on 2nd-and-9 on the first TD drive. He did have two catches for 16 yards. Overall, Jennings and Perkins rushed for 101 yards on 25 carries (4.0 yards per carry).

Wide Receivers

A rare game where a receiver other than Odell Beckham was the leading target for Eli Manning. Sterling Shepard was targeted 11 times, catching five passes for 50 yards. His three most noteworthy receptions were his 15-yard, juking run-after-the-catch reception on 4th-and-2 that set up the first touchdown; his 12-yard reception on 3rd-and-8 on the second TD drive; and his 15-yard touchdown on 3rd-and-4 for the team’s final score. Beckham had a quiet game with five catches for 46 yards, the most significant being his 20-yard reception on the second touchdown drive. Victor Cruz only had one catch, but it was a big one – a 48-yard gain on the final TD drive. Roger Lewis (5 snaps) caught a key 8-yard reception on 3rd-and-7 on the field goal drive. Unfortunately, Lewis was injured on this play and did not return. Overall, aside from Cruz’s big gain, the receivers were limited to 9.5 yards per reception.

Tight Ends

Larry Donnell went from being bench to being inactive. The bulk of the snaps went again to Will Tye who caught 2-of-5 passes thrown in his direction for 12 yards a touchdown. He also dropped a pass. Jerell Adams (17 snaps) was targeted once but did not have a catch. Blocking by the tight ends was decent.

Offensive Line

With Justin Pugh (knee) and Brett Jones (calf) out, Marshall Newhouse started at left guard. The Giants received a scare when he suffered a sprained knee and was replaced by Adam Gettis for five plays, but Newhouse returned and finished the game. The offensive line did not allow a sack and Eli Manning was only officially hit four times. Meanwhile, Giants running backs average 4.0 yards per carry for a total of 101 yards. Ereck Flowers was flagged with a holding penalty that wiped out a first down and sabotaged the Giants second possession and had some shaky moments in pass protection. Marshall Newhouse gave up one big hit. But overall, the line played fairly well.

Giants on Defense

It really was a tale of two halves for the Giants defense. The Bears had four possessions in the first half and scored on their first three: a 9-play, 76-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown; a 7-play, 39-yard drive that resulted in a 40-yard field goal; and an 8-play, 79-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was 11-of-14 for 126 yards and a touchdown in the first half with tight end Zach Miller catching three passes for 61 yards and a 19-yard score. The Giants defense also had trouble stopping running back Jordan Howard as he rushed for 72 yards on 12 carries in the first half (the Bears as a team rushed for 88 yards in the first half).

In the second half, the Bears were shut out. Their seven possessions resulted in a missed field goal, five punts, and an interception. Chicago only gained five yards on the ground and four first downs in the second half. Overall, the defense accrued four sacks, seven tackles for losses, six QB hits, seven pass defenses, and one forced fumble.

The Bears offense did have five plays over 20 yards and two plays over 30 yards. The defense was only flagged with two penalties.

Defensive Line

When evaluating each unit, one must take into account the tremendous early success the Bears offense had combined with defensive shutdown in the second half. The defensive line did not play well for the first 30 minutes, but they woke up after the break. All of the Giants four sacks came in the 4th quarter. Jason Pierre-Paul had a tremendous second half and he was credited with 5 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 tackle for a loss, 3 QB hits, 1 pass defense, and 1 fumble. With the Giants only leading by six points, JPP’s 13-yard sack on 1st-and-10 from the Giants 30-yard line at the 2-minute warning may have saved the game. JPP also drew a holding penalty earlier on this drive and could have had another sack in the 4th quarter but whiffed on Cutler. Olivier Vernon was credited with 3 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 tackles for losses (one for a 7-yard loss). But he was also flagged with a ticky-tack roughing-the-pass penalty. Johnathan Hankins had 6 tackles, 0.5 sacks, and 1 tackle for a loss. Damon Harrison had six tackles and deserves special mention for his hustle way down field to tackle the back on a screen pass. Romeo Okwara (15 snaps) had one tackle for a loss and Owamagbe Odighizuwa (12 snaps) was credited with a QB hit.

