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Bears Defense Run Over by Giants

For the third time in four games, the Bears defense flopped at defending against the opponent's ground game in a 20-12 loss to the Giants.

It looked a lot like the Bears defense got beat by their own offense.

The New York Giants couldn't pass the ball, save for a pass interference penalty against Bears cornerback Kyler Gordon when he got beat deep by Darius Slayton.

Yet, New York offset 71 net passing yards by running the ball down the Bears' throats for 262 yards in a 20-12 victory.

It was a familiar scene for the Bears defense on this season. Except for two quarters of the 16 they've played to date, this has happened repeatedly. They'd been trampled on the ground by two other teams for full games and even the Texans for one half. 

It was familiar for another reason: They'd seen their own offense do pretty much the same thing with 281 yards rushing in the previous game against Houston for a win—no passing, just rushing.

"It's us not sticking to our keys," linebacker Roquan Smith told reporters after the game. "That's what it all comes back down to.

"If you do that then you'll have a great shot at stopping them. Hats off to those guys, they played a great game and we didn't finish the way we wanted."

Seven of the Giants' nine longest plays on the day were runs of 13 yards or longer.

This is expected against Saquon Barkley, but not when the quarterbacks are gaining important yards. The two Giants quarterbacks combined for 98 rushing yards.

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The bootleg runs and bootleg throws, in particular, tore up the Bears. The first TD run of 21 yards by Daniel Jones was sold on one tremendous fake and run around end.

"Just eyes, eyes in the right spot, alignment, things like that," safety Eddie Jackson told reporters. "Protecting the edges, things like that."

Jones ran for 68 yards but came out after an ankle injury and Tyrod Taylor came in, only to leave with a possible concussion. Before he left, a running play that wasn't a planned one loomed large because it led to the Bears needing eight points to tie.

The Giants were backed up and Taylor faked Smith in the backfield, spun away from him and ran for 9 yards and a first down. It let a drive to a Graham Gano field goal continue instead of resulting in a sack and a punt.

"I hate missing tackles and the quarterback was definitely one," Smith said. "Hats off to him for making a heck of a spin move. But I expect myself to make those plays every day of the week.

"So it's a good play on his behalf and I've got to get better. I can't afford to miss any tackles."

Going forward, the Bears gave up 176 yards on the ground to the 49ers, 203 to the Packers and 262 to the Giants. Next. they get to face Dalvin Cook on Sunday in Minnesota.

So there's only one message they need to take from Sunday's loss.

"It's the message that its been every week," Jackson said. "Stop the run."

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven