By Paul Dottino
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Forget about it. The mission no longer is about saving the Giants’ playoff hopes, it’s about restoring a winning attitude while finding out which pieces need to be part of the foundation.
The Giants fell to 0-6 for the first time since 1976, thanks to Thursday’s 27-21 loss in Chicago. It was the fifth time this season that they’ve been competitive in a game at least midway through the second half – only to watch it slip away. This time, they were in the battle until the Bears CB Tim Jennings intercepted a high pass (Chicago’s third of the game) that went through the hands of Brandon Myers with 2:02 to play.
Offense-RB Brandon Jacobs. He did exactly what the Giants needed him to do by restoring the power running game to the tune of 22 carries for 106 yards and 2 short touchdowns. His powerful runs were significant as the offense executed TD drives of 80, 80, and 91 yards. Jacobs helped spark momentum with several runs that included yards after contact as he often got to the second level of the defense.
Defense-MLB Jon Beason. He was inserted into the starting lineup just six days after arriving from Carolina and showed the type of quickness and pursuit and was unexpected, giving the significant knee and Achilles injuries in his recent past. Beason led the team with 11 solo tackles and tacked on an assist, proving that he could maneuver around traffic and show a nose for the ball. It’s a long season, but this is the type of performance that will prompt the Giants to consider keeping him beyond this year.
Special teams-CB Trumaine McBride. He did a masterful job with two tackles of the dangerous Devin Hester on kick returns, forcing a fumble on a big hit at the Bears 29 with about 10 minutes left in the third quarter, but Eric Weems recovered.
Offense-TE Brandon Myers. The pass-receiving tight end was targeted once the entire game – Manning’s high toss in the final minutes that was intercepted. Manning took the blame for the throw sailing a bit. Myers said he and Manning each have made that play many times over their careers with their respective teams. However, the ball went through Myers’ hands and hit Jennings in the chest.
Defense-DEs Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul, Mathias Kiwanuka. They combined for three solo tackles, one assist and two quarterbacks hits, but NO sacks. Coach Tom Coughlin admitted that something has to be done – suggesting a tweaking in the scheme – to generate a pass rush. Regardless, the Giants cannot continue to allow opposing quarterbacks to get comfortable when dropping back to pass.
Special teams-WR Jerrel Jernigan. He had an explosive 46-yard kickoff return, but we’ll ask him to run based on his work as a gunner on the punt team. Jernigan muffed a chance to down a punt at the Chicago 2 with 3:24 left in the half, allowing it to go for a touchback. The Bears then drove 58 yards and beat the clock with a field goal for a 24-14 halftime lead.
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