JC's Game Blog: Bears vs. Giants

Be sure to refresh this live blog every now and then for all the goings on Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field in Chicago. From the field to the sideline to the press box, JC will make you feel like you're a part of the game.

Greetings, Bears fans. Needless to say, the weather will have a huge effect on the outcome of today's game. The tarp was still on the field as of about an hour before kickoff, and it's possible that snow flurries could be on their way tonight after an afternoon's worth of pretty heavy rain. Whichever teams controls the trenches on a day like this stands the best chance of emerging victorious. The 7-4 Giants have some wiggle room in the NFC wild-card chase, but the 5-6 Bears absolutely have to win this game ...

Inactive today for the Bears are LB Darrell McClover, OG Josh Beekman, WR Mike Hass, CB Nathan Vasher, DT Antonio Garay, and LB Nick Roach. Kyle Orton will serve as the third quarterback again. As for the Giants, WR Steve Smith, RB Brandon Jacobs, S Girbil Wilson, CB Aaron Ross, OT Adam Koets, OG Kevin Boothe, and DT Russell Davis will sit this one out. Jared Lorenzen is the No. 3 QB. Adam Archuleta has been benched in favor or Brandon McGowan at strong safety, and rookie Trumaine McBride starts at corner again in place of Vasher, who was supposed to come back today but is probably being held out for precautionary reasons because of the miserable conditions ...

Just before kickoff, it's 46 degrees with 82 percent humidity and winds out of the southwest at 13 miles per hour ...

The Giants have won the toss and elected to receive ...

Eli Manning hits Brian Urlacher right in the chest on his second throw of the game, yet another turnover for the Giants on offense. Jeremy Shockey was open on the play initially, but Manning just made an awful decision right there. Robbie Gould barely got his kickoff to the 20-yard line, by the way, a problem that seems to be getting worse ...

For the first time this season, the Bears come out running a no-huddle offense and apparently catch the Giants defense off guard. Touchdown Bears as Rex Grossman hits Desmond Clark on a 1-yard touchdown toss off play-action. What a drive engineered by Grossman, 79 yards on nine plays in 3:08 ...

The Giants don't seem to have too much faith in Manning right now, electing to run the ball on 3rd-and-6. After coming up short, Devin Hester trots back for his first punt return of the day. But Jeff Feagles doesn't even think about giving him a chance, directionally punting the ball out of bounds at the Chicago 19-yard line ...

The Bears come up with a few first downs, but that's it as Brad Maynard enters the game for his first punt of the day. Hester got one snap on offense that series, and of course he immediately got the ball for a gain of just one yard. Offensive coordinator Ron Turner has to do a better job of using Hester as a decoy every now and then because the defenders don't let him out of their sights ...

And that's the end of the first quarter, Bears leading 7-0 ...

Credit Alex Brown for blowing up that Giants drive, as he snuffs out a reverse to Dominik Hixon for an 8-yard loss. Hester finally gets a chance to field the ensuing punt, but Feagles pins him up against the sideline as he manages just a 4-yard return to the Chicago 15. Todd Sauerbrun, you should be taking notes ...

Grossman takes a 13-yard sack all the way back to his 1-yard line on third down, but he never should have been in that position in the first place. On the previous play, Grossman hit Hester perfectly in stride for what should have been about an 80-yard touchdown, but Hester lets the ball bounce off his shoulder pad for a crushing incompletion. What a heartbreaker for the Bears because Grossman could not have thrown a prettier pass ...

Touchdown Giants as Derrick Ward tumbles into the end zone off left tackle on 3rd-and-goal. After the Lawrence Tynes extra point, it's a 7-7 ballgame with 10:25 left in the second quarter. Thanks to that Grossman sack on the previous series and a short punt by Maynard one play later, the G-Men only had to drive 32 yards to paydirt ...

Three-and-out for the Bears as Grossman is sacked for the third time already. He was lucky that his first-down pass wasn't intercepted as he tried to force one into Mark Bradley on a drag pattern over the middle. That dropped bomb by Hester was a gigantic momentum shifter in this game and right now looks like a 14-point swing ...

Manning loses the handle on a quick pass and puts the ball on the ground, and Anthony Adams recovers for the defense's second takeaway of the game. Ward started the drive with a 33-yard burst down the left sideline, as the Bears are still having trouble stopping the run consistently. That's 102 yards already on just 10 carries for Ward ...

The Bears go no-huddle on offense again, and Grossman responds by hitting Bernard Berrian down the left sideline for a 50-yard gain after an unbelievable catch. Michael Strahan gets to Grossman for another sack on third down, making Gould's field goal attempt that much more difficult. But the All-Pro still splits the uprights from 35 yards away, giving the lead back to Chicago at 10-7 ...

