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Bears Matchup Flashback: A Giant Late-Game Scare

The last time the Bears and Giants met was Chicago's first home game of 2020. Here's a look back at that what happened in that contest.
Bears Giants

Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

On Sunday, the Chicago Bears will play their final home game of the 2021 regular season when they take on the New York Giants. The Bears enter this contest at 5-10 while the Giants sport a 4-11 record. There is plenty at stake in this matchup as the Giants own the Bears' first-round draft pick. As of now, New York is picking fourth and seventh overall. The No. 7 pick would have been Chicago's. Regardless, any outcome hurts the Giants a little bit.

  • Giants loss: Their pick moves up, while the Bears pick drops
  • Giants win: Their pick drops, while the Bears pick moves up

Of course, this is pending results of the games involving the surrounding teams in the draft order.

The Bears enter Week 17 fresh off of a win over the Seahawks in snowy Seattle. Meanwhile, the Eagles dished a drubbing to the Giants last week.

History

These two teams have squared off 61 times in total. The matchup history dates back to 1925 and includes eight playoffs games. In those eight contests, the Bears have a 5-3 series lead. However, the Giants are outscoring Chicago 162 to 142. Overall, the Bears lead the head-to-head matchups 35-24-2 and are outscoring the Giants 1,074 to 911.

Previous Matchup

The last Bears vs. Giants contest was not too long ago, though it feels like an eternity. The matchup took place on September 20, 2020. It was Week 2 of the regular season and the Giants made the trek to the Windy City. An empty Soldier Field had an eerie feel. Thus, the stadium and the broadcast had to pump artificial crowd noise to give it a semblance of liveliness.

The Giants came into the game led by Joe Judge and Daniel Jones. Meanwhile, the Bears were rocking with Matt Nagy and Mitch Trubisky.

First Quarter

The Bears got off to a roaring start. On the first drive of the game, Chicago's offense marched 82 yards on 12 plays on a drive that spanned seven and a half minutes. They took an early 7-0 lead when Mitch Trubisky connected with David Montgomery for a 28-yard touchdown. It was a nifty play that saw Trubisky improvise and Montgomery use his shiftiness.

Subsequently, the Giants' first drive ended abruptly. On the third play, Robert Quinn strip-sacked Daniel Jones. None other than Khalil Mack recovered the football, giving the Bears' offense a short field. As a result, Chicago took over in the red zone but failed to come away with a touchdown. Instead, they settled for a 34-yard Cairo Santos field goal that resulted in a 10-0 lead over the Giants.

After that, both teams exchanged punts. The Giants went three-and-out and possessed the ball for just under a minute. Meanwhile, the Bears' drive stalled out after six plays, 30 yards, and three minutes of ball control.

Second Quarter

Things went from bad to worse for the Giants in the second quarter. On the third play of the drive, star running back Saquon Barkley hit the turf hard near the sideline and began grabbing at his knee.

Photo: John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune

Photo: John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune

Later, test results confirmed a torn ACL and effectively ended Barkley's season. It was a tough break for such a promising running back.

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Nevertheless, a few plays later Jones was back to giving the ball away. This time Deon Bush intercepted a pass intended for Evan Engram. Unfortunately, the Bears couldn't capitalize but the Giants did not muster much offense next time out either. As a result, both teams traded punts.

Next, the Bears drove down the field on an 80-yard, 11-play drive spanned 5:15 and resulted in a touchdown. This time, Darnell Mooney hauled in a 15-yard pass from Trubisky to give the Bears a 17-0 lead.

The play itself was magnificent. After Trubisky scrambled to buy time, he floated a jump ball across the field to Mooney.

Alas, the Giants had one last chance before halftime to come away with points, though only 14 seconds remained. After three plays and 36 yards, Graham Gano had a chance at a 57-yard field goal. However, the kick sailed wide left and the Bears took a 17-0 lead into halftime.

Third Quarter

The second half got off to a sloppy start. The Giants received the opening kickoff and did nothing with it. A four-play, 11-yard drive lasted just under three minutes and yielded a punt. In response, the Bears turned the ball over. On the second play of the drive, Julian Love intercepted Trubisky's pass intended for Allen Robinson. This gave the ball to the Giants deep in Bears territory.

However, Chicago's defense made a stand and prevented the Giants from finding the end zone. As a result, Gano gave them New York its first points of the game when he drilled a 39-yard field goal. The Bears still held a lead at 17-3.

Next, the Bears' offense was back on the field and marched 33 yards on nine plays. But the Giants held their own and forced the Bears to punt. After Pat O'Donnell's punt pinned New York down at the five-yard line, the Giants marched 95 yards on 11 plays. The four-minute, 39-second drive ended when Dion Lewis found the end zone for a one-yard touchdown. This score trimmed the Bears' lead to 17-10.

Fourth Quarter

After the kickoff, the Bear's offense was back on the field. However, their five-play, 20-yard drive came to end when Trubisky tossed another interception. This time, Allen Robinson had the ball ripped out of his hands by James Bradberry, a play that came with loads of criticism after the game.

Following the takeaway, the Giants stormed 44 yards on 10 plays but stalled and settled for a field goal. Gano's 37-yard kick through the uprights trimmed Chicago's lead to 17-13.

With the lead down to four points, the Bears marched 44 yards on 12 plays. The drive spanned 5:41 and set up Santos for a 50-yard field goal to give the Bears a one-touchdown lead. However, the kick went wide left, giving the Giants a chance to win the game with just 2:02 left on the clock.

60 yards out from a victory, the Giants took over at Chicago's 40-yard line. They moved 50 yards on 12 plays to set up one final play from 10 yards out with just four seconds remaining. On the play, Eddie Jackson broke up Jones' pass intended for Golden Tate, but there was a flag on the field. Luckily for the Bears, it was an offensive pass interference call and that was all she wrote.

After the Bears went up 17-0 in the first half, the Giants outscored them 13-0 in the second half. Nevertheless, Chicago held on for a 17-13 win over the Giants.

Aftermath

The win propelled the Bears to 2-0. The team proceeded to win three of their next four games, which included a switch at quarterback from Mitch Trubisky to Nick Foles. After the 5-1 start, the Bears lost six in a row and dropped to 5-7. They bounced back with three straight wins to improve to 8-7. With a playoff berth on the line, the Bears lost to the Packers in Week 17 to finish the season 8-8. However, the Rams beat the Cardinals to help the Bears sneak into the playoffs. The following week, the Bears lost the Wild Card game to the Saints 21-9, officially ending their season.

Meanwhile, the Giants dropped to 0-2 following their loss to the Bears. They lost three more games to fall to 0-5 before finally collecting their first win. At 1-5, they finished 5-5 the rest of the way for a final record of 6-10. Of course, that resulted in no playoff appearance once again.

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