Linebackers

Like the defensive line, much, much better in the second half. Kelvin Sheppard (32 snaps) led the linebackers with six tackles, followed by Devon Kennard (41 snaps, 4 tackles), Keenan Robinson (41 snaps, 3 tackles, 1 pass defense), and Jonathan Casillas (40 snaps, 3 tackles, 1 tackle for a 2-yard loss, 1 pass defense). Pass coverage was an issue in the first half. Cutler completed 11-of-14 first-half passes for 126 yards. But six of these passes for 91 yards were to tight end Zach Miller and running back Jeremy Langford. Miller beat Kennard on for a 19-yard score early in the 1st quarter. Miller then beat Robinson for a 34-yard gain on 3rd-and-9 on the Bears FG drive. Miller got hurt near the end of the second quarter and it is probably no coincidence that the Bears offense began to really struggle after that point. The Giants also shut out Langford in the receiving department in the second half.

Defensive Backs

Despite the Bears success moving the football in the first half, Bears receivers only caught five passes for 35 yards in the first half (7.0 yards-per-catch) as the defensive backs basically shut down the wideouts for the first 30 minutes. The receivers did more damage in the second half in terms of yards-per-catch with five receptions for 104 yards (20.8 yards-per-catch). For the second game in a row, Eli Apple (62 snaps, 7 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss) replaced Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (34 snaps, 2 tackles) as the corner opposite Janoris Jenkins (64 snaps, 2 tackles, 1 pass defense). Apple nailed WR Cameron Meredith for a 2-yard loss after a quick throw late in the 1st quarter, though he missed a tackle after another short completion in the 2nd quarter. Apple gave up a 17-yard reception on 3rd-and-18, but his sure tackle forced a punt. Apple gave up a 35-yard completion on the first play of the Bears’ last desperate drive to win the game. Landon Collins’ superb year continues as he was credited with 6 tackles, 3 pass defenses, and the game-saving interception. Nat Berhe’s (24 snaps, 3 tackles) playing time increased at the expense of Andrew Adams (37 snaps, 3 tackles).

Giants on Special Teams

Really an up-and-down peformance. Robbie Gould said it was the worst conditions he has played in and it showed, as he missed two extra points. Fortunately, those did not come back to haunt the Giants. Gould did surprisingly nail a 46-yard field goal. Only one of his kickoffs resulted in a touchback and the Bears did return one kickoff 40 yards and two others for 27 yards. Brad Wing punted six times, averaging 44.5 yards per punt (42.5 yard net) with two downed inside the 20-yard line. Eddie Royal’s three returns only went for a total of 12 yards.

Dwayne Harris returned three punts for a total of 14 yards. He had an 18-yard return wiped out due to an illegal block by Orleans Darkwa. He muffed one punt that Eli Apple thankfully recovered. Harris’ 46-yard kickoff return to start the second half helped to set up the team’s second touchdown. But one of his returns only reached the 15-yard line.

(Chicago Bears at New York Giants, November 20, 2016)
Nov 202016
 
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Landon Collins, New York Giants (November 20, 2016)

Landon Collins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS 22 – CHICAGO BEARS 16…
The New York Giants defeated the Chicago Bears 22-16 on Sunday afternoon at a windy MetLife Stadium. With the win, the Giants improved their overall record to 7-3.

The Giants slightly out-gained the Bears in first downs (19 to 17), total net yards (329 to 315), net yards rushing (102 to 93), and net yards passing (227 to 222). Chicago was 4-of-12 (33 percent) on 3rd down while New York was 5-of-14 (36 percent) on 3rd down and 2-for-2 (100 percent) on 4th down. The Bears turned the ball over once while the Giants did not turn the ball over at all.

The Bears had four possessions in the first half and scored on their first three: a 9-play, 76-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown (extra point missed); a 7-play, 39-yard drive that resulted in a 40-yard field goal; and an 8-play, 79-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was 11-of-14 for 126 yards and a touchdown in the first half with tight end Zach Miller catching three passes for 61 yards and a 19-yard score. The Giants defense also had trouble stopping running back Jordan Howard as he rushed for 72 yards on 12 carries in the first half.

