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Quick Hits: Four takeaways lift Bears to lopsided win

Bears DL Khyiris Tonga in action.

The Bears' takeaway bucket was filled to the brim Sunday at Soldier Field.

The defense forced four turnovers that the offense turned into 14 points in a 29-3 victory over the Giants. The unit intercepted two Mike Glennon passes and recovered two of the quarterback's three fumbles.

Neither interception was a solo effort: Cornerback Artie Burns broke up a pass that safety Tashaun Gipson Sr. picked off and defensive tackle Bilal Nichols deflected a throw that safety Deon Bush intercepted. Outside linebacker Trevis Gipson caused both fumbles the Bears recovered with strip/sacks of Glennon.

"The D-line was able to tip some footballs," said coach Matt Nagy. "The secondary made the play. We talk about, 'Make the play when you get a chance to make the play.' They made the play today."

Prior to Sunday, the Bears had generated only five takeaways—including two interceptions—in their last 10 games.

The defense wasted little time getting the ball back Sunday, as Trevis Gipson sacked Glennon on the first play of the game, forcing a fumble that Nichols returned 12 yards to the Giants' 2.

"We've been talking about turnovers for a long time and sometimes it's like you talk about it, you talk about it, you talk about it and they don't come," Nagy said. "And then now, to be able to get that the first play, it got the whole team going."

Over the Moon: With a game-high seven catches for 69 yards and one touchdown, Darnell Mooney increased his season totals to 69 receptions for 929 yards and four TDs. The second-year pro needs 71 yards in next Sunday's season finale against the Vikings in Minnesota to reach 1,000 yards.

Mooney's 4-yard TD catch in the first quarter gave him 125 career receptions, the most by a Bears player in his first two NFL seasons. Running back Tarik Cohen previously held the record with 124 catches.

Sack attack: With 2.0 sacks, Trevis Gipson recorded the first multi-sack game in his two years with the Bears. He now has 6.5 sacks this season.

Running man: David Montgomery rushed for two touchdowns Sunday on a pair of 2-yard runs. He now has seven rushing TDs this season and 21 in his three years with the Bears. Sunday was his fifth career game with at least two rushing TDs and his second this season, also accomplishing the feat Oct. 3 in a 24-14 win over the Lions at Soldier Field.

Historic effort: The Giants' minus-10 net passing yards Sunday were the third fewest by a Bears opponent since the NFL/AFL merger in 1970, trailing a minus-12-yard performance by the Packers Nov. 4, 1973 and a minus-22-yard outing by the Falcons Nov. 24, 1985.

Welcome back: In addition to Tashaun Gipson, Bears players who returned to action Sunday after missing last weekend's win in Seattle while being on the reserve/COVID-19 list included receiver Allen Robinson II, defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, cornerback Jaylon Johnson, tight end Jesse James and running back Ryan Nall.

Robinson caught four passes for 35 yards. He now has a reception in all 99 of his career games, the NFL's second longest active streak behind the Cardinals' DeAndre Hopkins (136).

Tackle time: Veteran Jason Peters also returned after missing two games with an ankle injury to start at left tackle. Rookie Teven Jenkins replaced him in the fourth quarter. Rookie Larry Borom started at right tackle.

First things first: The Bears' 14 points in the first quarter Sunday were their most in the opening period since they also generated 14 in a 48-10 win over the Buccaneers Sept. 30, 2018 at Soldier Field.

Before scoring two TDs in the first quarter Sunday, the Bears had not produced a TD in the opening period in their last nine games, mustering just two Cairo Santos field goals while being outscored 66-6.

On the shelf: Quarterback Justin Fields (ankle) and nickel back Duke Shelley (heel) did not play due to injuries. Tight end J.P. Holtz missed the game due to an undisclosed personal reason. Other inactives were offensive linemen Elijah Wilkinson and Lachavious Simmons.

Follow the Bears' Week 17 matchup against the New York Giants from the sidelines as our photographers capture the best moments from Soldier Field.

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