Giants Fall to Bears 19-14
The Giants losing streak is now at seven consecutive games after New York dropped a 19-14 contest to the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.
The loss puts the Giants regular-season record at 2-9 as New York proved once again it can’t get out of its own way.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Giants jumped out to a 7-0 lead on tight end Kaden Smith's first career touchdown reception, a 3-yard pass from Daniel Jones with 7:38 left.
But the Giants should have had at least six more points except that their field goal unit missed two attempts, the first thanks to a bad snap that threw off the timing on a 42-yard attempt that sailed wide right, and the second attempt on the Giants ensuing possession, a 43-yarder being pulled wide left.
The Bears meanwhile got on the scoreboard just before time expired in the half on Eddie Pineiro’s 26-yard field goal to make it a 7-3 game. That was the first of their four consecutive successful scoring drives.
In the second half, there was little question that the Bears were in control. Chicago’s defense held the Giants offense to minus-8 yards of total offense as the Giants failed to record a first down during that quarter.
Meanwhile, the Bears scored on all three of their third-quarter possessions. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky hit receiver Allen Robinson on a 32-yard touchdown pass one play after a defensive holding penalty called against Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins gave the Bears a fresh set of downs.
And after Pineiro connected on a 24-yard field goal, Trubisky ran it in from two yards out, for his first rushing touchdown since November 2018.
Down 19-7 going into the fourth quarter, the Giants finally got on the board when Jones connected with receiver Golden Tate for a 23-yard touchdown to make it 19-14 with 4:10 left. However, the Giants, looking to get the ball back, burned through all three of their time outs on the Bears’ ensuing drive.
Although the Bears went three-and-out on that drive, they initially looked like they were going to go for it before finally running off their offense and putting their punting team on the field.
The Giants made their substation as well, but in a somewhat curious move, Jenkins ended up going deep for the punt only to see the ball go over his head and be downed by the Bears at the Giants 6-yard line.
With no time outs left, the Giants tried to launch one last comeback attempt only to see it fall short.
Two Big Dropped Passes
Both teams had opportunities to score in the first quarter and both came up empty thanks to dropped passes.
The Giants, getting the ball on the 40-yard line after Pineiro booted the opening kickoff out of bounds, tried to go to running back Saquon Barkley on a swing pass but Barkley, coming off his worst game as a pro last week, let the ball go right through his hands for his third drop of the season. If Barkley makes that catch, he probably gets a big yardage chunk play, if not a score.
The Bears answered that drop with an ugly drop of their own when tight end Ben Braunecker managed to get wide open in the seam after a Giants defender fell down only to drop what should have been a 29-yard touchdown reception.
Four plays later, Giants inside linebacker Alex Ogletree came up with a gorgeous athletic play to pick off Trubisky’s pass intended for receiver Anthony Miller, putting an end to that scoring drive.
It’s Time to Worry About the Kicking Operation
The Giants should have had at least six more points to their first-half total, but despite starting two straight drives deep in Bears territory (29- and 48-yard lines respectively), field goal attempts by Aldrick Rosas, but both times, the field goal kicking operation failed.
The first miss was due to a poor snap from Zak DeOssie, who appeared to roll the ball back to holder Riley Dixon. Although Dixon quickly fielded the bad snap and set it, Rosas’ timing was thrown off and he pulled the 42-yard attempt wide right.
The second time saw the snap a little off target but still clean enough for Dixon to field, but again, Rosas pulled his 43-yard attempt it wide left. Rosas finished the first half 8 of 12 on field-goal attempts this year and 20 of 23 on PATs for the season.
Mack is Back
A week after being shut out on the stat sheet, Bears pass rusher Khalil Mack finished with three tackles, two of which were solo efforts. He also recorded two quarterback hits, and, on his biggest play of the game, he had a strip-sack against Jones in the third quarter when Mack beat Nate Solder off the edge.
The Bears recovered the ball on the Giants 7-yard line; three plays later, Trubisky scored by running it in to give his team a 19-7 lead.
Sterling Shepard Returns
Receiver Sterling Shepard returned to action after missing five games while in the league’s protocol. Shepard made his first catch o the Giants’ third possession of the game, catching a slant over the middle on a 2-and-8, picking up six yards.
He finished with five catches on nine pass attempts for 15 yards and had one rushing attempt for 22 yards, that being his longest play of the game.
By the Numbers
It was a rough day for slot cornerback Corey Ballentine, who was targeted several times in the second half. On an eight-play scoring drive in the third quarter, Trubisky went after Ballentine three straight passes for 84 yards, but the good news is the Giants held the Bears to a 24-yard field goal which made it 13-7 at the time.
Barkley's 22-yard carry in the middle of the fourth quarter was his first rush of longer than 20 yards since Week 2. Barkley finished with 59 yards on 17 carries to lead the Giants in rushing this week, but he also had five rushing attempts that went for zero or negative yardage, more on the run blocking than anything.
Jones finished 21 of 36 for 150 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions (though he came close to being picked off at least twice). And rookie tight end Kaden Smith caught five out of six passes for 17 yards and one touchdown.
The Giants finished with 243 net yards on offense. This is the sixth time this season the offense has failed to crack the 300-yard mark.
The Giants, who fall deeper and deeper into despair, will be home next week to host the Green Bay Packers.