Yet another run for the Giants on 3rd-and-6, and yet another hold by the Bears. What a spectacular punt by Feagles, who once again pins Hester way deep in a corner and nets 48 yards on that effort. Grossman and Co. take over at their own 10 ...

"This is the two-minute warning" ...

Grossman is having a nice day throwing the football so far, and he could be over 300 yards already if not for that paralyzing drop by Hester. But just as I get to praising Grossman, he gets sacked yet again for a 14-yard loss by Osi Umenyiora. All of a sudden, Gould is forced to line up his field goal from 46 yards instead of about 30. Those deep-in-the-pocket sacks are just killers. Nevertheless, good as Gould once again, extending the Bears lead to 13-7 just as time runs out in the first half ...

Tynes kicks the ball out of bounds because he's scared to death of Hester, so Grossman gets the ball back at the 40-yard line to start the second half. But nothing doing as Maynard will punt the ball away again after a three-and-out. Giants get the ball on their own 20 for their first possession after halftime ...

Another turnover for the Giants, as Ward puts the ball on the ground the first time he touches it in the second half. Adewale Ogunleye came up with the strip and then recovered the ball after it hit the ground. First down Bears on the New York 24-yard line ...

This time it's a 15-yard personal foul on Terrence Metcalf that makes Gould's job much tougher. But he's good yet again from 41 yards into a very stiff wind, tacking another three points on the board for the Midway Monsters. They're killing themselves in the red zone with sacks and penalties, but at least they're coming away with points ...

Three-and-out for the Giants, as Adams and Mark Anderson meet at the quarterback for a big sack on first down. Burress still only has one catch on the day, so tip your cap to Tillman in coverage. And Jeremy Shockey just caught his first pass of the day, possibly because Archuleta is watching the defense play from the bench ...

Peterson comes up with a good run on first down, but he's blown up in the backfield on second down to force a third-and-long. The Bears once again try that wide receiver screen to Hester on the right side to no avail, so it's three-and-out. Maynard punts the ball away, which is looking more and more like the right thing to do with as well as the defense is playing today ...

On 3rd-and-goal from the 2-yard line, Manning is nearly intercepted by Brown but manages to slip away. He throws the alley-oop pass to Burress in the back-left corner of the end zone, but Tillman steps in front for a crucial interception. That's his second INT in two weeks after coming up empty through the first 10 games ...

And that's the end of the third quarter, but not before Grossman throws a gorgeous ball over the middle to Clark for a 44-yard gainer to flip the field position ...

The deep ball to Clark eventually goes for naught as Maynard enters the field of play for his sixth punt of the day. He just misses a perfect coffin-corner job, but the ball bounces into the end zone for a touchback. Manning doesn't have a lick of confidence right now, you can see that in his body language ...

Yet another three-and-out, as Eli Manning looks an awful lot like Cooper Manning out there right now. As I said leading up to this game, both Manning and Grossman have a tendency to let their bad days spiral out of control in a hurry. The Big Apple signal-caller is just 9-of-18 passing for 100 yards and two interceptions with 12:39 remaining ...

Nothing happening for Grossman and the offense, as the action in this game has come to a screeching halt. Rookie Garrett Wolfe is still yet to get in the huddle offensively, meaning Peterson has been The Man from start to finish at tailback. His numbers on the ground are awfully Cedric Benson-like with just 61 yards on 20 carries, but he's made a difference in the passing game by catching five balls for 72 more yards ...

Touchdown Giants as Amani Toomer hauls in a 6-yard touchdown pass after a critical booth review. The press box was split 50-50 on the call, but I thought it was a catch and that Toomer did indeed get his hands underneath the ball before it had a chance to hit the ground. A defensive pass-interference call on McGowan certainly didn't help matters ...

Yet another kickoff out of bounds for Tynes, as the Bears get the ball at their own 40 again thanks to the Hester fear factor. But the Giants get to Grossman again on third down and force a quick three-and-out, making this game much more interesting with about five minutes left on the game clock. Manning gets a chance to win this puppy if he can run the four-minute drill to perfection ...

"This is the two-minute warning" ...

Touchdown Giants as Reuben Droughns runs around right end for a 2-yard touchdown and a stunning 21-16 Giants lead. Soldier Field is absolutely silent right now because the Bears, who have controlled this game from start to finish, are suddenly losing with just 1:33 left on the clock. Manning put together a nine-play, 77-yard drive in 3:22, which is doubly impressive considering how much he's struggled today ...

Grossman puts together a drive and gives his team a chance to win with three shots at the end zone from the New York 28-yard line, but the Giants defense holds and seals a squeeker of a 21-16 victory ...

Be sure to visit BearReport.com for all the analysis, all the insight, and all the latest from Chicago as the Bears lose a strange game 21-16 and most likely put an end to any faint playoff hopes they may have had.

John Crist is the Editor in Chief of BearReport.com and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.


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