Meanwhile, the Giants only had three possessions in the first half, scoring on two of them. New York drove 78 yards in 11 plays on their first drive. The Giants went for it on 4th-and-2 from the Chicago 17-yard line as quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Sterling Shepard for 15 yards down to the 2-yard line. On the next snap, running back Rashad Jennings scored. The extra point was missed by ex-Bears kicker Robbie Gould. New York went three-and-out on their second possession. Then on their third and final possession before the break, the Giants drove 57 yards in 14 plays to set up a successful 46-yard field goal by Gould. This drive also included a successful 4th-down conversion as Jennings caught a 5-yard pass on 4th-and-2 at the Bears 33-yard line. Manning was 11-of-18 for 100 yards in the first half with Jennings both the leading rusher (seven carries for 34 yards) and receiver (five catches for 44 yards).

Chicago led 16-9 at halftime.

The Giants defense shut out the Bears in the second half. Five of Chicago’s second-half possessions resulted in three-and-outs. Their third possession after the break gained 47 yards in nine plays but ended with a missed 51-yard field goal early in the 4th quarter.

The Giants offense scored touchdowns on their first two possessions of the second half. First, aided by a 46-yard kickoff return by Dwayne Harris, the Giants drove 56 yards in nine plays to tie the game at 16-16 on Manning’s 9-yard touchdown pass to tight end Will Tye. Then New York drove 79 yards in seven plays to go up 22-16 midway through the 3rd quarter. The big play on this drive was a 48-yard pass from Manning to wide receiver Victor Cruz. Three plays later, on 3rd-and-4, Manning hit Shepard for a 15-yard touchdown. Gould missed what could have been a very costly extra point, his second miss of the game.

Holding a 6-point lead, the Giants offense struggled for the remainder of the game as their next five drives resulted in only two first downs and five punts. Fortunately, the Bears were even more inept. Starting on their own 22-yard line, Chicago got the ball one last time at the 3-minute mark. The Bears gained 35 yards on their first play to the Giants 43-yard line. Then on 2nd-and-20, Chicago gained 23 yards to the Giants 30-yard line. But defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul sacked Cutler and a penalty pushed the Bears back into a 2nd-and-29 from the New York 49-yard line. On the next snap, safety Landon Collins saved the win with an interception at the Giants 21-yard line.

Offensively, Eli Manning finished 21-of-36 for 227 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no interceptions. His leading receivers were Sterling Shepard (5 catches for 50 yards and a touchdown), wide receiver Odell Beckham (5 catches for 46 yards), and Rashad Jennings (5 catches for 44 yards). Jennings finished the game with 85 yards rushing and a touchdown on 21 carries. The Giants did not allow a sack and did not turn the ball over.

Defensively, Jason Pierre-Paul accrued 5 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 tackle for a loss, 3 QB hits, 1 pass defense, and 1 forced fumble. Defensive end Olivier Vernon had 3 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 tackles for losses. Landon Collins had 6 tackles, 1 interception, and 3 pass defenses. Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins had 6 tackles, 0.5 sacks, and 1 tackle for a loss.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the game were left guard Justin Pugh (knee), offensive lineman Brett Jones (calf), tight end Larry Donnell, wide receiver Tavarres King, quarterback Josh Johnson, defensive tackle Robert Thomas, and cornerback Leon Hall.

Wide receiver Roger Lewis suffered a possible concussion. Wide receiver Dwayne Harris (wrist) and offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse (sprained knee) left the game with injuries but returned.

POST-GAME REACTION…
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Ben McAdoo and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

POST-GAME NOTES…
The Giants won their fifth consecutive game, their longest winning streak since they won five in a row in 2010.

The Giants improved to 7-3 and have exceeded their victory total from each of the previous two seasons (when they were 6-10) – with six games remaining.

This is the Giants best 10-game start since they were 9-1 in 2008.

The Giants seven victories have been by a total of 27 points.

The Giants improved to 5-1 in MetLife Stadium, their highest total at home since they were 6-2 in 2012.

