The Chicago Bears got to the New York Giants Mike Glennon right out of the gates and Robert Quinn etched his name in franchise history. On the second play of the game, Trevis Gipson forced a strip-sack. Bilal Nichols recovered it and the Bears were up 7-0 before the Giants could even blink.
It got even worse as on the very next drive. Glennon threw a pass that was bobbled by Bears safety Tashaun Gipson before he finally intercepted it and Deon Bush would later pick off another.
New York’s defense finally settled down, forcing punts on the next two Chicago possessions.
The Giants pass rush making things uncomfortable for Bears starting quarterback Andy Dalton. However, a 22-3 halftime lead put the Bears firmly in the driver’s seat and they closed the home slate, and started 2022, with a 29-3 win.
Robert Quinn Made History in the Chicago Bears Home Finale
Trevis Gipson had arguably his best day as a pro. He got to Glennon twice for strip-sacks. The Bears gave it right back on the second one, though, with a Dalton interception. Still, it was a banner day for a defense that has been accused of living off of its reputation for far too long. They were flying around the ball in this one.
Quinn came about as close to breaking the franchise record of 17.5 sacks set by Richard Dent back in ‘84 very early on in the contest. But Glennon managed to flip the ball to Saquan Barkley at the last moment to stave off history.
He had another close call wiped out by a defensive holding penalty.
But, with under eight minutes to go in the game, Quinn came screaming around the left side of the offensive line to get Glennon in his clutches.
He wouldn’t let go this time as he secured the Bears single-season sack record.
With another game to go, Quinn has a chance to pad his standing as the Bears will face Sean Mannion at quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings in Week 18. He’ll be making just his fourth start in that game giving the Bears a chance to finish out their fairly miserable campaign on a positive note.
Changes are almost certainly coming to this side of the ball just like any other. But Quinn’s season has been a well-deserved bright spot for him, the franchise, and the fans.
Quinn appreciated the moment saying it was nice having everyone pulling for him. He also said that, initially, he wasn’t sure what was happening when they stopped the game to honor him. Nagy had called a timeout to let the moment sink in.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 2, 2022
Many longstanding questions have arisen in Matt Nagy’s tenure as Bears head coach. Not the least of them is his handling of the quarterback position. Brought in to be the “offensive guru” that would finally modernize their attack, he could never seem to get comfortable with whoever was under center.
Many were quick to pile on former third-overall pick Mitchell Trubisky, and often with good cause. But we have seen this staff run through a Super Bowl MVP in Nick Foles and a pretty serviceable bridge passer in Dalton with little to show for it.
The rub is that Nagy was involved in both of the veterans being in Chicago and still couldn’t figure things out.
There will be those irked by his refusal to announce rookie Justin Fields would be inactive. He has tried to show some gamesmanship in announcing this week’s starter. But a big part of the issue has clearly been a coach that doesn’t seem to know what he wants from his passers. That’s why the hook was so quick for Dalton this season and Foles last year.
Dalton finished with 173 yards and one touchdown to one interception
The pick came when Allen Robinson either stumbled or simply stopped his route. But the touchdown was a shorty to Darnell Mooney who finished the game with seven catches for 69 yards and the score.
After the game, Nagy cited Mooney’s work ethic as a reason why the second-year wideout has been able to develop such a rapport with all of their quarterbacks.
Mooney, a fifth-rounder in 2020, has 69 grabs on the year and is just 71 yards from a 1000-yard campaign. He said his ability to connect with all of the quarterbacks comes from trying to talk to everyone in the locker room and asking “a lot of questions”.
Going Out in Style
Nagy’s future is far from settled. But all signs point to it continuing elsewhere next season. If so, the coach certainly left the Bears faithful feeling good, if only for the day. His defense took the ball away four times and his offense looked rather functional, opponent aside. He, and some of the players, joked after the game about the Giants choosing to run the ball 40 times.
They threw it just 11 times the entire game but gained 148 yards between Saquon Barkley and Devontae Booker.
To their credit, it was with good reason. Glennon completed just four of his passes for 24 yards and two picks.
The Giants had minus-10 passing yards for the game thanks to four sacks on the day; Quinn’s record-breaker, two from Gipson that ended up causing fumbles, and one from Angelo Blackson.
Much has been made over Nagy keeping the locker room together even as his future came into question. There might have been no better sign of that than last week’s comments. That is until the defense’s effort and how to a man they were ready to celebrate Quinn. Mooney (as well as Nagy) echoed his thoughts over his early close-call.
David Montgomery also surpassed a milestone gaining 1000 yards from scrimmage though it was fairly tough sledding with him gaining 64 yards on 22 carries, or, 2.9 yards per carry.
Both sides of the ball, and their coach, will have a chance to end the season on a high note next week if Kirk Cousins doesn’t clear health and safety protocols in time for their Week 18 (weird, right?) tilt in Minnesota.
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