New York Giants - Chicago Bears Gameday Blog
It wasn't going to be easy for first-year Giants head coach Joe Judge and his young team in Week 1, and it's not getting much easier any time soon.
After letting a winnable game against the Pittsburgh Steelers slip away last Monday night 26-16, Judge's Giants will get their first real test in resiliency on the road against a 1-0 Chicago Bears team with a lot of motivation in Week 2.
The Bears are determined to make a statement defensively after a sloppy showing last week in which they gave up 426 total yards, including 138 rushing yards, and nearly surrendered the game-winning touchdown in the final seconds.
Still, the Giants have even more to prove after their Monday-night showing.
For the Giants, their offensive line came out of Week 1 as the team's weak link, only opening up 29 yards worth of rushing lanes while allowing quarterback Daniel Jones to absorb three sacks and 11 total pressures.
While Judge acknowledges the areas where his team needs to improve, he illustrated a supportive side of his coaching philosophy this past week, choosing not to scrutinize his players to the media, even those that performed poorly.
"It's my job to support the players. I think it's our job internally to make corrections and adjustments that are necessary," Judge said.
"Internally we'll address things always, we're going to be very blunt and honest, we're very transparent in this organization and we'll always be very direct with what we have to do to correct it."
For Judge's sake, his players will need to reward his public support in their second game, as they look to correct the mistakes and build on their strengths against another tough, gritty, and motivated Bears team.
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Giants wide receiver Golden Tate is active for the Giants today after missing last week's game with a hamstring issue. Tate has been limited in practice over the last few weeks but it seems that the Giants coaches and trainers are confident that he is good to go for Week 2.
Tate's presence will give the Giants offense its full complement of skill players for the first time since being assembled last offseason. Quarterback Daniel Jones, running back Saquon Barkley, tight end Evan Engram and wide receivers Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton and Tate have never played a game together, but today the unit will officially be whole.
Meanwhile, the Giants won't catch any favors on offense as Bears edge rushers Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn are both active for Chicago. Quinn and Mack were both listed as questionable dealing with respective foot and knee issues, but they will also be active and ready to give the Giants' offense as many problems as they can create.
The Giants will be without running back Wayne Gallman however, who is out with a coach's decision. Gallman had one catch for 14 yards in Week 1.
One player the Giants are hoping to see improvement from Week 1 is Engram, who is expected to be a big playmaker on offense for the Giants this year, but was unproductive against Steelers with just two catches for nine yards and very poor blocking performance.
One player the Giants are hoping can carry over a strong performance from Week 1 is outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter, who played all but one defensive snap for the Giants, racking up seven tackles, one quarterback hit and recorded an 81.5 overall grade by Pro Football Focus.
Meanwhile, linebacker Blake Martinez could also be a huge catalyst on defense for the Giants in this game. Martinez was arguably the Giants' best defensive player in his Big Blue debut on Monday, and has had a lot of success against the Bears during his time with the Green Bay Packers.
Obviously the big storyline for the Giants today will be how Barkley responds to a very strenuous week. After a dismal six-yard rushing performance against the Steelers, Barkley became the subject of public scrutiny for his poor performance in pass protection by former Giants running back Tiki Barber.
All eyes will be on Barkley and how he can overcome that adversity on the road against a talented and motivated Bears defense.
The Giants start the day on defense.
Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky should have a confident swagger after leading 21-point fourth-quarter comeback against the Lions last week, yet the Bears are leaning on the run game early.
Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson, who is currently in the midst of contentious contract negotiations with Chicago's front office, hauls in Trubuisky's first pass of the game for a 17-yard gain.
Edge rusher Kyler Fackrell on ever recorded 0.5 sacks against the Bears in his four-year stint with the Green Bay Packers, but has a solo sack on the Bears' first drive of the game.
Fackrell is getting a bit jumpy after that sack and costs the Giants with a five-yard penalty for neutral zone infraction. Fackrell is in the middle of a quest for a new contract as well. His experience against the Bears has made him a favorable candidate to see a lot of snaps at the Giants' outside linebacker spot today and it's obvious he is playing with an aggressive edge today.
