A week after needing a fourth-quarter rally to get a win, the Chicago Bears managed to put together a half of solid play against the New York Giants. Things got too close for comfort down the stretch but the Bears did manage to come away victorious. Their 17-13 win keeps them among the undefeated for another week but a much tougher challenge is coming.
One Half of Solid Play Gets Bears Win
What’s Not to Like?
Chicago’s offense came out clicking with 10 first-quarter points. That included a touchdown on the opening, 12-play drive after Mitchell Trubisky found David Montgomery along the sideline on a rollout and the running back did the rest for a 28-yard score. They would score again on a 34-yard Cairo Santos field goal on their next possession after Robert Quinn recorded a sack-fumble on Daniel Jones, concluding a ten-play drive.
They scored again before half time after a couple of drives, one following a Jones interception by Deon Bush, resulted in punts. Trubisky had all day in the pocket and found rookie Darnell Mooney in the end zone for a 15-yard score. That drive took 11 plays and went 80 yards as the Bears took a 17-0 lead into the break after the Giants missed a field goal attempt.
The first half featured an in-sync offense, balanced playcalling from Matt Nagy, and the defense, by and large, holding their own. Saquon Barkley went down with what is feared to be a torn ACL, taking away some of the threat of the Giants. Or so fans thought as this one was far from over.
*don't say it*
*don't say it*
*don't say it*
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) September 20, 2020
Oh, Right. This…
The Bears forced a punt on New York’s first possession of the second half but allowed them to score on each of their next three drives as the Giants found new life after the break. Dion Lewis took over for Barkley and ended the day with 10 carries for 20 yards and a touchdown even showing nice power against the Bears vaunted front. He added 36 yards on four grabs, highlighting the Bears issues with pass-catchers out of the backfield.
The other issue that reared its ugly head was linebacker coverage on tight ends. New York began feeding Evan Engram the ball, an issue mentioned in this space leading up to the game. In his first meeting with Chicago, the shifty pass catcher worked the intermediate middle of the field to the tune of six catches and 65 yards. T.J. Hockenson last week and now Engram has it looking like this might be an issue all season.
Defensive breakdowns weren’t the only reason the Giants made this a close one. Trubisky and the Bears offense lost their sheen in the second half, having just one drive go for double-digit plays as they had done three times in the first half. That drive ended in a missed Santos kick from 50 yards out. Tubisky would also throw two interceptions from the third quarter on and total 32 yards in that span. Him trying to force Allen Robinson the ball forced Nagy, right or wrong, to call runs on nine of 12 plays on their final drive.
David Montgomery wasn't letting anyone get between him and the end zone!
— Sunday Night Football (@SNFonNBC) September 20, 2020
Speaking of Robinson, he had quite a disappointing day after all the commotion over his contract in the media this week. He finished with 33 yards on just three catches and, as mentioned, was the target on both of Trubisky’s interceptions. The first was a pass that got tipped so all blame is not on Robinson, but the second he allowed Giants corner James Bradberry rip the ball out of his hands. He was outshined on the day by Mooney, who also had three grabs but for 36 yards, that touchdown, and no picks on balls thrown his way. He still deserves to get paid.
David Montgomery (and the offensive line) was the real star of the day. He looked decisive again on the ground racking up 82 yards on 16 carries and had another 45 yards through the air to go with his score. The second-year man showed his toughness too, returning from what looked like a scary neck injury. So far, Nagy has committed to him as the bellcow and it has paid off.
The defense did have it’s moments, despite letting the Giants back in it. Quinn’s strip-sack has to make fans feel a little bit better about him. And Bush’s pick came as soon as he entered the game. Khalil Mack and Barkevious Mingo (who started in place of Quinn) both got off the sack schneid while Akiem Hicks added another to his total. Jaylon Johnson and Cole Kmet also flashed, ensuring Mooney wasn’t the only rookie to have an impact.
One Half of Solid Play Enough for Bears…This Time
The Bears are undefeated and tied with the Green Bay Packers atop the NFC North. How much longer they remain there is hard to say. They’re about to enter a gauntlet of games that begins with a visit to the Atlanta Falcons next week. It also includes hosting the Colts, Bucs, and Saints with trips to the Panthers and Rams interspersed. They also visit the Titans and host the Vikings; all before their Week 11 bye. They’re going to need a full 60 minutes of solid play. Enjoy this win Bears fans.
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