“Player for player, we felt like we had tops on them” – The Denver Post

“Player for player, we felt like we had tops on them” – The Denver Post
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When New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones faked the transfer to Saquon Barkley in the first quarter Sunday at MetLife Stadium, then sped to his left, a clear 21-yard lane to the end zone lay ahead. Jones.

With Chicago Bears defensemen Trevis Gipson, Jaquan Brisker and Dominique Robinson in chase mode, Jones picked up speed. Bears cornerback Kyler Gordon was unable to shake off tight end Tanner Hudson’s block near the goal line, and Jones creaked into the corner of the end zone behind Hudson for the first of the QB’s two touchdowns in the first half.

The Giants never trailed the Bears again in their 20-12 win, and Jones contributed 68 yards rushing to the Giants’ 262 for the day, a season high for a Bears opponent.

“He’s a good athlete,” linebacker Nicholas Morrow said of Jones. “He has long legs so he has a good stride and can kind of get out a bit. But there are certain rules we have to follow to make sure we can contain some of those races.

Jones’ second touchdown went the same way – a fake at Barkley, a sprint into the left corner of the end zone, an 8-yard touchdown.

Bears coach Matt Eberflus said the Bears made adjustments to stop similar forgery plays in the second half, but needed to come faster. The damage of two touchdowns was done, and coupled with a Bears offense that failed to get into the end zone, it was too much to overcome.

“It’s just eyes – you have to keep your eyes in the right place,” safety Eddie Jackson said of Jones’ defense during play action. “They were doing a good job setting it up. , running with Saquon. Run, run and then slip the boot here and there. We just need to do a better job with our eyes and around the edges.

The threat posed by Barkley helped the Giants pull off plays. After being limited the past two seasons by injuries, Barkley continued his rebounding season with 31 carries for 146 yards and two catches for 16 yards.

His performance continued a worrying trend, as the Bears allowed more than 175 rushing yards in three of their four games this season.

“He came out and played a great game, but there were a lot of mistakes on our part,” linebacker Roquan Smith said. “He’s a hell of a player, but that’s no excuse. We all need to improve and look in the mirror, myself included.

Jones was hampered by a left ankle injury midway through the second half, then substitute quarterback Tyrod Taylor left the game to be assessed for a concussion. The Bears limited the Giants to just two second-half field goals from kicker Graham Gano. Jackson had a big interception early in the fourth quarter — his third in four games — but the Bears offense failed to capitalize on takeaways that gave them the ball on their own 4-yard line.

In four games, the Bears defense hasn’t allowed a touchdown after halftime, allowing just 18 total points in the second half.

But the common thread in the Bears locker room of defenders after the game was that mistakes here and there were preventing the unit from putting on the game-changing performances the team needed – especially since the offense was struggling and that special teams were making costly mistakes, like the missed punt by returner Velus Jones Jr. in the fourth quarter.

Morrow lamented a missed tackle on a short pass from Jones to Barkley on the Giants’ second touchdown. On the third and the 9, Morrow was right on Barkley when he caught the ball, but Barkley slipped out of his grip for a 15-yard gain.

Gordon was called for a 40-yard defensive pass interference penalty on the Giants’ first drive on goal in the second half. And Smith obviously wasn’t happy that Taylor escaped his third-and-fourth-place catch in the Giants’ final practice on goal.

“Self-inflicted wounds. This is the most important thing. That’s what hurts the most,” Jackson said. “Player for player, we felt like we had some ups on them. We just have to do the little things right. We can’t keep shooting each other in the foot, myself included, and both sides of the ball, I’m sure, even in the special teams.

Eberflus said a focus this week for the whole team as the Bears prepare for the Minnesota Vikings 3-1 at US Bank Stadium will put together a full game after Sunday’s first-half errors.

“We just have to be consistent throughout,” Eberflus said. “It will be something that we will preach this week and do a better job. Apparently we are doing good things in this second half, but we have to play 60 minutes in this league.



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