Film Study: Five takeaways from the Bears’ 30-27 OT loss to the Giants
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Coach Matt Nagy’s review of the Bears’ 30-27 overtime loss to the Giants on Sunday started with ball security. Fumbling six times (although only one was lost) and throwing two interceptions doesn’t equate to winning games.
But that said . . .
“Everything — six fumbles, one lost, the turnovers, the interceptions — and we still are close,” Nagy said Monday. “I know it doesn’t count, but, man, we’re there.”
Here are five takeaways after watching the film of the game:
Daniel vs. Ogletree
Quarterback Chase Daniel’s shaky second start in place of injured Mitch Trubisky began when he misread Giants linebacker Alec Ogletree, who intercepted his first pass Sunday and returned it eight yards for a touchdown.
“I really didn’t see Ogletree, who sort of ‘mush-rushed,’ as we call it,” Daniel said. “[He] just dropped and [I] threw it right to him.”
Ogletree didn’t exactly drop — he stopped. He never engaged with left tackle Charles Leno Jr. and instead read Daniel the entire play. Daniel’s pass was intended for running back Tarik Cohen, his first read in the left flat.
Ogletree, who indicated after the game that the Giants had identified something about Daniel on film after his Thanksgiving Day start against the Lions, also focused on Daniel in the second quarter. He intercepted him a second time by cutting off his pass to Cohen, who was open flying down the left seam.
“If Chase could do it over again, he’d probably put a little more air on it,” Nagy said. “But, hey, that’s a good play by them.”
Ogletree said he knew Daniel didn’t see him.
“That’s why you study him,” Ogletree said. “You learn the routes that they want to run, and the type of offense that they are going to be, and when you match up and play as well as our [defensive backs] did, those things can happen.”
Don’t forget Robinson
Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson had a strong game that was lost in all the craziness. He made five catches on nine targets for 79 yards, including two highlight-reel catches in the second quarter: a 12-yarder on the left sideline, where he dragged his right toes to complete the catch, and a 30-yarder down the right sideline, where he caught the ball off cornerback B.W. Webb’s helmet.
Four plays after Robinson’s 30-yard grab in the rain — which Nagy called “magical” — defensive lineman Akiem Hicks scored on a one-yard run in a cameo as a running back.
“I guess I was shocked, but I wasn’t shocked, because I’ve seen [Robinson] make some pretty spectacular catches,” Nagy said.
Robinson played a prominent role in the Bears’ 10-point comeback in the final two minutes of regulation. He sidestepped cornerback Tony Lippett to turn a four-yard completion into a 19-yard gain on the first play of the drive that ended in Cody Parkey’s 21-yard field goal. He later drew a pass interference penalty on Webb in the end zone with three seconds left. On the next play, running back Tarik Cohen threw a touchdown pass to receiver Anthony Miller.
In overtime, Robinson came through on fourth-and-seven, faking a cut outside before breaking back inside to separate himself from Webb, then making a 10-yard catch in traffic.
“That’s what he does,” Nagy said. “He knows he has different ways to work a route. And then Chase went through his progression and gave him a great ball, all things considered.”
Beaten by Barkley
The Bears were in a prevent defense on third-and-23 with 17 seconds left in the first half when Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley broke off a 22-yard run. Rookie linebacker Roquan Smith eventually forced Barkley out of bounds.
Missed tackles continue to plague the Bears’ defense, and there were several against the Giants.
To be fair, Barkley, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, is extremely elusive and explosive. But safety DeAndre Houston-Carson, defensive lineman Roy Robertson-Harris and linebackers Danny Trevathan and Leonard Floyd all had opportunities to slow or stop Barkley on that run before he reached the sideline to stop the clock.
“He is what you would want in a running back,” Hicks said.
The following play was more inexcusable. On fourth-and-one, quarterback Eli Manning completed a nine-yard pass to tight end Rhett Ellison, who got out of bounds with one second left.
Houston-Carson was the closest in coverage. Manning’s completion put the Giants into kicker Aldrick Rosas’ field-goal range.
“Coach called the right call,” Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara said. “It is an ‘outside victory,’ meaning keep everything inside. The tight end got outside, and our coach was not happy.”
Beaten by Beckham
Giants receiver Odell Beckham’s 49-yard touchdown pass to receiver Russell Shepard in the third quarter was the result of a breakdown in the Bears’ secondary. Amukamara was the closest defender to Shepard, but he was 10 yards away at least. He said the Bears were in cover-3, meaning the field was divided in thirds, when Shepard ran free down the middle of the field.
Safety Adrian Amos ran to the right flat to cover back Wayne Gallman Jr. As the Giants’ play flowed to the Bears’ left, safety Eddie Jackson stepped up to help cover receiver Bennie Fowler, but cornerback Kyle Fuller already had that third of the field. Jackson slipped at the 25-yard line, leaving the middle wide open.
“I was about to take off running,” Beckham said. “It didn’t feel real because I just saw him running down the field, and it was never like that in practice or how we drew it up.”
Beaten by Beckham, Part 2
Beckham also was left uncovered on the Giants’ fourth-and-goal play later in the third quarter. That breakdown resulted in a one-yard touchdown catch. Beckham was the outside receiver in a trips bunch formation, with three receivers on one side of the field, and the Bears didn’t cover him as he crossed the end zone.
Amukamara later said the Bears were in a match-zone defense, and he, Jackson and Fuller all handled players in coverage. Beckham, meanwhile, ran past Trevathan and Amos.
“There’s a lot of people crossing down at the goal line, and it’s hard to cover,” Beckham said. “You don’t know whether to switch, swap. Does he run with me? Does he switch it? It just worked out.”