Trubisky was able to roll out of the pocket and buy a lot of time due to a poor Giants pass rushe and turns it into a touchdown pass with a simple dump off to running back David Montgomery who dices around the Giants' secondary to get into the end zone.
Bears lead 7-0.
The Bears offense wore down the Giants' defense on the opening drive of the game. Not many big plays but a balance of runs and short passes allowed the Bears to go 4-of-4 on third down and slowly drive to the Giants' endzone on a 12-play drive.
On Jones' first third-down attempt of the game, the Bears rush gets to Jones forces him to fumble. Jones led the NFL with 18 fumbles as a rookie last year and is off to a bad start, allowing the Bears to exploit his bad habit early at a very inopportune moment for the Giants.
Jones showed improved ball security awareness in Week 1, often holding the ball with both arms, but has taken a step back with his first fumble of 2020.
The Giants defense holds in the red zone due to a dropped pass by Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller in the end zone. Chicago takes advantage of the fumble with a 34-yard Cairo Santos field goal.
Bears lead 10-0.
The Giants go three-and-out on their second drive of the game. Jones delivers an accurate pass to Sterling Shepard on third down, but it goes through Shepard's fingers.
Giants running back Saquon Barkley gets his first decent rushing attempt of the season, hitting the hole for an 18-yard run, but takes a hard hit and lands awkwardly.
After Barkley walked over the sideline after the hit wincing in pain, the coaching staff decided to put him right back in the game and he takes another hit and appears to have suffered an injury.
Barkley has to be carried off the field in severe pain.
For Giants fans, it is a grim and disappointing site.
The Giants' offense appears to be in free-fall after the Barkley injury, as Jones throws an interception and the Bears take over. For Jones, it is his fourth turnover in the last six quarters.
Now it appears the Montgomery has sustained an injury, as he falls to the ground head first. It's been a brutal game for running backs so far.
Giants defensive tackle B.J. Hill has his first sack of 2020, through the middle to bring down Trubisky.
The Giants offense can't get the running game going without Barkley and it's costing them as veteran running back Dion Lewis continues to get stood up by the Bears' defense.
It's clear that offensive coordinator Jason Garrett is not as comfortable running many pass plays with how Jones and the offensive line has performed so far today.
On third-and-eight with the Bears in the red zone, Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham opts to take his defensive linemen off the field, which is arguably their strongest position group.
With them off the field, all of the Giants' weaknesses on defense show up on the play. A lack of pass rush allows Trubisky to dance around the pocket to throw a 15-yard touchdown to rookie wide receiver Darnell Moody, who beats cornerback Corey Ballentine.
Ballentine was in position to make a play, but showed a truly poor display of technique as he falls down as the pass arrives. Mooney essentially made the catch uncontested.
Jones completes two impressive long passes with less than 20 seconds on the clock to put kicker Graham Gano in range for a 57-yard field goal as time expires, but Gano misses.
Gano has become synonymous with Giants fas for making dramatic heart-breaking field goals to beat the Giants, including one for 63 yards back in 2018. However, he is unable to make one that would give the Giants any semblance of momentum as they go into the locker room down 17-0.
While it's early in the season, the Giants have their clear favorite for most disastrous half of the season. The first half against the Bears truly has a case to be one of the more disastrous halves the Giants have had since Week-15 against Philadelphia in 2010.
Barkley underwent X-rays in the locker room and has been ruled out for the remainder of the game.
Without Barkley, the Giants will be without their most talented player.
The Giants defense has had no answers for Mitchell Trubisky outside of a couple of impressive plays by their defensive line. Trubisky has danced in the pocket to buy time and has completed 13 of 18 passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns.
Meanwhile, the Giants lack of rushing game has continued over from last week. Barkley made a couple of impressive runs early in the game to rack up 28 total rushing yards, but obviously won't make any more today.
The Giants deactivated Gallman, the other running back they might be able to lean on, before the game due to a coache's decision and that decision means the Giants' running game will have to through the 29-year-old Lewis.
Lewis has managed eight yards on six carries and doesn't give the Giants' the power at the line of scrimmage they would be getting from Barkley or Gallman.
The Giants will start the second half on offense without Barkley or wide receiver Sterling Shepard.
