The Bears made several mistakes Sunday against the Giants, especially on offense. But they showed resiliency and overcame that adversity, mainly with big pass plays and a stingy defense in a hard-fought 19-14 win.
While the victory wasn't a masterpiece, it counts the same as a work of art in the standings. It also gives the Bears (5-6) something to build on as they prepare for a quick turnaround and their Thanksgiving game in Detroit.
"We scored more points than them, but it's not good enough," said quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. "We've got to be better in the red zone, we've got to be better on third down, we've got to be better on offense. Today we found a way to score more points than them. [But] we've got to watch it, get better and quit making mistakes."
The good news was that the Bears scored two touchdowns and two field goals on four straight possessions bridging the second and third quarters to turn a 7-0 deficit into a commanding 19-7 lead.
Trubisky passed for a season-high 278 yards. He accounted for both TDs with a 32-yard pass to Allen Robinson II and a 2-yard dash on third-and-goal that was the quarterback's first rushing touchdown of the year. Eddy Piñeiro added field goals of 26 and 24 yards without a miss.
"We made some adjustments and came out with some more energy and we started making plays," said left tackle Charles Leno Jr. "Mitch was dicing them up. We got some plays that we really liked and we called them and it was all good."
Robinson's TD gave the Bears a 10-7 lead they would not relinquish and marked the fifth straight game a struggling offense has scored a touchdown on its first possession of the second half.
"A win is always nice," said coach Matt Nagy. "That's what we're looking for. They're hard to come by in this league, and our guys did that.
"Going into halftime down 7-3, it challenges you, again, offensively, just with some of the struggles there. But then coming back out, and I think now for several games in a row now, we've been able to come out and be efficient in that third quarter and put up points. So I was happy with that."
Khalil Mack led the defense with a strip/sack of rookie quarterback Daniel Jones deep in Giants' territory. Nick Williams recovered the fumble at the 3, setting up Trubisky's TD run that put the Bears ahead 19-7.
"It was a big momentum shift," said outside linebacker Leonard Floyd. "Once [Mack] made that play, I feel like everyone else started making plays too. It was big for us."
The bad news was that Trubisky threw two interceptions, including one in the end zone. Other costly miscues came when a wide open Ben Braunecker dropped a perfect pass that likely would have resulted in a 29-yard touchdown. And Cody Whitehair's illegal hands-to-the-face penalty nullified Trubisky's 60-yard completion to Robinson that would have been the Bears' longest play from scrimmage this year.
"You always try to have that resiliency, no matter what happens," Trubisky said. "It's just you and your boys out there. So, you're never out of the fight, just keep battling. Bad things are going to happen, but you can overcome those with good things if you just stick together and believe in the plan."
That's exactly what the Bears did to record their second win in three games. But it wasn't easy. In fact, they had to hold on late after the Giants mounted a rally.
Jones threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate on fourth-and-18, closing the gap to 19-14 with 4:10 remaining in the fourth quarter. The score capped an 11-play, 97-yard drive.
The Bears followed with a three-and-out; they were forced to punt after David Montgomery was tackled for a 1-yard loss on third-and-one. But the Giants were unable to advance beyond their own 35, eventually turning the ball over on downs with 1:43 remaining.
The Bears defense played well most of the game, limiting the Giants to 243 yards and 14 first downs while allowing just 1-of-12 third-down conversions. Running back Saquon Barkley was held to 59 yards on 17 carries, with 22 of those yards coming on one run.
"We played good overall as a unit," Floyd said, "not giving him too many lanes to run through, just corralling him every time he had the ball."