With the victory, the Giants concluded a 3-0 homestand. This is the first time the Giants won three games at home in consecutive weeks 1962.

The Giants did not commit a turnover, ending their NFL-long streak of 18 consecutive games with at least one giveaway.

Safety Landon Collins has intercepted at least one pass in four consecutive games, the first Giants player to do that since cornerback Phillippi Sparks also had a four-game streak in 1995.

ROSTER MOVES…
On Saturday, the New York Giants signed center Shane McDermott to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad. To make room for McDermott, the team waived linebacker Deontae Skinner. The Giants also signed quarterback Logan Thomas to the Practice Squad.

McDermott was signed to the Giants Practice Squad on Thursday. He also spent time on the team’s Practice Squad in September. McDermott originally signed by the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2015 NFL Draft, but the Cowboys cut him in September that year. After a brief stint on the Panthers Practice Squad, the Giants signed McDermott to the Practice Squad in November 2015. McDermott is a blue-collar, overachiever who lacks ideal athleticism and strength.

Skinner was signed to the Practice Squad in September and October 2016 and then to the 53-man roster in October 2016. Skinner was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Patriots (2014-2015) and Eagles (2015-2016), the latter waiving him in August.

Thomas has been added to and released from the Practice Squad multiple times in 2016. Thomas was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. The Dolphins claimed Thomas off of waivers from the Cardinals in September 2015 and the Giants claimed him off of waivers from the Dolphins in June 2016. Thomas has only played in two NFL games, completing one pass in nine attempts for an 81-yard touchdown. Thomas is a huge, athletic quarterback with a quick release and strong arm. He has been an inconsistent performer with decision-making and accuracy issues.

ARTICLES…

Nov 182016
 
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Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants (October 16, 2016)

Jason Pierre-Paul – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Game Preview: Chicago Bears at New York Giants, November 20, 2016

THE STORYLINE:
Almost every New York Giants fan is thinking the same thing: the Giants should beat the 2-7 Chicago Bears and 0-10 Cleveland Browns and be 8-3 in two weeks. Clearly that is the most likely scenario if the Giants remain focused and don’t take the Bears and Browns lightly. That said, keep in mind the Giants have won six games by a total of 21 points. Every game has been a struggle.

THE INJURY REPORT:

  • RB Orleans Darkwa (lower leg) – questionable
  • WR Victor Cruz (ankle) – probable
  • WR Dwayne Harris (toe) – probable
  • OG Justin Pugh (knee) – out
  • OL Brett Jones (calf) – out
  • OL Adam Gettis (calf) – questionable

NEW YORK GIANTS ON OFFENSE:
The Bears are a well-coached 3-4 defense under former Giants defensive coordinator John Fox and former 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. Despite not having a lot of top talent, the Bears are 11th in defense (11th against the run, 12th against the pass). The good news for the Giants is the Bears are really beat up on defense. Two starting defensive linemen – NT Eddie Goldman (ankle – questionable) and DE Mitch Unrein (back – doubtful) – have missed practice this week. So has reserve CB Deiondre’ Hall (ankle – doubtful). Four more starting defenders have been limited, including LB Pernell McPhee (knee – questionable), LB Willie Young (ankle – questionable), CB Tracy Porter (knee – questionable), and CB Bryce Callahan (hamstring – questionable). Reserve NT Will Sutton was placed on IR this week.

As is the case with 3-4 defenses, the primary pass-rushing threats come from the outside linebackers. Young leads the Bears with 6.5 sacks, while top reserve and Giants 2016 Draft target LB Leonard Floyd is second on the team with five sacks. Given the depleted nature of the Bears defense, expect Fox and Fangio to play it conservatively. They will focus on preventing the big play in the passing game with extra attention of course being given to Odell Beckham, Jr. This should open up opportunities for the running game as well as other passing targets, namely Sterling Shepard, Victor Cruz, and the backs and tight ends.

