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Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith discussed the health of quarterback Jay Cutler, who was injured in Sunday's game against the New York Giants.
ESPNChicago.com quotes Smith giving the following description of Cutler's condition.
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was back at Halas Hall on Monday, and head coach Lovie Smith said there were no obvious signs of the concussion he suffered Sunday night.
"He's feeling OK, as he was last night after the game. We'll monitor and continue to evaluate." Smith wasn't trying to make an official observation on Monday.
"He's here, and it seems like he's in pretty good shape right now," Smith said. "No visual signs or anything I can tell. That's why I try not to be a doctor, and I leave that to other people. But he seems like he's OK today."
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 129 yards and a score while the New York defense recorded 10 sacks, as the Giants dealt the Chicago Bears their first loss, 17-3, at New Meadowlands Stadium.
Eli Manning completed 18-of-30 passes for 195 yards, without a touchdown or interception, to help the Giants (2-2) rebound from back-to-back losses to Indianapolis and Tennessee.
Hakeem Nicks caught eight passes for 110 yards and Brandon Jacobs also ran for a score for the Giants, who limited the Bears to 110 total yards and six first downs. New York sacked Bears starter Jay Cutler nine times in the first half, forcing him out of the game with a concussion.
The Bears (3-1) had to go with 38-year-old backup Todd Collins, who was also forced out late in the fourth quarter after taking a big hit. Caleb Hanie finished the game under center for Chicago, which was the last undefeated team in the NFC.
"We saw some opportunities," said Giants defensive end Justin Tuck. "We knew we had some matchups along their front line. And they've had some injuries along their front line. We felt very confident that we could get after [Cutler] but I didn't imagine we'd do as well as we did tonight."
New York took the lead on its second possession, when it got to the Chicago 12-yard line. On 3rd-and-10, Manning's pass to Steve Smith went for only eight yards, and Lawrence Tynes came in and kicked a 22-yard field goal.
However, that was the only score for either team in the first half, as both struggled. The Giants gained 98 yards over the opening two quarters, while the Bears totaled only 22 thanks to a porous offensive line.
Cutler was sacked one time on each of the Bears' first two possessions. Following the Tynes field goal, Cutler was picked off by Terrell Thomas to give the Giants the ball at the Chicago 28. However, New York wasn't able to pick up a first down, and Tynes pushed a 38-yard try wide left.
The game only got worse for Cutler in the second quarter. He fumbled upon being sacked by Osi Umenyiora shortly into the frame, only to have center Olin Kreutz recover the ball.
Chicago punted, and on the first play of its next drive Cutler was sacked by Tuck and lost the ball again. Running back Matt Forte recovered, but two plays later Umenyiora sacked Cutler -- who was working out of a shotgun formation -- to jar the ball loose. That time Giants safety Deon Grant recovered, though New York went three-and-out.
Cutler was sacked on consecutive plays on the ensuing Bears possession, though Chicago caught a break when Julius Peppers sacked Manning on the next Giants drive, forcing a fumble. Linebacker Brian Urlacher gained possession to set the Bears up near midfield, but Cutler was immediately sacked for a nine-yard loss. He was brought down one final time before the Giants took a 3-0 lead into the break.
Cutler did not return for the second half, finishing with 42 yards on 8-of-11 completions. Collins, who entered the league in 1995 and spent last season with Washington, replaced Cutler but fared no better, completing 4-of-11 passes for 36 yards.
The Giants expanded their lead late in the third quarter, when Bradshaw rushed for 25 yards to set up a 1st-and-goal at the three. He got the ball again, and powered into the end zone after being met by Bears safety Danieal Manning, giving New York a 10-0 lead with 2:48 left.
"We got pressure on [Eli Manning] when he tried to throw, we just didn't stop the run enough," said Urlacher. "There were a couple of plays there that the running back busted at the end. Those are frustrating. The ones that really hurt us were third quarter, early fourth quarter."
Grant intercepted Collins early in the fourth quarter, giving the Giants the ball at their own eight. New York got to the 33 before Jacobs mis-handled a handoff and lost the ball. Safety Chris Harris grabbed the ball to set Chicago up at the New York 29, which led to Robbie Gould's 40-yard field goal with 10:58 on the clock.
The Giants responded with a sustained drive, which Bradshaw looked like he was going to cap with a long touchdown run. However, as he neared the goal line, cornerback Zackary Bowman sneaked up on his right side and stripped the ball.
Bowman recovered at the one, forcing the Bears to go 99 yards if they were to reach the end zone. They gained only one yard before punting, which set up New York's final score.
The Giants took over at the Chicago 32, and on the first play Hicks maneuvered inside his defender to make a 30-yard reception. Jacobs got into the end zone on the next play to give his team a two-touchdown lead with 4:31 remaining.
Umenyiora and Tuck led the Giants with three sacks each. Barry Cofield (1 1/2), Chris Canty (1), Aaron Ross (1), and Jonathan Goff (1/2) also contributed to the total...Jacobs totaled 62 yards rushing...Giants fullback Madison Hedgecock left the game with a hamstring injury and did not return...New York gained 372 total yards...Hanie completed 3-for-4 passes for 36 yards. Forte led the Bears with 26 yards rushing on 12 carries.
Third-string quarterback Caleb Hanie is now in the game.
After Zack Bowman stripped the ball from Ahmad Buchanan and the Bears recovered on their one-yard line, the Bears went three-and-out. Following a Brad Maynard Punt, the Giants scored on two plays to make it 17-3.
On the NBC telecast, Al Michaels reported that Jay Cutler may have had to come out of the game due to a concussion suffered on one of the sacks.
The Bears stopped the Giants on their first drive of the second half. After a punt to the Bears’ 29-yard line, Todd Collins ran onto the field to direct the Bears’ first offensive drive of the third quarter.
Cutler managed to complete eight of 11 passes for 42 yards. The Giants’ Eli Manning had seven completions in 14 attempts for 63 yards. Neither team distinguished itself in a rather dull first half.
After Jay Cutler was intercepted, the Giants’ Lawrence Tynes missed a 38-yard field goal attempt. The Bears took over, and are now driving. Cutler completed five of seven passes for 30 yards in the first quarter.
Clark dropped a touchdown pass on fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line last Monday night against the Green Bay Packers and now he’s sitting out the game against the New York Giants at the New Meadowlands Stadium.
Lovie’s record is 55-44 in the 99 games to date. Ditka (121) and Halas (318) are also the only Bears coaches with more wins than Lovie.
Via tweet from BearsTwit:
Via Chicago Breaking Sports, we get this injury report for Sunday’s game against the Giants:
On the positive side, guard Roberto Garza returned to practice Friday on a limited basis after sitting out Thursday with a knee injury. He is listed as probable on the injury report, along with safety Chris Harris and defensive end Israel Idonije, both of whom had full practice participation.
(Sports Network) - Mistakes have plagued the New York Giants throughout the early segments of this NFL season, while the Chicago Bears are off to a surprising 3-0 start largely due to their ability to take advantage of opponents' miscues.
The surging Bears will seek to continue their opportunistic ways when the NFC's lone unbeaten team invades New Meadowlands Stadium this Sunday to take on a reeling Giants squad aiming to avoid its worst four-game beginning in 13 years.
Chicago has been impressively resourceful -- and maybe a bit fortunate as well -- in opening a campaign with three straight victories for the first time since 2006, when the Bears went 7-0 out of the chute en route to a 13-win regular-season and an appearance in Super Bowl XLI. After an overturned call on a would-be go-ahead touchdown in the final minute gave the club a 19-14 victory over Detroit in its 2010 opener, Chicago forced three turnovers and got several big plays on offense to hand reigning NFC East champion Dallas a stunning 27-20 loss on the road in Week 2.
The Bears made a few more believers with Monday's gritty performance against another 2009 playoff participant, rallying from an early 10-point deficit for a 20-17 triumph over rival Green Bay. Chicago got a major spark from both its defense and special teams against the Packers, with return man extraordinaire Devin Hester taking a punt back 62 yards for a touchdown in the opening stages of the fourth quarter and middle linebacker Brian Urlacher forcing a fumble in the game's final minutes to set up Robbie Gould's game-winning field goal with four seconds left.
