Only the bravest of the brave were able to get through the New York football Giants 17-13 loss to the Chicago Bears without socially distancing from their television on Sunday afternoon. And that wasn’t the worst news for Big Blue on the day.
Running back Saquon Barkley reportedly tore his ACL, a season-ending injury. He left the game in the second quarter after landing awkwardly on a second down run to open up play – an unfortunate event shortly followed by quarterback Daniel Jones throwing an interception to safety Deon Bush.
Jones had a nightmare first half, and his valiant attempt to rally the Giants offense to a comeback victory in the second half fell only a few yards short.
It didn’t take long for Chicago to take control of things as the Bears drove 77 yards downfield on the opening drive, converting four third down plays over seven and a half minutes, resulting in a 28-yard touchdown throw from quarterback Mitchell Trubisky to receiver David Montgomery.
Unable to get a quick answer, Jones fumbled and turned the ball over on the G-Men’s twenty yard line on a third down pass attempt, setting up the Bears for a quick strike field goal, pushing Chicago’s lead to 10-0 with 4:36 to go in the first quarter.
The Giants next drive too proved uneventful as Big Blue went three and out, moving the ball only five yards on a second down run from Barkley.
By the end of the first quarter, the Giants spent just about two minutes on offense, gaining only 27 yards, 22 coming off the legs of Barkley’s injury-shortened performance.
The Giants next offensive drive again couldn’t pass midfield as Dion Lewis filled in for the injured Barkley in the backfield.
After punting with 5:38 remaining in the half, Chicago marched 80 yards downfield, scoring on a 15-yard pass to receiver Darnell Mooney to put the Bears up 17-0 with 14 seconds to go.
Jones rushed the Giants to Chicago’s 39 yard line, where recently signed kicker Graham Gano was called on for a lengthy 57-yard attempt, which he shanked as time expired in the first half.
Adding more concern, Giants receiver Sterling Shepard also went down with a toe injury on that abbreviated drive and was taken off the field before the half ended.
Although done for the day, he was seen on Giants sideline as the third quarter began with the team going three and out once more, giving the Bears another opportunity to drive downfield early into the second half.
This time, the Big Blue defense rose to the challenge as safety Julian Love picked off Trubisky at at the Bears 38 yard line with 11:33 to go in the quarter.
Although the Giants offense was once more halted, the inherited field position was close enough to set Gano up for a successful 39-yard field goal, breaking the shutout and cutting Chicago’s lead to 17-3 with 9:54 to go in the third.
The Giants defense again showed signs of life by forcing a Bears punt with 4:04 to go in the quarter, setting up Jones for the most critical drive to that point of the game from the Giants five yard line.
Aided by 20 penalty yards, Jones and the G-Men offense marched downfield and scored off a fourth down run by Lewis on the one yard line, making it a 17-10 game with 14:22 to go in the fourth quarter.
With a Giants comeback in reach now, cornerback James Bradberry IV picked off Trubisky and receiver Allen Robinson at the Giants 34 yard line with 12:21 remaining, giving Big Blue’s offense an opportunity to tie things up with ample time.
Unable to punch the equalizer over, Jones drove the Giants to Chicago’s 19 yard line, where Gano kicked a 37-yarder to make it a 17-13 game with 7:47 left in regulation.
The Bears followed with a drive to the Giants 32 yard line where kicker Cairo Santos missed a 50-yard field goal attempt, chewing the clock down to 2:02 and forcing Big Blue to use all three timeouts in the process.
Seeking redemption for a counterproductive first half, Jones got the Giants to the Bears ten yard line with four seconds remaining – though it was all for nothing as receiver Golden Tate drew an offensive pass interference call against free safety Eddie Jackson that ended things on a final, incomplete pass.
Jones finished the day throwing for 241 yards while completing 25 of 41 attempts, most of which came in the second half of play.
The Giants offense managed to go 3-3 on fourth down conversions, yet struggled on third down going just 3-13.
Time of possession was also a killer for the G-Men Sunday as Chicago held the ball for 34:29 as opposed to the Giants 25:31.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported late into the afternoon that Barkley likely suffered an ACL tear and will be undergoing additional tests Monday for a more complete diagnosis.
Giants fear RB Saquon Barkley suffered a torn ACL today, sources tell me and @JordanRaanan. One source said the torn ACL was “certainly within the realm” but there will be more tests Monday to make a full and complete determination.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 20, 2020
Chicago remains undefeated at 2-0 while the Giants now drop to 0-2 ahead of a Week 3 home matchup against the San Fransisco 49ers.