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(Sunday, October 3rd)
Final Score: NY Giants 17, Chicago 3
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 129 yards and a score while the New York defense recorded 10 sacks, as the Giants dealt the Chicago Bears their first loss, 17-3, at New Meadowlands Stadium.
Eli Manning completed 18-of-30 passes for 195 yards, without a touchdown or interception, to help the Giants (2-2) rebound from back-to-back losses to Indianapolis and Tennessee.
Hakeem Nicks caught eight passes for 110 yards and Brandon Jacobs also ran for a score for the Giants, who limited the Bears to 110 total yards and six first downs. New York sacked Bears starter Jay Cutler nine times in the first half, forcing him out of the game with a concussion.
The Bears (3-1) had to go with 38-year-old backup Todd Collins, who was also forced out late in the fourth quarter after taking a big hit. Caleb Hanie finished the game under center for Chicago, which was the last undefeated team in the NFC.
"We saw some opportunities," said Giants defensive end Justin Tuck. "We knew we had some matchups along their front line. And they've had some injuries along their front line. We felt very confident that we could get after [Cutler] but I didn't imagine we'd do as well as we did tonight."
New York took the lead on its second possession, when it got to the Chicago 12-yard line. On 3rd-and-10, Manning's pass to Steve Smith went for only eight yards, and Lawrence Tynes came in and kicked a 22-yard field goal.
However, that was the only score for either team in the first half, as both struggled. The Giants gained 98 yards over the opening two quarters, while the Bears totaled only 22 thanks to a porous offensive line.
Cutler was sacked one time on each of the Bears' first two possessions. Following the Tynes field goal, Cutler was picked off by Terrell Thomas to give the Giants the ball at the Chicago 28. However, New York wasn't able to pick up a first down, and Tynes pushed a 38-yard try wide left.
The game only got worse for Cutler in the second quarter. He fumbled upon being sacked by Osi Umenyiora shortly into the frame, only to have center Olin Kreutz recover the ball.
Chicago punted, and on the first play of its next drive Cutler was sacked by Tuck and lost the ball again. Running back Matt Forte recovered, but two plays later Umenyiora sacked Cutler -- who was working out of a shotgun formation -- to jar the ball loose. That time Giants safety Deon Grant recovered, though New York went three-and-out.
Cutler was sacked on consecutive plays on the ensuing Bears possession, though Chicago caught a break when Julius Peppers sacked Manning on the next Giants drive, forcing a fumble. Linebacker Brian Urlacher gained possession to set the Bears up near midfield, but Cutler was immediately sacked for a nine-yard loss. He was brought down one final time before the Giants took a 3-0 lead into the break.
Cutler did not return for the second half, finishing with 42 yards on 8-of-11 completions. Collins, who entered the league in 1995 and spent last season with Washington, replaced Cutler but fared no better, completing 4-of-11 passes for 36 yards.
The Giants expanded their lead late in the third quarter, when Bradshaw rushed for 25 yards to set up a 1st-and-goal at the three. He got the ball again, and powered into the end zone after being met by Bears safety Danieal Manning, giving New York a 10-0 lead with 2:48 left.
"We got pressure on [Eli Manning] when he tried to throw, we just didn't stop the run enough," said Urlacher. "There were a couple of plays there that the running back busted at the end. Those are frustrating. The ones that really hurt us were third quarter, early fourth quarter."
Grant intercepted Collins early in the fourth quarter, giving the Giants the ball at their own eight. New York got to the 33 before Jacobs mis-handled a handoff and lost the ball. Safety Chris Harris grabbed the ball to set Chicago up at the New York 29, which led to Robbie Gould's 40-yard field goal with 10:58 on the clock.
The Giants responded with a sustained drive, which Bradshaw looked like he was going to cap with a long touchdown run. However, as he neared the goal line, cornerback Zackary Bowman sneaked up on his right side and stripped the ball.
Bowman recovered at the one, forcing the Bears to go 99 yards if they were to reach the end zone. They gained only one yard before punting, which set up New York's final score.
The Giants took over at the Chicago 32, and on the first play Hicks maneuvered inside his defender to make a 30-yard reception. Jacobs got into the end zone on the next play to give his team a two-touchdown lead with 4:31 remaining.
Umenyiora and Tuck led the Giants with three sacks each. Barry Cofield (1 1/2), Chris Canty (1), Aaron Ross (1), and Jonathan Goff (1/2) also contributed to the total...Jacobs totaled 62 yards rushing...Giants fullback Madison Hedgecock left the game with a hamstring injury and did not return...New York gained 372 total yards...Hanie completed 3-for-4 passes for 36 yards. Forte led the Bears with 26 yards rushing on 12 carries.
10/04 01:55:14 ET