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‘I just dropped it’ — Bears lament missed opportunities in loss

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.”

Bears running back Jordan Howard reacts after an incomplete pass against the Giants during the fourth quarter Sunday. | Seth Wenig/AP

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.