Second-year outside linebacker Trevis Gipson played an instrumental role in the Bears' 29-3 rout of the Giants Sunday at Soldier Field.
The 2020 fifth-round pick from Tulsa created two takeaways with strip/sacks of quarterback Mike Glennon. It was the first multi-sack performance of Gipson's career and increased his season total to 6.5 sacks.
"He's been phenomenal," said coach Matt Nagy. "Trevis came in as a rookie … trying to find a niche. He's another guy that practices super hard, and so now he's being rewarded by getting production."
Gipson's first sack Sunday came on the game's first play from scrimmage and gave the Bears offense the ball at the Giants' 2, leading to David Montgomery's 2-yard touchdown run on the next snap.
Rushing from the left side, Gipson was unblocked, giving him a clear path to Glennon. The Giants lined up without any running backs in the backfield on the play.
"It sort of caught me by surprise that they went empty the first play of the game," Gipson said. "We've got Rob Quinn rushing his life out on the other side, so that did surprise me. My eyes got big at the opportunity and I had to take advantage of it."
Gipson has drawn inspiration from Quinn, an 11-year veteran who recorded his 18th sack of the year Sunday, breaking Hall of Famer Richard Dent's single-season Bears record of 17.5 sacks in 1984.
Quinn has now registered 100.5 career sacks, all while dealing with a benign brain tumor he's had since he was a teenager.
"He's a warrior," Gipson said. "He almost died when he was younger and he's still rushing passers today. He overcomes battles; that's what he does, and I'm really happy for him. He did something nobody else has done and we all got to witness that. I think we should appreciate to be able to witness history, especially being in the Chicago Bears organization."
A special accomplishment
Quarterback Andy Dalton also praised Quinn following Sunday's victory.
"Rob and I were in the same draft class (2011), so I've followed him from the beginning," Dalton said. "Just look at so many great seasons that he's had. I mean, he just broke the Bears record, and I don't even think that's the most he's had. He's had 19 sacks in a season (with the Rams in 2013). That just goes to show the type of player that he's been for a long time.
"You're just so happy for him, a guy that's worked really hard and does everything the right way. For him to have the success that he's had and to get not only 100 sacks, but to break the Bears record, too, on the same sack was pretty cool, pretty special."
Executed to perfection
NFL teams that win the coin flip usually defer so they can try to double up by scoring on their last possession of the first half and first drive of the second half.
The Bears executed that plan perfectly Sunday. After Cairo Santos' 44-yard field goal extended their lead to 22-3 as time expired in the first half, they opened the second half with an 11-play, 75-yard drive that was capped by Montgomery's 2-yard TD run.
The Bears actually scored three times in the final 1:01 of the first half. After Santos' 21-yard field goal, Giants return specialist Pharoh Cooper initially didn't field the ensuing kickoff because he thought it was going to land in the end zone for a touchback. But it actually landed short of the goal line and he had to scramble to pick up the ball and was tackled at the 5.
After Eddie Jackson and Eddie Goldman teamed up to drop running back Devontae Booker for a three-yard loss, Angelo Blackson tackled Booker in the end zone for a safety. Following the free kick, Dalton completed passes of 18 and 17 yards to Darnell Mooney to set up Santos' field goal.
"Special teams getting them backed up, the defense creating the safety, offense going down and stealing three points at the end of the first half, that's stuff that you work on and the guys executed it," Nagy said.
Check out the best images—taken by Bears photographers—from Sunday's victory over the Giants at Soldier Field.