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Chicago Bears miss QB Trubisky in loss to Giants

December 3, 2018

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Bears’ playoff express, rolling full steam ahead with the momentum of a five-game win streak, came to a screeching halt after it hit an unexpected roadblock in the Giants, who upset them 30-27 in overtime for just their fourth win of the season.

Not only did the 4-8 Giants humble the 8-4 Bears, they did so after a miraculous comeback that saw the visitors overcome a 10-point deficit in the final 1:13 of regulation. After a Cody Parkey 21-yard field goal, Bears TE Daniel Brown recovered Parkey’s ensuing onside kick. Two Chase Daniel passes to RB Tarik Cohen picked up 37 yards and got the Bears into position for Cohen’s one-yard, trick-play TD pass to Anthony Miller on the final play of regulation.

The loss overshadowed outstanding individual performances by Cohen and DE Akiem Hicks. Cohen caught 12 passes for 156 yards in addition to his second career TD pass. Hicks was his usual destructive self vs. the run with six solo tackles, picked up his fifth sack of the season and ran for a one-yard TD to give the Bears a 14-7 lead late in the first half.

Making the fourth start of a nine-year career, Daniel could not duplicate his performance of Week 12, when he made his first start in nearly four years. In that 23-16 Thanksgiving victory over the Lions, the Bears didn’t miss starting QB Mitch Trubisky. They missed him a lot against the Giants, and he remains “day-to-day” according to coach Matt Nagy.

Daniel threw two interceptions to Giants LB Alec Ogletree and fumbled four times on a damp, rainy afternoon, although he recovered three of them.

“It was wet, but that’s no excuse,” Daniel said. “As an offense, and especially as a quarterback, your No. 1 job is to take care of the football. I didn’t do that. I let my team down. I’ll be the first one to say it. It’s sad because I pride myself on taking care of the football and playing with an edge. For the first three quarters, we really didn’t do that.”

Three of the Daniel fumbles came in the Bears’ only overtime possession after the Giants kicked a field goal to open the extra session. He recovered all three, but they resulted in 10 lost yards of field position before a desperation fourth-down pass fell incomplete near midfield.

With the benefit of a full week of practice with the first team, which he did not have during the short week prior to the Lions game, Daniel’s first pass was thrown right at the face of Ogletree. He accepted the gift and went eight yards for a touchdown just 46 seconds in for a 7-0 lead.

“Tarik is my first read in the flat, and I saw him open,” Daniel said. “I really didn’t see Ogletree, who sort of mush rushed and dropped (into coverage), and I threw it right to him. A lot of people wondered, ‘What is he doing?’ I though he was blitzing. He dropped and made a good play.”

Early in the second quarter, Daniel had Cohen open in the end zone but didn’t get enough on his throw, and Ogletree was there again to spoil a scoring opportunity. Daniel completed 26 of 39 passes for 285 yards and a two-yard TD pass to TE Adam Shaheen for a 75.3 passer rating, and he was sacked five times for 28 yards in losses.

“Starting a game with a pick-6 is not how you want to start it,” Nagy said, “but to (Daniel’s) credit and the rest of the guys’ credit, they figured out a way to give us a chance at the end of the game. I appreciate how Chase has been this whole time, and it is who we are as a team, and I’ll never put a win or a loss on one guy.”

The Bears overcame those two picks to build a 14-7 lead, which it seemed they would take into halftime, when back-to-back sacks of Eli Manning pushed the Giants back to their own 36-yard line with 52 seconds left. At that point the Giants had just 72 total yards. But a 22-yard run by Saquon Barkley and a nine-yard completion to TE Rhett Ellison set up a 57-yard field goal by Aldrick Rosas, which trimmed the Bears’ lead to 14-10.

The Giants outscored the Bears 14-0 in the third quarter to take what appeared to be a commanding 24-14 lead before the Bears’ final, furious comeback that ultimately went for naught.

Still, the Bears retained their 1 ½-game lead in the NFC North over the Vikings, who lost to the Patriots and fell to 6-5-1. The Packers also lost, plummeting to 4-7-1, before firing Mike McCarthy, the franchise’s first-ever head coach fired in-season.

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