Bears leave absurd loss to Giants with prevailing feeling: ‘We're better than that'


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — On one hand, the Bears played terribly in Sunday’s 30-27 overtime loss to the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. If it wasn’t their worst game of the year, it was right up there with Week 6’s brutal loss to the Miami Dolphins — also in overtime, also by three points.

But on the other hand, the Bears left New Jersey bolstered by the remarkable resiliency they showed in erasing a 10-point deficit with under two minutes remaining. That improbable comeback, which featured Daniel Brown recovering an onside kick and Tarik Cohen throwing a game-tying touchdown to Anthony Miller with time expiring, proved something to the 8-4 Bears even in a defeat.

“Our team didn’t give up fighting, that’s what you want to see,” linebacker Danny Trevathan said. “Especially late in the season, teams give up, fold, but our team, we don’t back down, we don’t give up. I’m proud of the team, but I know that we are so much better than what we showed today.”

Still: This was a game the Bears didn’t deserve to win. Not when Chase Daniel played poorly for 58 of the game’s 60 minutes in regulation before that last-ditch comeback. Not when, for only the second time this year, a running back eclipsed 100 yards against this defense (Saquon Barkley had 125, Miami’s Frank Gore had 101). Not when Matt Nagy’s decision to call a timeout prior to halftime backfired and gave the Giants three points.

Picking those each apart: Daniel was sharply critical of himself after the game, specifically of his two interceptions — one of which was a pick six.

”Your No. 1 job is to take care of the football,” Daniel said. “I didn’t do that today. I let my team down.”

Cornerback Prince Amukamara said the Bears’ No. 1 goal on defense was to slow Barkley, which was not accomplished, especially when his 29-yard run on the first play of overtime wound up being one of the more critical plays of the game.

“He’s strong, he’s agile, he’s what you would want in a running back,” defensive lineman Akiem Hicks said.

Nagy called the timeout with 17 seconds remaining in the second quarter in an effort to get his punt block team on the field — the Giants had a third-and-23, and the thought was they wouldn’t be able to use two plays with no timeouts to get into field goal range. But Barkley shed a few tackles and rumbled for 22 yards on third down, and with six seconds left, Eli Manning hit a nine-yard completion to the edge, allowing tight end Rhett Ellison to get out of bounds with one second left. Kicker Aldrick Rosas connected from 57 yards, bringing the halftime score to 14-10 in favor of the Bears. But that was a critical moment in the game.

“Of course that was a boost for them, right? The offense hadn’t scored up until that point,” Hicks said. “… You can never blame a game on one play or one thing. It’s cumulative. Everything that happened today is why we lost this game. But does that have an impact? Yes.”

“That was just our defense being undisciplined,” Amukamara said. “(Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio) called the right call — it’s an outside victory, meaning keep everything inside, and the tight end got outside.”

While Amukamara put responsibility for the play that set up the field goal on the defense, Nagy shouldered the blame for putting his team in that position in the first place.

“I take responsibility for that,” Nagy said.

On top of all those issues, the Bears lost the turnover battle by a three-to-one margin and fumbled six times, including three in overtime. There’s not much spinning this loss as anything but a bad, sloppy one, furious comeback be damned.

“I just feel like a lot of the mistakes today were self-induced,” Amukamara said. “And we’re better than that.”

What allows the Bears to collectively believe they’re better than “that” is what they did in the three months prior. This team rebounded from a gutting, brutal loss to Miami and a sloppy defeat to New England by ripping off five consecutive wins. It managed to win three games in 12 days against three division opponents, including one on the shortest turnaround in NFL history. It’s still in first place, after all.

So even with the juggernaut Los Angeles Rams looming a week from Sunday, the Bears will head back to Halas Hall confident in who they can be as a team. Even if they didn’t show it against the last-place Giants.

“We know who we are,” Hicks said. “We know what level we can play at and we’re going to come out next Sunday and do what we do.”


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