By Benjy Lipsman in News on Nov 13, 2006 2:30PM
Chicagoist was amazed that, as quickly as the national sports media jumped on the Bears bandwagon, they leapt off even faster following the Bears' loss to Miami last week. Maybe they'll realize those leaps were premature after the Bears defeated the New York Giants 38-20 on national TV Sunday night.
For the first 28 minutes of the game, it certainly didn't look like the Bears would win. The Giants dominated the game and held a 13-3 lead at the two-minute warning. Then, a Thomas Jones 26-yard run on a 3rd-and-22 kept a drive going that ultimately led to a 29-yard Mark Bradley TD and a much closer 13-10 game at intermission, which seemed to shift the momentum in the Bears' favor.
The Bears came out in the second half and scored two TDs to open up a 24-13 lead before the Giants scored a touchdown that narrowed the lead to four at the end of the third.
The biggest play of the second half came on a Giants 52-yard field goal attempt, looking to cut the lead to 1. A rookie return specialist waited in the end zone and caught the short kick, paused for a couple seconds and then ran the ball 108 yards for a TD, equalling Nathan Vasher's return from last year for the longest play in NFL history. Yup, two guys hold that record and both are on our Bears. That play seemed to deflate the Giants, who turned the ball over and allowed another Bears TD to cap the scoring.
Worries about Brian Urlacher's injured toe were laid to rest as he played, and played well. And Mark Bradley — last year's star in the making before injury ended his season — did his best Bernard Berrian imitation. We certainly feel much better about the Bears following tonight's 18-point win against the 6-2 Giants on their home field. The Bears made a definitive statement that they are the top team in the NFC this year.