EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Bears safety Adrian Amos doesn’t have to see the film to rue the biggest play he didn’t make Sunday — a clean drop of an interception in the second quarter of the Bears’ 22-16 loss to the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. He knows what he should have done.
“Just concentrate on the ball,” Amos said. “[You] take your eye off the ball, seeing the end zone — stuff like that. I came from the other side of the field and I broke on the throw and just dropped it.”
Amos still was credited with a break-up of Eli Manning’s third-and-10 pass for tight end Will Tye in the middle of the field inside the Bears’ 20-yard line. But that still gave Robbie Gould an opportunity to kick a 46-yard field goal that cut the Bears lead to 16-9 — three points that ultimately made a difference, forcing the Bears to need a touchdown on their final drive instead of a field goal to tie.
“We got off the field, but still that could have gone for a touchdown,” Amos said. “[I’m] just looking back at what I could have done better — not just on that play, but other plays where we could have gotten off the field on third down and didn’t.”
Amos’ lament was a familiar one in the Bears’ locker room, as all three phases missed opportunities to make game-changing plays. Rookie running back Jordan Howard had drops on back-to-back plays in the fourth quarter, including one on a second-and-18 screen pass that looked like it had big-play potential. Josh Bellamy had a muffed punt bounce right in front of him on the ensuing play but failed to corral it, and the Giants recovered.
Sam Acho forced a fumble by Odell Beckham, but the ball went out of bounds. Safety Demontre Hurst had a chance for an interception when a Manning pass deflected into the air, but couldn’t come up with it. Connor Barth missed a 51-yard field goal that hit the right upright.
There wasn’t much Bellamy could say about not retrieving the muffed punt.
“It was a big opportunity. I just missed out on it,” he said.
With the Bears trailing 22-16 with 3:18 left in the fourth quarter, Hurst broke-up a pass for running back Rashad Jennings on third-and-10 from the Giants’ 23 to force a punt and give the offense once more chance.
“I made the play, but it could have been a bigger play,” Hurst said. “[I] misjudged it. He tipped it and it still could have been caught off the tip. I just missed it. I’ve got to come up with that play, especially in a tight game like that.”
Cornerback Tracy Porter had a less-obvious missed opportunity in the first half when he had the jump on wide receiver Roger Lewis Jr. on an out-route near the right sideline at the Giants 25-yard line. If Porter had responded a split-second earlier …
“My eyes lit up once [Manning] decided to throw the ball,” Porter said. “He kind of threw it low to the ground — not making excuses. But if I get a better jump on it, I could make that interception. It’s a game of inches. Being that close and coming up with the [pass break-up] instead of an interception — who knows?”
It was that kind of day for the Bears — and emblematic of their current plight: When you just miss making a play, you think you’re that close to being a contender. But when you miss so many opportunities — in every phase of the game — you might be farther than you think.