What we’re about to discover is if the Giants rushing success against the Bengals was a mirage or not. If the Giants cannot consistently run the ball against the Bears, they will have to continue to live and die with a passing game that has largely been dependent on the big play. The good news for the Giants is that they have really cut down on penalties in recent weeks. But turnovers remain a problem and the blocking up front remains inconsistent. Thus, the offense has largely been feast or famine.

What we’re really all waiting for is a clean game (no turnovers) with consistent running-game performance that results in  30+ points on the scoreboard. The Giants will be very thin up front for this game. Both Justin Pugh and Brett Jones are out and Adam Gettis is questionable.

NEW YORK GIANTS ON DEFENSE:
The Bears are a middle-of-the-pack offense (16th overall, 21st rushing, 18th passing). But like the defense, the Bears are hurting on this side of the ball. Their best offensive weapon – WR Alshon Jeffery – has been suspended. Right guard Kyle Long was placed on Injured Reserve. RT Bobby Massie (concussion) is doubtful.  LG Josh Sitton (ankle – questionable), WR Eddie Royal (toe – questionable), and WR Marquess Wilson (foot – questionable) were all limited in practice.

The Bears offense has long succeeded or failed on the incredibly inconsistent play of QB Jay Cutler. There are occasional moments when Cutler looks like a world-beater, but he has the make-up of a loser who loves to bitch-and-whine when things don’t go his way. Without Jeffery, Cutler’s primary targets will likely be TE Zach Miller (44 catches, 3 touchdowns), Royal (30 catches, 2 touchdowns), and WR Cameron Meredith (29 catches, 2 touchdowns). The Giants secondary should be able to handle this group provided the linebackers and safeties can keep Miller under control.

Despite Chicago’s 21st-ranking in the run game, RB Jordan Howard is a dangerous back. He’s rushed for 605 yards on 114 carries (5.3 yards per carry). Running backs Jeremy Langford and Ka’Deem Carey are averaging 4.0 yards per carry. The focal point must be on stopping the run. If the Giants stymie Chicago’s running game and make it difficult for Miller to get open down the middle of the field, the Bears offense will be in trouble. Look for Cutler to get frustrated and start making mistakes.

NEW YORK GIANTS ON SPECIAL TEAMS:
Tom Quinn’s special teams units are giving up too many big returns. Eddie Royal is a dangerous punt returner who already has returned one punt for a touchdown this season (and has three in his career). Robbie Gould gets a chance to help or hurt his old team. Dwayne Harris (who is probable) is battling a nagging toe injury and it remains to be seen if Bobby Rainey takes over return duties this weekend. If he does, keep in mind that Rainey has had fumbling issues as a returner throughout his career.

FROM THE COACH’S MOUTH:
Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan on the Bears outside linebackers: “If you’re talking about the outside linebackers that become different defensive ends, obviously they’re a very talented defensive front. That’s not coach speak. You put the tape on and there aren’t too many quarterbacks that are back there that either are not getting hit or they’re having to reset and move in the pocket or they’re getting sacked. Of course with Floyd, he’s a young guy that’s really coming into his groove. McPhee is a heck of a player, he’s been on a pitch count, if you will, because of his injuries. Hicks, of course, is tremendous and young; that’s a great group. You asked about the outside guys, they become defensive ends when we go to our zebra package and so obviously we have to be aware of opportunities that we have and trying to make sure that if we want to push the ball down the field, we account for those guys, trying to help tackles when necessary and do various things because they definitely do present a challenge.”

THE FINAL WORD:
The Bears are going nowhere and banged up. They also gave the Giants a gift this week by oddly talking trash. “We’re gonna tear their ass up,” said Pernell McPhee. It’s been a long time since the Giants blew anyone out. Could this finally be the week?

Oct 112013
 
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Brandon Myers, New York Giants (October 10, 2013)

Interception on the Final Drive – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Free Falling – The New York Giants Are Now 0-6: The Chicago Bears defeated the New York Giants 27-21 on Thursday night at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. With the loss, the Giants are now 0-6 with 10 games left to play in this dreary NFL season. This is the first time the Giants have started a season 0-6 since 1976.

“We’re all sick of it,” Head Coach Tom Coughlin said after the game. ”We’re all sick of losing, but we put ourselves in this position.”

