MetLife Stadium, NJ —The NY Giants improved to 3-1 as they took down the Chicago Bears 20-12 on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
The Bears scored on four field goals by kicker Michael Badgley. It was the first game where the G-Men did not allow a touchdown since Oct. 24, 2021, when they defeated the Carolina Panthers, 25-3.
The Big Blue should change their name to the makeshift Giants; you had coach Brian Daboll on the sideline drawing up plays on the whiteboard when Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor went down. Shortly after, Saquon Barkley played QB in the wildcat formation for three plays, twice out of the pistol set with running backs Gary Brightwell and Matt Breida flanking Barkley.
“I just think that’s what you do in a leadership position,” Daboll said after the Giants improved to 3-1, their best start since 2011. “You don’t panic. You try to stay composed. You try to give people a plan that they can go out and execute and believe in when they need to do it.”
Jones ran for two first-half touchdowns before he got hurt and Barkley banged out a 146-yards on 31 carries. He ran hard through the tackles against a tough Bears’ defense.
Jones was sacked just once, but it was costly for the Giants; he injured his left ankle when he was tackled for an 11-yard loss by safety Jaquon Brisker with about three minutes left in the third quarter. Jones handed off to Barkley twice to end the series and was replaced by Taylor on the Giants’ next offensive series.
Giants took a 14-6 halftime lead. The TDs were the team’s first in the opening 30 minutes this season.
“When I saw Tyrod go down I kinda realized, like, I’m up next. I’m the quarterback,” said Barkley, who ran like a running back that has something to prove.
Jones and backup Tyrod Taylor were injured in roughly within a 10-minute span in the second half. Jones (8 of 13 for 71 yards and 68 yards rushing) was hurt when he was sacked late the third quarter. Taylor sustained a concussion after scrambling for a first down with 8:35 left to go in the game.
“Obviously, you want to play and you want to be out there with your teammates at the end of the game where we’re fighting and trying to win,” Jones said. “I thought guys stepped up and played great to finish off the game.”
The Giants’ leading receiver was rookie tight end Daniel Bellinger, with team-high totals of three catches for 23 yards. Barkley had two receptions and four other players had one catch apiece.
Tae Crowder led the Giants with 10 tackles (eight solo) and filled the gaps quickly anytime Chicago’s backs tried to run down hill.
Jones scored on runs of 21 and 8 yards in the first half and Graham Gano kicked field goals of 44 and 43 yards for the G-Men.
Jones lined up as a receiver on most of those plays just so he could hear the calls in his helmet and relay the plays to the offense. Barkley took the direct snaps from Jon Feliciano, who centered a line that helped New York amassed 262 yards on the ground.
Justin Fields was 10 of 21 for 163 yards, ran for 52 yards and was sacked five times but couldn’t get comfortable in the pocket due to the Giants amped up pressure. Khalil Herbert had 77 yards on the ground as the Chicago Bears lost to the G-Men for the first time in four games.
The Bears had a chance late, but Velus Jones Jr. fumbled a punt at the Bears’ own 35 and Brightwell recovered with 2:13 to go in the game. Chicago got the ball back at their own 27 with 17 seconds to play, but the game ended with a final play that included about 10 laterals.
“When the other team scores touchdowns and we kick field goals, typically that’s not good,” Bears coach Matt Eberflus said. “We’ve got to make sure we handle that in terms of our scoring efficiency on offense in the red zone. Turn some of those threes into sevens. That’s going to be big going forward.”
Bears: LG Cody Whitehair left in the first half with a knee injury.
Giants: Excluding the quarterbacks, S Julian Love (concussion), OT Evan Neal (neck), DT Henry Mondeaux (ankle), WR Kenny Golladay (knee) and CB Aaron Robinson left the game. Daboll had no injury updates after the game. Jones said he hopes to play next week.
Bears: Face the Vikings in Minnesota in their second straight road game.
Giants: Cross the Atlantic Ocean to face the Green Bay Packers in London.