Chicago has also benefited from a more judicious approach from quarterback Jay Cutler. After throwing a league-worst 26 interceptions in a disappointing first season in the Windy City in 2009, the rocket-armed triggerman has been picked off only twice through the first three games while so far thriving in new coordinator Mike Martz's wide-open offense.
While the Bears have shown a real knack for producing momentum-changing plays, the Giants have been littered with errors and mishaps over the course of the season's first month. New York has turned the ball over 10 times during its 1-2 start, with three of those giveaways coming in last Sunday's 29-10 home setback to Tennessee in which Big Blue outgained the Titans by a 471-271 margin in total yards.
The Giants were also held back by 11 penalties, including five personal fouls as well as a chop-block call on running back Ahmad Bradshaw in the end zone early in the second half that resulted in a safety and an eventual nine-point swing.
New York will likely need to show better execution this week to avert losing three of its first four games for the first time since 1997, although the Giants went on to win the NFC East with a 10-5-1 record that season.
If some more recent trends hold true, the winner of Sunday's showdown could be heading towards big things down the road. The Giants prevailed in the last encounter between these teams back in 2007 and went on to upset the New England Patriots in that season's Super Bowl, while the Bears bested New York the previous year before going on to claim the NFC title.
Chicago holds a 27-19-2 lead in its all-time regular season series with the Giants, which dates back to 1925. The road team has won the last seven meetings, with New York scoring Soldier Field victories in 1992, 1993, 2000 and 2007, and the Bears leaving North Jersey with triumphs in 1995, 2004, and 2006. The Bears are 5-0 in regular season road games against the Giants since their last such loss, in 1969.
In addition to the regular-season series, the teams have faced off eight times in the postseason, with Chicago holding a 5-3 advantage. The franchises met six times for the NFL Championship between 1933 and 1963, with the Bears winning four of six. In the Super Bowl era, the Bears recorded a 21-0 victory in a 1985 NFC Divisional Playoff and the Giants returned the favor with a 31-3 win in 1990 NFC Divisional Playoff.
The Giants' Tom Coughlin is 2-4 against the Bears as a head coach, including 1-2 since coming to New York. The Bears' Lovie Smith is 2-1 against both the Giants and Coughlin as a head coach.
WHEN THE BEARS HAVE THE BALL
The implementation of Martz's offense seems to have struck a chord with Cutler (870 passing yards, 2 INT), who's put himself well on the way to redemption with an outstanding start to the year. The former first-round pick is completing nearly 66 percent of his attempts and thrown for six touchdowns in the new system, while drastically cutting down his mistakes as well. Hester (6 receptions, 1 TD) and second-year pro Johnny Knox (11 receptions, 232 yards) are the deep threats in Chicago's multi-faceted attack, with the pair averaging over 20 yards per grab between them, with tight end Greg Olsen (10 receptions, 2 TD) and slotman Earl Bennett (8 receptions) serving as Cutler's safety valves. Running back Matt Forte (108 rushing yards) has played a major role in the passing game as well, having amassed 202 receiving yards thus far and hauling in half of Cutler's six scoring deliveries. He hasn't had the same impact as a runner, though, having averaged a paltry 2.8 yards per carry and failing to gain more than 50 rushing yards in any of the initial three weeks. A questionable front line could be partly to blame for Chicago's ground struggles and has been somewhat shaky in protection as well. The group won't have regular left tackle Chris Williams for a second straight contest due to a strained hamstring, though replacements Frank Omiyale and Kevin Shaffer haven't been much of a dropoff.
Cutler will be attacking a Giants defense that was ripped apart by the only top-tier quarterback its faced this season, when Indianapolis superstar Peyton Manning put up 255 yards and three scores on a sharp 20-of-26 passing in a Week 2 rout. It'll be up to ends Mathias Kiwanuka (11 tackles, 4 sacks) and Osi Umenyiora (6 tackles, 1 sack) to consistently apply heat on the Chicago field general and disrupt his timing, and for safeties Kenny Phillips (19 tackles, 1 INT) and Antrel Rolle (23 tackles) to remain disciplined and eliminate the big play. New York could also use a return to form from lineman Justin Tuck (19 tackles), a two-time double-digit sack producer who's gotten off to a slow start. The Bears don't figure to test New York much running the football, but linebackers Michael Boley (23 tackles) and Jonathan Goff (15 tackles) will surely have to keep an eye on Forte coming out of the backfield as a receiver.
