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(Thursday, October 10th)
Final Score: Chicago 27, NY Giants 21
Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - After the Chicago Bears' promising start was quelled by back-to-back losses, the outspoken Brandon Marshall wanted more targets.
Jay Cutler listened.
Marshall caught nine passes for 87 yards and two touchdowns in the Bears' 27-21 win over New York, sending the Giants to their first 0-6 start since 1976.
"The bottom line is our defense was able to get the ball turned over to us three times and offensively we played a very clean game," Bears head coach Marc Trestman.
After hauling in 15 receptions for 217 yards and two touchdowns over his first two games, the often double-teamed Marshall was limited to 161 yards and a score on 16 catches over his last three tilts.
With the Giants trailing 27-21 with 5:21 left, New York got the ball at its own 15. Eli Manning drove his troops to the Chicago 36 before he tossed his NFL-leading eighth fourth-quarter interception to Tim Jennings with 1:54 remaining to seal the outcome. It was Jennings' second pick of the night.
Antrel Rolle and Mathias Kiwanuka appeared to stop Martellus Bennett on a 3rd- and-7 on Chicago's ensuing possession, but Bennett fought for the extra yardage and moved the sticks. The Bears then proceeded to run the remaining time off the clock.
Cutler was 24-of-36 for 262 yards and two scores for Chicago (4-2), which was outscored 50-20 in the first half during the two-game slide. The Bears led 24-14 at the break Thursday.
Matt Forte carried the ball 19 times for 67 yards and added six catches for 44 yards in the triumph. Alshon Jeffery, who benefited from Marshall's double teams to the tune of a team-record 218 yards in last week's loss to the New Orleans Saints, had just one reception for 27 yards.
Manning was 14-of-26 for 239 yards and a touchdown, but tossed three more interceptions to add to his NFL-leading total of 15.
Filling in for injured running back David Wilson, who is expected to miss three weeks with a neck injury, Brandon Jacobs ran for 106 yards and two scores on 22 carries in defeat.
"We're all sick of losing, but we put ourselves in this position. There is only one way to get out of it," Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said.
After Manning found a streaking Rueben Randle for a 37-yard score along the right sideline to tie the game at 14-14 early in the second, Chicago answered with the next 13 points, including the final 10 before the break.
The Bears went 80 yards in nine plays on their next touch and the drive was capped when Cutler hit Marshall on a back-shoulder throw in the front right corner of the end zone for a 3-yard score.
New York went three-and-out and Robbie Gould nailed a 40-yard field goal on the final play of the half.
Gould split the uprights from 52 yards out on Chicago's initial march of the second half.
Later in the third, Manning hit Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks for gains of 23 and 31 yards, respectively, before Jacobs capped a 9-play, 91-yard trek with a 1-yard TD plunge to bring the Giants within 27-21 just before the end of the third.
Cutler drove Chicago down to the New York 34-yard line on its next possession but an intentional grounding penalty on 3rd-and-4 forced the Bears to punt.
Earlier, Zack Bowman picked off Manning on the third offensive snap of the game, but the Bears were unable to capitalize in prime territory as Marshall dropped a pass on 4th-and-2.
Manning, though, flipped his pick-six five plays later as miscommunication between he and Randle led to Jennings' 52-yard score.
The Giants countered with a Jacobs 4-yard TD run later in the first and Marshall hauled in a 10-yard score in the back of the end zone on the second play of the second stanza.
The Bears outgained the Giants, 372-355 ... Nicks had four receptions for 70 yards, while Cruz caught four passes for 68 yards ... Bennett registered 68 yards on six receptions.
10/11 02:46:28 ET