Just when will the Giants bottom out? The downward spiral continued on Thursday night, as Big Blue fell to 0-6, their worst start to a season since 1976 (37 years), in a 27-21 loss against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.
Unlike much of this season, however, the Giants had a running game (Brandon Jacobs — yes, Brandon Jacobs — went for 106 yards and a pair of scores). But there remained one constant from the first five games of the season, as Eli Manning threw three more interceptions to increase his league-leading total to 15 — he threw 15 all of last season.
But while Eli’s habit of throwing to the wrong team is sure to be the No. 1 talking point in the Greater New York Area for the next 10 days, Chicago’s gritty performance should not be overlooked. Bears head coach Marc Trestman’s offense looked well-oiled to match the defense’s contributions. And with the game coming down the final minutes, it was Chicago, now 4-2, who made plays that put the game away.
OK, let’s get into what we know:
Bears offensive line’s impeccable night leads to a happy Cutler
We’ve all heard the slogan, “Happy wife, happy life.” Here’s a new one for you, Bears fans: Happy Jay, happy day.
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler didn’t get sacked once against the once-vaunted Giants defensive line. Cutler showed off great footwork inside and outside the pocket and was given more than enough time to carve up the Giants’ injury-riddled secondary. It was almost too easy in the first half. Radio announcers are really getting this whole “Cutler-to-Marshall” thing down pat.
Jermon Bushrod, Matt Slauson, Roberto Garza, Kyle Long and Jordan Mills all deserve recognition. And they’ll get it. Maybe Cutler can hook them all up with a night out on the town with as they have plenty of time to prepare for the Washington Redskins in Week 7.
On Thursday night, Cutler looked poised. He threw for 262 yards and two touchdowns and finished with a 106.5 QB rating. Not a bad night. Even the ref (look above) had some kind words for him. It should also be mentioned that running back Matt Forte was a factor, racking up 111 yards from scrimmage.
Eli now has thrown for 15 interceptions this season. Here’s the latest three:
What do you get when you throw a turnover-prone quarterback into the teeth of an opportunistic defense? Well, you get a whole bunch of turnovers. Coming into this game the Bears ranked third in the league in takeaways. Oh, and Eli Manning leads the league in giveaways. There are plenty of glaring issues with the G-Men. Eli is one of them.
Nothing like flushing a full week of preparation down the drain on the third play of the game. I’m not one for cheap shots, but this Eli INT is very Schaub-esque, if I may. Sixth-year cornerback Zack Bowman jumps the route and almost returns it for a score.
The Giants defense proved to be stout and didn’t allow the Bears to score on the ensuing drive. Unfortunately for New York, Manning would throw a strike to Tim Jennings. Yeah, he’ll make you pay.
Somehow, someway the Giants were still in a position to win the game with the 2-minute warning approaching in the fourth. Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride was dialing up a bevy of run plays, until this one. Manning stepped back and found an open Brandon Myers over the middle. Unfortunately, the ball missed Myers and instead landed in the hands of Jennings — again.
Need more proof of just how bad it has gotten? Our fantastic NFL on FOX Twitter account delivers the goods:
Eli Manning has thrown more picks than every QB not named Peyton has thrown touchdowns.
Did you hear about Brandon Marshall’s green shoes?
You may or may not have heard that Marshall planned on wearing lime green cleats to promote Mental Awareness Week. Instead of wearing the very popular pink to for breast cancer awareness, Marshall decided to switch it up in support of something that affects him every day. Marshall, who was diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder in 2011, knew he’d be fined for the gesture and decided to match the fine and donate it to a charity. Oh yeah, those shoes were on full display against a moth-eaten Giants secondary.
Here they are fresh out of the box:
Here they are in action:
It’s no secret that Marshall is Cutler’s favorite target, hauling in nine receptions for 87 yards and two touchdowns. Though the bigger story could be how ravaged the Giants secondary is. Marshall’s height clearly gives him an advantage on jump balls, but there should be no excuse for him to be wide open in the end zone. Hey Perry Fewell, maybe you want to put a defender on the opponent’s most dynamic weapon in the red zone? I guess it’s easier said than done.
Remember Brandon Jacobs? Yeah, that dude can still bring it
He can dance too, apparently.
When Jacobs was signed off the waiver wire in Week 2, people questioned how much he had left in the tank. He had been out of football for nearly a year and lacked some burst. For a backfield that has seen Andre Brown lost to a broken leg and David Wilson sidelined with a neck injury, Jacobs was the much-needed shot in the arm. The 31-year-old running back was rumblin’ and tumblin’ all night long and NFL Network color man Brad Nessler said he looked like a “bull in a china shop.” I like that.
And after a night in which he carried the ball 22 times for those 106 yards, it looks like the workload could increase for Jacobs as backup Da’Rel Scott left the game with a hamstring injury.
SiriusXM Mad Dog Radio producer Nick Kostos has a good one for the Giants’ current running back situation:
Kickoffs may be an afterthought for most, but not Devin Hester
On a night in which Hester would finally own the Bears franchise record for kickoff yardage, surpassing Glyn Milburn, he ripped kicker Robbie Gould on the sideline. Which begs the question, is it ever appropriate for someone to deliberately get inside the kicker’s head? It’s not clear what sparked the argument, though it did come after a short Gould kickoff allowed Jerrel Jernigan to return the ball to the Giants’ 46. We’re just happy to see the two straighten things out in time for Gould to nail field goals of 40 and 52 yards. Can’t have any bad blood between team’s kicker and kick returner.
Seems like the two made up after the game, according to Bears sideline reporter Zach Zaidman:
Robbie Gould on Devin Hester: “I love Devin like a brother.”