The game was a closely-fought affair with the difference being three interceptions by QB Eli Manning. Eli threw interceptions on the Giants’ first two possessions. Three plays into the game, on 3rd-and-6, Eli’s pass intended for WR Rueben Randle was picked off and returned to New York’s 12-yard line. But the Giants’ defense held, including on a 4th-and-2 pass, and Chicago came away with no points. On the Giants’ second possession, after picking up two first downs, there was miscommunication between Manning and Randle as Manning’s pass was picked off and returned 48 yards for a touchdown. Chicago 7 – New York 0.

The Giants responded with an impressive 10-play, 80-yard drive on their third possession to tie the game at 7-7. RB Brandon Jacobs capped off the drive with a 4-yard touchdown run. But the Bears quickly regained the lead with an 8-play, 86-yard touchdown drive with WR Brandon Marshall catching a 10-yard touchdown pass on 3rd-and-9. Bears 14 – Giants 7.

The Giants responded impressively again, driving 80 yards in seven plays with Manning finishing the series with a 37-yard touchdown pass to Randle. The game was tied 14-14. But back came the Bears with a 9-play, 80-yard possession as QB Jay Cutler found Marshall again for a 3-yard score. Bears 21 – Giants 14.

The back-and-forth scoring ended on New York’s fifth possession with the team going three-and-out. The Bears, on their final possession of the half drove 58 yards in 10 plays to set up a 40-yard field goal. After stuffing the Bears on their first possession of the game, the Giants’ defense gave up 17 points Chicago’s other three drives of the first half.

At the half, the Bears led 24-14.

Chicago extended their lead on their first possession of the second half as they drove 40 yards in eight plays to set up a 52-yard field goal. Bears 27 – Giants 14. The Bears would not score for the remainder of the game however.

The Giants had four offensive possessions in the second half in a desperate attempt to salvage a victory. They went three-and-out on their first possession, but cut the lead to 27-21 on their second possession by driving 91 yard in nine plays. Jacobs scored a second time, this time from one yard out near the end of the third quarter.

The Giants had the ball twice in the fourth quarter. On their third possession of the half, New York punted after picking up one first down. With the game still 27-21, with 5:21 left, the Giants began their final drive at their own 11-yard line. New York picked up three first downs and with just over two minutes left in the game faced a 2nd-and-9 from the Chicago 35-yard line. But Eli’s pass intended for TE Brandon Myers was intercepted at the 10-yard line and returned 16 yards. Chicago picked up one first down and ran out the clock. Ball game.

Offensively, Manning finished the game 14-of-26 for 239 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions. Manning now had an NFL-leading 15 interceptions, matching his total for all of 2012.

”I feel bad for my teammates,” said Manning after the game. “I feel bad for my coaches and everybody, fighting every day, and I’m fighting, too. I am trying to get a win for these guys.”

The leading receivers were WR Hakeem Nicks (4 catches for 70 yards), WR Victor Cruz (4 catches for 68 yards), and Randle (3 catches for 75 yards and one touchdown). Jacobs carried the ball 22 times for 106 yards and two touchdowns.

Defensively, the Giants gave up 372 total net yards, including 110 yards rushing and 262 yards passing. For the second week in a row, the defense forced no turnovers. And they also did not sack, and rarely pressured, QB Jay Cutler.

Video lowlights are available at NFL.com.

Injury Report: RB Da’Rel Scott left the game with a hamstring injury.

Post-Game Player Media Q&As: Video clips of the post-game media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • RB Brandon Jacobs (Video)
  • DE Justin Tuck (Video)

New York Giants-Chicago Bears Post-Game Notes: Inactive for the Giants were QB Ryan Nassib, RB David Wilson (neck), TE Adrien Robinson (foot), OC David Baas (neck), CB Corey Webster (groin), CB Jayron Hosley (hamstring), and S Cooper Taylor (shoulder).

DE Justin Trattou Claimed by Vikings: DE Justin Trattou, who the Giants waived on Tuesday, was claimed off of waivers by the Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday.

Articles on the 2013 New York Giants: