Bears free safety Eddie Jackson, left, and Khyiris Tonga sandwich Giants running...

Bears free safety Eddie Jackson, left, and Khyiris Tonga sandwich Giants running back Saquon Barkley during the first half of an NFL game Sunday in Chicago. Credit: AP/David Banks


A complete and total failure … and this in spite of the best game Saquon Barkley has had in nearly two full calendar years. While the running back cracked 100 rushing yards (he can thank a late interception by Tae Crowder for giving him the final three touches that pushed him into triple digits), little else functioned at close to an acceptable level. The passing game was historically horrific as Mike Glennon was sacked the same number of times he completed a pass (four) and committed a turnover (four). The minus-10 net passing yards was the lowest in franchise history and their 24 gross passing yards — yes, they were gross — were the fewest they’ve had since 1978. They converted one of 11 third downs.


It’s easy to absolve the defense but they could have done better. Had Logan Ryan held on to what should have been an easy interception in the back of the end zone late in the second quarter, the Giants might have escaped the first half down 14-3 rather than what snowballed into a 22-3 deficit (more on how that came about in a moment). It would have been equally helpful if they had managed to stop a Bears touchdown possession to start the third quarter rather than give up an 11-play, 75-yard drive. They kept David Montgomery pretty much in check (64 yards on 22 carries) but gave up a few too many first downs on second efforts to the running back. Lorenzo Carter continues to flash, but is it enough to bring him back as a free agent next year?


Because Graham Gano provided the only Giants points of the game with his 38-yard field goal, it’s hard to give the unit an F. But Pharoh Cooper’s bone-headed decision to let a kickoff bounce in the field of play when he thought it would carry into the end zone for a touchback deserves to be ridiculed. At the time, the Giants were still somewhat in the game. By the time they gave up a safety and a field goal in the final minute of the half, they were down 22-3 and it was all over.


Give this to the Giants: They were committed to the run and they stuck with it, even when they fell behind early and logic should have dictated a more aggressive approach. That was illustrated best when they ran a draw on third-and-10 from the 24 before their field goal rather than try for a first down. Truth be told, the Giants probably passed too often; had they come out and run the ball exclusively early on, they would have avoided their first two turnovers and not been in a 14-0 hole so early. This was the second week in a row a special teams glitch near the goal line hurt them, and for a head coach with a special teams background, that’s especially rough.

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