The Giants' offensive line woes continue as Bears defensive lineman Akheim Hicks beats a double team of Giants offensive linemen Will Hernandez and Nick Gates to bring Jones down on third down. It's the Bears' third sack of the game as Jones has been under pressure all game.
The Giants' defense catches a break on the ensuing drive as a Trubisky pass is tipped and picked off by defensive back Julian Love. Love recorded his first career interception in Chicago last year as a rookie after Jabrill Peppers came out of the game with an injury.
A dropped pass by Slayton on third down costs the Giants a chance to capitalize on the turnover with a touchdown, as they settle for a 39-yard Gano field goal to get their first points of the game.
Bears lead 17-3.
The Giants' run defense has been the one gleaming bright spot in this game so far, but Trubisky has overcome it, buying time with his legs and completing short underneath passes that the Giants' secondary just can't seem to cover up.
Having said that the Bears' run defense has been the much more dominant unit, and they have compounded it with good pass defense as well, particularly in the pass rush.
The Giants will have their worst starting field position of the day after 33-yard Pat O'Donnell punt that is downed at the five-yard line. The Giants haven't been able to do much with good field position so far, and now they face a dangerous position backed up on their own goal line.
Lewis' best run of the game comes on a play in which Jones appeared to be getting sacked by Quinn, but flips it to Lewis who is able to pick up the first down on an 11-yard gain. It officially goes down as a pass play, but the Giants' running backs will take any victories they can get at this point.
The Giants offensive line hasn't done right by Jones so far in between the whistles, but they show some fight after Jones takes a dirty hit on a slide from Eddie Jackson. Now they just need to put up that kind of fight when Jones drops back to pass.
The Giants end the quarter on offense with the ball inside the Bears' 10-yard line with a chance to cut the lead to one possession.
Bears still lead 17-3.
Garret draws up one of the gutsiest play calls of the game, as the Giants run the ball with Dion Lewis on fourth-and-goal to score their first touchdown of the game. The 5-foot-8 195-pound Lewis powered behind the Giants offensive line as they punch it in at the goal-line for the biggest rushing play the offense has produced all day.
Bears lead 17-10.
It feels somewhat miraculous that the Giants are trailing by just one possession in the fourth quarter. So much has gone wrong for the Giants today, yet they have continued fighting and have given themselves a chance in a game that began with a disastrous first half.
Despite the many mistakes, the Giants have benefited from the right schematic adjustments at half time and a determined resolve by their players.
Veteran cornerback James Bradberry fights to tear the football away from Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson. For the Giants, it is their second interception of the game, pending review, and puts their offense back on the field with a chance to tie the game if it can muster another touchdown drive.
Bears linebacker Eddie Jackson appeared to have a game-changing pick-six which would have put a killer dent in the Giants' hopes for a comeback, however referees deemed that Jackson had committed pass interference on Giants tight end Kaden Smith and the play is wiped out. The Giants catch a huge break as the penalty gives the Giants a first down on the Bears' side of the field.
The Bears defense bends but doesn't break and comes up with a stop on third down. The Giants don't tie, but a 37-yard Gano field goal cuts the deficit to just four points, the lowest its been since Chicago's opening touchdown.
Bears lead 17-13.
The Giants defense had a chance to get off the field on a fourth-and-one play, but a tipped pass is hauled in by Bears offensive lineman Bobby Massie across the first round marker. The Giants' defense did everything it had to on the drive, but the Bears catch a huge break and it keeps the clock rolling as the Giants burn the last of their timeouts.
The Giants defense comes up with a big third-and-eight stop and a missed 50-yard field goal by Santos will give Jones and the Giants' offense good starting field position to overcome a four-point deficit. Jones has 2:02 to lead a game-winning touchdown drive with no timeouts.
On a fourth-and-four from the Bears 32-yard line, Jones completes a six-yard pass to Lewis to give the Giants a critical first down.
On fourth-and-one from the Bears 17-yard line, Jones completes another short pass to Slayton to pick up a first-down but the Giants are forced to clock the ball with eight seconds left.
With four seconds left it all comes down to one play.
Jones' last pass of the game is incomplete to Golden Tate and the Giants lose 17-13.