It may not have been the commanding performance that Bears fans were expecting, but Chicago was able to squeak out a victory Thursday night over the still-winless New York Giants. The Bears capitalized on a late Eli Manning interception to hold on for the 27-21 victory.
Despite the grumblings of some in Chicago, the Bears now sit at 4-2 with a half-game lead in the NFC North. They certainly had their share of troubles against the Giants, but they had plenty of positives to look at in victory. Jay Cutler, for instance, continued his solid season with 262 yards and no picks and, after a week of controversy, Brandon Marshall exploded for nine receptions, 87 yards and two scores.
Among the not-so-great was a Bears pass rush that beat the patchwork Giants offensive line for a sack only once. Steven Schweickert at Windy City Gridiron broke down the Bears' inability to get to the quarterback:
...I didn't think Shea McClellin and Corey Wootton had horrible games this round. Wootton contributed to Lance Briggs' lone sack of the game and McClellin made a couple of plays including a tackle for loss. The problem is overall it's still not enough of a pass rush without blitzes, and you don't want to blitz too much because it opens bigger holes in coverage. Defensive tackles and Julius Peppers were quiet as could be. Though I admit I like the look of Isaiah Frey blitzing from the nickel.
On the Giants' side, it was a disappointing finish to a game they played well enough to hang around. Manning's interception with under two minutes remaining -- his third of the game -- ended any hopes for victory and underscored a developing problem with the two-time Super Bowl MVP that leads the league in picks.
Ed Valentine at Big Blue View detailed the quarterback's turnover troubles from Thursday night:
Manning was intercepted three times Thursday, including twice in his first five throws. The second interception was returned 48 yards for a touchdown by Jennings, giving the Bears a 7-0 lead less than a minute into the game. Manning now has 15 interceptions this season, the same number he threw all of last year.