News & Analysis

NFL Week 2 PFF ReFocused: Chicago Bears 17, New York Giants 13

Don’t look now, but the Chicago Bears are 2-0 to start the season after a 17 to 13 win against the struggling New York Giants. The Bears came from behind to steal a victory from the Detroit Lions in Week 1.

Editor's note: All of PFF's grades and advanced stats from this game will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle.

It hasn’t been the toughest of slates to start the year for Chicago, but the Bears still have to feel good about this start given how many doubted this team heading into the season.

STORY OF THE GAME

Mitchell Trubisky’s stat line may not look as impressive in this contest as it did in Week 1, but it was a better all-around performance for the fourth-year quarterback. Despite the two interceptions, he did a much better job of keeping the ball out of harm’s way after racking up four turnover-worthy plays in Week 1 against Detroit. Much of his success against New York came late in the play. By initial count, Trubisky went 9-for-10 for 116 yards and two touchdowns on passes that came three or more seconds after the snap — a 154.6 passer rating. 

Sep 20, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (10) looks to throw a pass during the first quarter against the New York Giants at Soldier Field. Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants weren’t able to get much going offensively on the other side until late in the game. In the first half, New York managed just -0.49 EPA per play. That number jumped into positive territory in the second half, but it was too little too late. 

Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks and Robert Quinn all got home for multiple pressures despite Daniel Jones making a concerted effort to get rid of the ball quickly, and the Giants weren’t able to get much going on the ground for the second straight week. With news breaking that the Giants fear Saquon Barkley suffered a torn ACL in the game, things aren’t going to get any easier for them in the running game moving forward. There’s going to be a lot of weight on Daniel Jones shoulders to make things happen for this offense moving forward. 

ROOKIE WATCH

Rookie left tackle Andrew Thomas was beaten several times in pass protection and didn’t have the best of games in the run-blocking department.  The Giants’ offensive line has been a concern through two weeks, and while Thomas hasn’t stood out as the weakest link, he’s also not a definitive strength two games into his NFL career. 

Darnell Mooney made some plays for the second straight week, picking up his first career receiving touchdown in the process. He ranked second among Chicago wide receivers in routes run (21) behind only Allen Robinson and brought in all three of his targets in the game. It appears as if he has carved out a legitimate role sooner than many expected. 

Cole Kmet — despite being taken three rounds earlier — had a significantly smaller role than Mooney in the passing game. He trailed both Jimmy Graham and Demetrius Harris in offensive snaps at tight end and ran a route on just five of those 22 offensive snaps. 

Cornerback Jaylon Johnson continued to play well in the Chicago secondary with a second consecutive strong showing. He saw 46 snaps in coverage in the game and did a good job of limiting production, picking up a forced incompletion in the process. He has been one of the more impressive rookie cornerbacks in the league through the first two weeks of the season. 

On the other side of the field, Darnay Holmes saw 25 defensive snaps with only two outside at cornerback. He got beat a few times, but Holmes did stick close with Anthony Miller on an out route on third down — a pass that fell incomplete. Like with much of the Giants’ secondary, things will be a work in progress this season for the fourth-round rookie out of UCLA.

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