Giants record: 6-3
This time last year: 6-3
Time of game: 3:22
Stat worth noting: The Bears scored only three points in the game’s first 29:24. They scored 35 in the remaining 30:36.
Stat worth noting II: Brandon Jacobs had two carries and scored two TDs. Perhaps he should have gotten the ball more.
Turning point: The Giants led the Bears, 13-3, late in the opening half. Chicago faced a third-and-22 from their own 28. They basically conceded a punt by handing off to Thomas Jones up the middle. However, Jones smartly followed a caravan of blockers up the left sideline and didn’t stop until he gained 26 yards and moved the sticks. Three plays later the Bears were in the end zone and the game was never the same for Big Blue.
Play to remember: Early in the first quarter on a third down, Bears QB Rex Grossman dropped back to pass. He was under heavy pressure from DT Fred Robbins. Rookie DE Mathias Kiwanuka had dropped into coverage and was in the perfect spot to pick off Grossman’s pass and return it all the way to the Bears 1-yard line. Brandon Jacobs did the rest on the next play and the Giants were up 7-0.
Play to forget: Chicago had finally taken the lead midway through the third quarter when the Giants were looking to respond. On a second-and-10, Manning dropped back to pass and was hit by Alex Brown. New York’s signal-caller fumbled and Bears DE Adewale Ogunleye recovered at the New York 21. The set Chicago up to take a 24-13 lead four plays later.
2 – Number of kickoff coverage tackles that kicker Jay Feely made, never a good endorsement of the play of the rest of the unit.
6 – Combined number of turnovers in the game, with each club guilty of three giveaways.
28.3 – Eli Manning’s passer rating. He was downright awful against the Bears.
“We had a lot of negative plays, plays that hurt us and three turnovers on my part. That is something I have to work on.” – Giants QB Eli Manning
“This is a huge win for us. A quality team, on the road, a confident opponent. This is a big win for us.” – Bears QB Rex Grossman
What went right
Gibril Wilson made a wonderful play late in the first quarter. He not only stripped Bears RB Thomas Jones after a short run, but he dove under the pile to recover the ball as well. New York took over at the Bears 31-yard line and extended its lead to 10-3 on a 46-yard field goal by Jay Feely.
Tiki Barber, despite several carries for short or no gains, was able to reach triple digits against the stingy Bears defense. Barber posted 141 yards on only 19 carries and had a huge 46-yard third-quarter run that led to a TD. Barber played through a sprained thumb he suffered early in the contest.
Chad Morton and the punt return unit finally got going. Morton took a second quarter punt and returned it 36 yards up the left sideline. Morton averaged 22.5 yards on a pair of returns.
David Tyree was the main beneficiary of Amani Toomer being out for the season. Despite that Tim Carter started in place Toomer, Tyree was the one that chipped in the most, making four catches for 38 yards.
What went wrong
New York looked totally foolish and clueless as Bears CB Devin Hester fielded Jay Feely’s long field goal attempt and returned it 108 yards for the game-clinching, backbreaking TD. The decision to have Feely attempt a 52-yard field goal was absurd, to say the least.
After keeping the Bears offense in check for almost all the first half, New York’s makeshift defense fell apart in the second half. The unit, already missing four starters, was forced to play without CB Sam Madison, who injured his hamstring right before halftime.
Eli Manning has certainly had better days. He never got the offense to move with any consistency. Manning was responsible for three turnovers, hardly the recipe to beat the NFC’s top team. He connected on only 14 of his 32 passes for a measly 121 yards.
The Giants came up totally empty following a nice, 56-yard game-opening drive. Barber’s 40 rushing yards helped New York move from its own 29 to Chicago’s 15. However, Manning overthrew Plaxico Burress on third down and Jay Feely missed a 33-yarder wide right.