EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – What started off with great promise turned into another disastrous day for the Bears Sunday at windy MetLife Stadium.
After generating two touchdowns and a field goal on their first three possessions to take a 16-6 lead, the Bears were outscored 16-0 over the game's final 33:33 in a frustrating 22-16 loss to the Giants.
Already decimated by injuries heading into the game, the snake-bitten Bears lost tight end Zach Miller with a broken right foot as well as outside linebacker Leonard Floyd (neck), left guard Josh Sitton (ankle), cornerback Cre'von LeBlanc (concussion) and linebacker Christian Jones (back).
The scariest injury was to Floyd, who was carted off the field on a backboard and taken to a local hospital after crashing helmet-first into the side of teammate Akiem Hicks while trying to make a tackle on a running play.
Fortunately, Floyd was later released from the hospital in time to fly home with the Bears, which was clearly the best news of the day.
The Bears started Sunday's game with a bang, scoring points on three straight possessions for the first time since last year's season finale against the Lions.
The offense opened with a nine-play, 76-yard drive capped by Jay Cutler's 19-yard touchdown pass to Miller. Cutler was 3-of-3 for 45 yards on the possession. Connor Barth pushed the extra point attempt wide right, but the Bears led 6-0.
The Giants answered as Rashad Jennings scored on a two-yard run up the middle one play after Sterling Shepard turned a short pass from Eli Manning into a 15-yard gain on fourth-and-two. Robbie Gould's extra point attempt hit the left upright, keeping the score tied 6-6.
Cutler and Miller connected again for a 34-yard completion down the seam on third-and-nine, setting up Barth's 40-yard field goal that gave the Bears a 9-6 lead late in the first quarter. Miller suffered a foot injury late in the first half and exited after catching three passes for 61 yards.
Jeremy Langford capped an eight-play, 79-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run, giving the Bears a 16-6 lead. The TD was set up by Jordan Howard's 27-yard run to the Giants' 7.
View photos from the game as the Bears take on the Giants at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.
But New York scored the final 16 points to win its fifth straight and improve to 7-3. After Gould's 46-yard field goal late in the first half closed the gap to 16-9, Manning threw TD passes of 9 yards to Will Tye and 15 yards to Shepard on the Giants' first two possessions of the second half.
Tye beat Adrian Amos to tie the game 16-16 before a mix-up between Demonte Hurst and Deon Bush left Shepard wide open. Gould followed by missing his second extra point try of the game.
After allowing the two touchdowns, the Bears defense buckled down, forcing the Giants to punt on five straight possessions while limiting them to only two first downs. Pat O'Donnell did his part, booming punts of 54 and 67 yards that pinned the Giants deep in their own territory.
Unfortunately, the Bears offense couldn't take advantage of numerous chances, going three-and-out on five of six possessions to start the second half. The unit's final opportunity came after taking possession at the Chicago 30 with 3:00 left in the game.
Cutler hit Marquess Wilson down the sideline on the first play for a 35-yard gain to the Giants' 43 and later connected with Joshua Bellamy for 23 yards on second-and-20 to the 30.
But that's as far as the Bears would get. Cutler was sacked for a 14-yard loss, Cameron Meredith was flagged for an illegal shift and Cutler's underthrown pass intended for Wilson on second-and-29 was intercepted by Landon Collins at the 21 with 1:11 remaining.
"This one's going to be a hard one to swallow," Cutler said. "These games that you lose and you definitely have a chance to win, those are the ones that kind of keep you up at night."
With the loss, the Bears fell to 2-8 for the first time since 2002 and 0-6 on the road for the first time since 2003. They are scheduled to play four of their next five games at Soldier Field, beginning next Sunday when they host the Titans.
"It was very disappointing," said outside linebacker Pernell McPhee. "We had a lot of chances to take this game. But we didn't. We've just got to go in the lab and get ready for Tennessee."