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Bears Vs Giants: Notes, Scribbles, and Things Jotted Down

We're going through our notes from last night's game against the Giants.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
  • It's a good thing the Bears figured out how to score some points early, because the Giants brought their own offense to the party as they rediscovered how to run the ball against the Bears' defense. Brandon Jacobs was a completely different back than he's been the last four years, as he ran hard, tough to tackle and getting decent, consistent yardage (4.8 YPC), and the Giants consistently avoided the anemic Bears' pass rush to get the ball out and down the field. It's also a good thing the Bears figured it out a bit on a gameday that's historically been anti-offense.
  • Though maybe "anemic" is a tough word to use this week because I didn't think Shea McClellin and Corey Wootton had horrible games this round. Wootton contributed to Lance Briggs' lone sack of the game and McClellin made a couple of plays including a tackle for loss. The problem is overall it's still not enough of a pass rush without blitzes, and you don't want to blitz too much because it opens bigger holes in coverage. Defensive tackles and Julius Peppers were quiet as could be. Though I admit I like the look of Isaiah Frey blitzing from the nickel.
  • The offensive line didn't have the best game running the ball, decent enough but not great, but in pass protection they looked very solid for most of the game. According to the ESPN box score, zero sacks against Cutler, with only two quarterback hits.
  • Apparently the Bears are in the midst of a "Hot Hand" situation at receiver; either that or Brandon Marshall is still the #1 and Alshon Jeffery's still the #2. I'm inclined to believe the latter, because Marshall was taking advantage of his opportunities all night long (9 catches, 11 targets).
  • Jay Cutler was fantastic. One of the biggest things to notice about Cutler this week is how he missed his throws - of course with these receivers he can just get it close to them, but he threw several balls uncatchable and out of the reach of anyone or only where his target would have a chance to get them, such as too strong to Alshon Jeffery who had half a step on his defensive back, or just out of bounds throwing to Earl Bennett, or into the ground to Marshall or Martellus Bennett. And some of the throws he put out there, you could tell he was comfortable behind that offensive line. Cutler's 24-36 / 262 yards / 2 touchdowns were good for a 106.5 quarterback rating and there weren't many instances of balls at-risk or anything like that. Just a really strong game from Cutler, especially on a night that historically he hasn't performed well on.
  • I didn't mind going for it on fourth down at all on the very first drive. The Giants' offense hasn't been good, and if the Bears don't pick it up the Giants have to go 96 yards for the touchdown, which isn't something they've shown to do to this point in the year. And if the Bears pick it up, they can put an early punch into the body of the Giants. But at fourth and three, the Bears had options, and not forcing it to Brandon Marshall on a late drag route could have been one of them.
  • The Tim Jennings interception for a touchdown was brought about by a really bad throw by Manning. It was cover-three with the Bears rushing six, but Manning got rid of the ball quickly. Not too much to really explore there, though Manning found Reuben Randle wide open on the play before when the Bears only rushed three. Later in the game they mentioned Randle may have run the wrong route on the interception.
  • The first interception was a nifty nickle-back blitz by Isaiah Frey, who almost got home - Zackary Bowman was the recipient of a gift. Interesting that for Charles Tillman being out, the secondary came up pretty big early on.
  • The Giants really have some issues with their offensive line. Too bad the Bears also really don't rush the passer on third down.
  • The Giants started moving the ball really well on their third drive (after the INT-TD by Jennings) with a good mix of run and pass; Manning settled down and got a little time in the pocket, and the Bears just didn't feel like tackling Brandon Jacobs.
  • Brandon Marshall is a talent, yo. And the Bears do have slants in the playbook, apparently.
  • Tony Fiametta can really move with the ball. His 30 yard reception set up the Bears' touchdown to Marshall nicely.
  • And on that touchdown play itself, Marshall was wide open - looked like the safety completely missed that he needed to go cover Marshall in the middle of the end zone.
  • Welcome to the Bears, Zach Minter - penalty of hands to the face right away in your debut, probably not the best way to ensure playing time.
  • Reuben Randle's touchdown was so far on the sideline that I'm not sure how it could have truly been covered much better. Yes, Jennings and Major Wright could have been much closer, but that was really well thrown by Manning. The space alone allowed Randle to run it in through the tackles.
  • To be fair, that's one of the holes in the Cover 2 system, and ideally, the defensive line gets enough pressure to prevent the quarterback from finding those holes. Which is something the Bears just haven't had. Manning had all day to throw the touchdown pass, after Shea McClellin got shoved past him and Manning just stepped up and away.
  • Those big receivers on the Bears really open up some throws - the second touchdown to Brandon Marshall was a prime example of that, from the deep throw to Jeffery to move the ball down the field to the back-shoulder throw to Marshall in the front endzone corner.
  • Did you guys know Brandon Jacobs is 264, 265 pounds? I didn't know Jacobs was 265 pounds until last night's broadcast. Thanks to that, I will never forget Jacobs is 265 pounds of hard-to-tackle running back.
  • Did anyone else instantly think Cutler's bullet to Martellus Bennet about midfield late in the second quarter was picked before you saw Bennett running with it?
  • Michael Bush got a snap on third and one. Naturally, the Bears converted by pounding it up the middle.
  • Time management at the end of the first half was a mixed bag. They had the right kind of plays, but nobody getting to the line for a playcall or a spike brought the Bears from about a minute and ten seconds to 40 seconds. But, it's also important to note the Bears were getting the ball to start the second half. Also to note: Earl Bennett was the target on the final play to the end zone.
  • Which is interesting because coupled with Bennett's play last week, Joe Anderson was the first guy off the bench following Jeffery's injury.
  • Jay Cutler got a call on the "two hand touch" to the helmet. Technically a violation, but also totally ticky-tack.
  • The Bears picked up a sack. The end of days is nigh! - Lance Briggs and James Anderson plowed up the middle, and Briggs was able to hang on and drag Manning down with the help of Corey Wootton.
  • Not sure why, but Alshon Jeffery looks really natural running that end-around.
  • The first punt of the Bears came midway through the third quarter. With no turnovers aside from a failed fourth down.
  • In the fourth quarter, the Bears moved Marshall into the backfield before firing a swing pass to Michael Bush. The next play, Marshall was hit on a receiver screen but never got anything with it.
  • Jonathan Bostic's first NFL snap sent him up the middle... along with Frey on the blitz and Briggs up the middle. Manning just went to Reuben Randle on the comeback for 31 yards. The next play, Major Wright stopped Jacobs with Bostic coming in to clean up. They really liked to go to that comeback route and were beating up defensive backs on it all night, especially Bowman.
  • Good idea by Marc Trestman to throw the challenge flag on the ball-slam-down by Randle. They called it "giving himself up" but he wasn't touched at all and it could have easily been called a fumble recovered by the Bears. Mike Mayock was really hot about that and brought it up when they had the VP of Officiating in the booth. Really good of them (the broadcast) to keep digging on situations like that with calls that could go either way.
  • Corey Wootton almost got the defensive line a sack, but Manning kind of awkwardly shoved the ball towards the running back and it counted as an incomplete pass.
  • Blake Costanzo was getting snaps at linebacker in place of James Anderson late in the fourth quarter.
  • Tim Jennings starts the scoring with his interception touchdown and picks up a tipped ball in the fourth quarter, which killed a very effective Giants drive as they were on the way to possibly taking the lead late.
  • At one time the Bears picked up 16 consecutive first downs in between Giants first downs. The Bears also had only three drives on the night with less than eight plays.
  • The Bears won the time of possession battle by 5:50 - 32:55 to 27:05.

That's all I've got - what are your thoughts as the Bears move to 4-2?