The Bears rallied in dramatic fashion to force overtime before falling to the Giants 30-27 Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Here are three things that stood out in the game:
(1) Chase Daniel completed 26 of 39 passes for 285 yards and one touchdown. But the veteran quarterback's failure to protect the ball was costly.
Making his second straight start in place of the injured Mitchell Trubisky, Daniel engineered touchdown drives of 70, 74 and 53 yards. But the career backup also threw two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown, and fumbled four times.
The Bears recovered all four of Daniel's fumbles, but three of them came on their only overtime possession, turning second-and-three into third-and-12, second-and-two into third-and-four and third-and-four into a fourth-and-eight play that they failed to convert, ending the game.
"As an offense and especially as a quarterback, your No. 1 job is to take care of the football," said Daniel, who was sacked five times. "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."
Daniel's costliest miscue came on the second play of the game when his pass in the left flat intended for Tarik Cohen was intercepted by linebacker Alec Ogletree and returned eight yards for a touchdown. "I really didn't see Ogletree, who sort of mush-rushed as we call it and just dropped and [I] threw it right to him," Daniel said. "I thought he was blitzing and rushing. He just dropped out and made a good play."
While his ball security was problematic, Daniel also made some excellent throws, most notably on two wheel routes to Cohen that resulted in gains of 32 and 23 yards on the Bears' final two possessions of regulation, helping them score 10 points in the final 1:13 of the fourth quarter to force overtime.
(2) The Bears defense dominated early. But the unit later allowed two key touchdowns, failed to produce multiple takeaways and gave up big plays.
The Bears held the Giants to 85 yards on 22 plays on their first six possessions, which resulted in five punts—four after three-and-outs—and a Kyle Fuller interception. But uncharacteristic breakdowns by the defense allowed New York to score a field goal and two touchdowns on its next three drives, turning a 14-7 deficit into a 24-14 lead.
The two TDs came on the Giants' first two possessions of the third quarter. "Defensively, it was kind of a tale of two halves," said coach Matt Nagy. "I felt we could have been better defensively in the second half."
The Bears were unable to contain Giants stars Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley. While Beckham was limited to three receptions for 35 yards, the star receiver threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to Russell Shepard and caught a 1-yard TD pass from Eli Manning on fourth-and-goal. On both scoring plays, the pass-catchers were uncovered.
Barkley rushed for 125 yards on 24 carries, the most by an individual against the Bears in 31 games, since Dec. 18, 2016 when the Packers' Ty Montgomery ran for 162 yards on 16 attempts. The Bears entered Sunday's contest having allowed just one run of more than 18 yards by an opposing running back this season. But Barkley had a 22-yarder on third-and-23 that set up a field goal on the final play of the first half and a 29-yarder on the first play of overtime that led to the game-winning field goal.
With only Fuller's interception, the Bears failed to generate multiple takeaways for just the second time this season and had a negative turnover differential in a game for the first time this year. They entered Week 13 leading the NFL with 29 takeaways and 20 interceptions.
(3) The Bears demonstrated tremendous resiliency in erasing a 10-point deficit in the final 1:13 of regulation to force overtime.
Things looked bleak when the Giants increased their lead to 27-17 on Aldrick Rosas' 37-yard field goal with 1:49 left in the fourth quarter. But the Bears stormed back.
Daniel engineered a seven-play, 72-yard drive that was capped by Cody Parkey's 21-yard field goal with 1:13 to play. Daniel Brown followed by recovering Parkey's onside kick at the Bears' 47. Cohen caught a 32-yard pass from Daniel and then threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Miller—after receiving a pitch from Trey Burton—with no time remaining in regulation to force overtime.
"The growing side of us can understand that we never gave up, never," Nagy said. "There were a lot of people that I think would check the box and say the game was over, and our guys didn't do that. So you can always know that even with 1:50 to go, down 10, you have a chance. We just showed that, so that's good. The other side of that is that … every game, it doesn't matter who you're playing, you better bring it."
Prime Photos: Bears at Giants 12.2.18
Bears photographer Jacob Funk selected his best photos from Sunday's game against the Giants in East Rutherford, New Jersey.