Bears’ wideout Brandon Marshall, who recently made comments regarding his displeasure with his role in the offense, got his wish Thursday night as he had two touchdown catches with 87 yards on nine targets.
The Bears needed this win and continued to polish their game. They had some missteps and should have capitalized on more opportunities, sure, but it’s a learning experience and the team will continue to learn under head coach Marc Trestman.
The Giants are 0-6 for the first time since 1976, and things are not looking good for them going forward. Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning had three interceptions Thursday night with two of those coming on the team’s first two possessions. The quarterback threw for 239 yards on 14-of-26 passing with one touchdown. Bears’ cornerback Zack Bowman, in place for the injured Charles Tillman, had the first interception on the third play of scrimmage. Tim Jennings continues to be a ball-hawker, as he had the other two interceptions. His last was the game clincher late in the fourth quarter.
For the Bears, Jay Cutler looked much better than he has before, throwing for 262 yards on 36 attempts with two touchdowns and zero interceptions. Marshall had 65 of Cutler’s 179 first-half yards, and the Bears had 227 yards in the first half alone. In his first game against his former team, Bears’ tight end Martellus Bennett had 68 yards on six catches. It was definitely Marshall’s night, as Alshon Jeffery only had one catch after going off last week for a Bears record in yards.
Robbie Gould now has 12 straight conversions from 50 yards or longer after kicking a 52-yarder in the third quarter. This game had a lot of positives, but also had a fair share of negatives.
Chicago Bears have work to do
Early in the game, the Bears squandered an opportunity to score either a touchdown or field goal thanks to the great field position from the Bowman interception. Trestman elected to go for it on fourth-and-two at the Giants’ 4-yard-line, but the Bears were stopped.
They also failed to convert on third down, going 5/11 on the night while New York converted seven of 11 tries. Converting on third downs and finishing drives are two things they have gotten better at, but the team still struggles enough to where it is a nagging problem.
Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, in his first year back with the team after being with the San Francisco 49ers for the 2012 season, went off for two touchdowns and 106 yards on 22 carries.
The rush defense for the Bears looked absolutely atrocious and it is something that needs to be addressed. Throw in the fact that linebacker D.J. Williams is now out for the year with a torn pectoral muscle, and things do not look good for a defense that is getting older. Rookie Jon Bostic will step in for Williams, so hopefully some young legs can electrify the unit.
Not having Tillman was rough for the Bears, although Bowman had a good night. Giants’ wide receiver Victor Cruz was pretty much nonexistent, something that Tillman would be proud of. However, Bowman and company still allowed the Giants to hang around and come close to defeating the Bears to get their first win of the season.
A win is a win, and the Bears are showing encouraging signs of getting it together and being the team Trestman envisions them to be.