EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Bears nearly pulled off a miraculous comeback win Sunday over the Giants, storming back from a 27-17 deficit with 10 points in the final 1:13 of regulation—including a touchdown as time expired—to force overtime.
But New York's Aldrick Rosas booted a 44-yard field goal on the first possession of the extra session, and the Bears followed by turning the ball over on downs in dropping a 30-27 thriller at misty MetLife Stadium.
Giants running back Saquon Barkley dashed 29 yards on the first play of the extra session to the Chicago 46, ultimately setting up Rosas' field goal.
On the Bears' subsequent possession, Daniel completed a 10-yard pass to Allen Robinson II on fourth-and-seven from the Chicago 28. But the quarterback's long throw down the middle to Taylor Gabriel on fourth-and-eight from the Bears' 40 was broken up by cornerback Janoris Jenkins.
"The very first thing I said to our guys in the locker room is be proud that we fought to the very end," said coach Matt Nagy. "Not every team will do that. We've got a bunch of high-character guys that fight until the end, and that's a credit to them. We've got to figure out to learn from this."
While the Bears (8-4) lost for the first time since Oct. 21 against the Patriots—snapping their five-game winning streak—they maintained their game-and-a-half lead atop the NFC North over the Vikings (6-5-1), who fell 24-10 in New England. The Packers (4-7-1) also lost to the Cardinals 20-17 in Green Bay and followed by firing longtime coach Mike McCarthy.
The Bears needed to rally late after committing three turnovers that the Giants (4-8) turned into 10 points. Making his second straight start in place of the injured Mitchell Trubisky, Daniel threw two interceptions, both to linebacker Alec Ogletree.
Ogletree returned the first pick eight yards for a touchdown on the second play of the game, giving the Giants an early 7-0 lead. Attempting to throw the ball to Cohen in the left flat, Daniel didn't put enough air under the pass and it was picked off by Ogletree, who was rushing the passer on the play.
The Bears later tied the score 7-7 on Daniel's 2-yard touchdown pass to Adam Shaheen late in the first quarter. The TD capped a 10-play, 70-yard drive that was highlighted by Jordan Howard's 22-yard run.
Kyle Fuller recorded his team-leading sixth interception of the season when he stepped in front of Odell Beckham Jr. to pick off an Eli Manning pass at the Chicago 39. But the Bears gave the ball right back to the Giants.
Daniel had Cohen open streaking down the seam, but the quarterback's underthrown pass was picked off again by Ogletree at the Giants' 14.
The Bears eventually took a 14-7 lead as defensive tackle Akiem Hicks powered into the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-goal late in the first half. Nagy named the play "Freezer Left" as an ode to William "Refrigerator" Perry, the team's last defensive lineman to rush for a TD.
The touchdown capped a nine-play, 74-yard drive that was highlighted by Howard's 25-yard run and Robinson's 30-yard catch that he snatched off the helmet of Giants defensive back B.W. Webb.
After the Giants' first six possessions of the game ended with five punts and an interception, New York scored on its next three drives to take a 24-14 lead.
Rosas blasted a 57-yard field goal as time expired in the first half and then Beckham produced touchdowns on the Giants' first two possessions of the second half. The star receiver threw a 49-yard option pass to Russell Shepard and then caught a 1-yard pass from Manning on fourth-and-goal after the Bears had stopped the Giants on three plays from the 1.
The Bears cut the deficit to 24-17 on Parkey's 36-yard field goal with 9:25 remaining in the fourth quarter. But Gabriel fumbled after a 7-yard reception deep in Chicago territory with 2:19 to play, enabling the Giants to regain a two-score lead on Rosas' 37-yard field goal.
Despite three turnovers and other miscues—Daniel fumbled four times but didn't lose any of them—the Bears still nearly rallied to stun the Giants.
"At the end we still had a shot to win, all that said," Nagy said. "I absolutely love this team. I love where we're at. This is life, man. How are you going to rebound back from it? Are you going to sulk or are you going to pick it back up, go practice, go play and learn? And that's what we're going to do."