By Curt Macysyn
The Giants have no room for error, so when the team loses the turnover battle 3 to 0, it becomes nearly impossible for New York to win. This week, Eli Manning threw interceptions on the first two Giants offensive drives, including a 47-yard interception return for a touchdown by Tim Jennings, as Chicago took an early 7-0 lead. New York fought back, and when Brandon Jacobs bulled in from four yards out, the Giants and Bears were tied 7-7 late in the first quarter.
Jacobs, in his first start in more than two seasons, rushed for a game-high 106 yards and scored twice for New York, but it wasn’t enough to halt the Giants six game slide.
A 17-point second quarter by Chicago, highlighted by two Brandon Marshall touchdown catches, sandwiched around a 37-yard Rueben Randle touchdown catch and carry, brought the Bears to a 24-14 halftime lead. Robbie Gould extended the Bears lead to 27-14 by hitting a 52-yard field goal with 11:23 left in the third quarter, which provided all the points the Bears would need to extend their record to 4-2 and take a temporary lead in the NFC North.
Brandon Jacob’s second touchdown on the evening, this one from one yard out, brought the Giants closer at 27-21, but New York could get no closer, and the G-men ended the evening how they began it, winless.
The only other time that the Giants started the season 0-6 was 1976 when the team went 3-11.
Offense Grade: C+
Certainly Brandon Jacobs’ individual performance warranted an A grade, but Eli Manning once again played poorly. Manning was 14 of 26 for 239 yards and one touchdown. The Giants defense bailed out Manning on his first interception by stopping the Bears on fourth and two on the Giants four yard line. But Manning could not handle the good fortune and threw the ball to Tim Jennings, who returned it 47 yards for the Bears first touchdown on the very next possession.
When Manning was throwing it to the correct team, he was able to spread the ball to Hakeem Nicks, Rueben Randle and Victor Cruz effectively. The offensive line blocked well at times, and not well at other times, and still looks very much like a work in progress.
On the season, Eli Manning has a league-high 12 interceptions, and a 53.7 completion percentage, and he is one of the major reasons why the team continues to struggle.
Defense Grade: C
To highlight the lack of production of the defense, understand that Jon Beason had 12 tackles in his first start with the team. Prince Amukamara had another solid game, with nine tackles. Amukamara was able to take on offensive linemen, limiting the Bears rushing attack to 110 yards on the evening. Twenty of the 110 yards came via quarterback scrambles by the Bears Jay Cutler.
Cornerback Terrell Thomas struggled with the Bears big receivers, particularly Brandon Marshall. Marshall had nine catches for 87 yards and two touchdowns. Former Giant Martellus Bennett had six catches for 67 yards, but Alshon Jeffrey was limited to only one catch.
The Giants defensive line got little pressure on Jay Cutler and had no sacks on the evening. Cutler was able to complete 67 percent of his passes for 267 yards.
Special Teams Grade: B
The Giants contained return specialist Devin Hester all evening. Rookie Charles James made a great play fending off a block and getting to Hester for no gain on a punt return in the third quarter. James’ tackle almost caused Hester to fumble.
Punter Steve Weatherford has gotten his form back and kept the ball away from Hester effectively. Weatherford averaged 46.8 yards per punt.
Jerrel Jernigan had an impressive 46-yard kickoff return in the third quarter that jump started the Giants offense, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the turnovers.
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Curt Macysyn has been covering the New York Football Giants for the past two seasons for Examiner.com. Born and raised in northern New Jersey, Curt has followed and covered the New York Metropolitan sports scene for 35 years. He attended Seton Hall Prep School in South Orange, NJ and is a graduate of Rutgers University, New Brunswick. His work can be found on Examiner.com.