WHEN THE GIANTS HAVE THE BALL
It's been another up-and-down year so far for Giants quarterback Eli Manning (810 passing yards, 5 TD), who's had his share of both good and bad moments in the early going. The former Super Bowl MVP has connected on over 65 percent of his throws and racked up 386 yards through the air -- the second-highest total of his career -- last Sunday against the Titans. He was also intercepted two times and has thrown six picks for the year, tied for the most in the league. The receiving corps of top target Steve Smith (18 tackles) and youngsters Hakeem Nicks (13 receptions, 4 TD) and Mario Manningham (14 receptions, 238 yards, 1 TD) has displayed some inconsistency as well, particularly with drops, while aging tackles David Diehl and Kareem McKenzie haven't helped Manning's cause with their deficiencies in protection. The struggling front line will also be without its anchor for a second straight week, with two-time Pro Bowl center Shaun O'Hara dealing with a degenerative condition in his left ankle. The Giants were still able to run the ball effectively in his absence, with Bradshaw (253 rushing yards, 2 TD, 7 receptions) gaining 88 yards with a touchdown on 15 attempts while adding another 30 yards on five catches.
The Giants will need to shore up their blocking issues to order to obtain success on Sunday, with the Bears possessing one of the game's elite pass rushers in All-Pro end Julius Peppers (3 tackles, 1 sack). The free-agent acquisition made a huge impact in Monday's victory with a couple of second- half plays, drawing a holding penalty that negated a Packers touchdown and blocking a field-goal attempt on the subsequent snap. Though the Bears failed to record a sack of Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers, both Peppers and counterpart Mark Anderson (5 tackles) were able to get consistent pressure. The pair will be counted on to do so again this weekend, as the Giants' deep group of receivers will pose a challenge to cornerbacks Charles Tillman (17 tackles, 1 INT, 2 PD) and Zackary Bowman (17 tackles). Bradshaw should face a stern test as well, however, from a Chicago defense that's yielding a minuscule 39.7 rushing yards per game (1st overall) on the year. Urlacher (25 tackles, 1 sack) and weakside linebacker Lance Briggs (25 tackles, 1 INT, 3 PD), a tandem with 11 Pro Bowl citations between them, have been flying to the football all throughout the season's first month.
Cutler's solid play and the Bears' air-it-out philosophy have made the once- maligned quarterback a desirable fantasy player once again, one who should be started with confidence. The trick is figuring out which Chicago receiver to use on an offense that spreads it around quite well. Knox has been the most consistent of the Bears wideouts but has no touchdowns, while Hester only gets a thumbs-up in leagues that count return yardage. Olsen is a pretty solid choice at tight end, and Forte's receiving skills compensate for his lack of production on the ground. While Manning's interceptions are a bit worrisome, he'll be throwing a lot on Sunday with the Bears likely to neutralize the running game, and seems to be in a good spot. Bradshaw's still worth using as the Giants' clear-cut primary ball-carrier, though optimism should be tempered in a matchup with a tough defense. New York's top three receivers -- Steve Smith, Nicks and Manningham -- have all done enough to warrant starting consideration. Chicago has the better fantasy defense of the two for this week, given the Giants' recent propensity for turnovers.
Cutler has been marvelous and Chicago's defense is indeed for real, but there's still reason to remain a little skeptical of a team that's pulled out two of its three wins by the skin of its teeth. The Giants are a very beatable foe at the moment, though, with turnover problems on offense, a defense that's been decent but unspectacular and having their composure come unglued at times. New York gets a real wake-up call here, however, as an undefeated opponent and the bitter taste from last weekend's performance should serve as a rallying cry for a team that needs a win. Manning's going to have to outplay his fellow quarterback in order to get it done, but the feeling here is Cutler's going to have one or two moments where he reverts to his careless 2009 form.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Giants 24, Bears 23
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