Giants lead undefeated Bears 3-0 behind defense after first quarter but could have had more

By Rachel Cohen, AP
Sunday, October 3, 2010

Giants lead undefeated Bears 3-0 after 1st quarter

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants managed only three points off two trips deep into Bears territory but still led the NFC’s only undefeated team 3-0 after the first quarter.

Lawrence Tynes made a 22-yard field goal but missed a 38-yard attempt wide left Sunday night for a Giants team coming off two straight uninspired losses.

New York’s defense did its part, forcing Jay Cutler’s third interception of the season.

Neither team crossed midfield until the game’s fourth possession. After a 23-yard catch by Hakeem Nicks, New York had first down at the Bears 12.

But the Giants gained nothing on their next two plays, then Eli Manning threw to Steve Smith short of the first-down marker. They had to settle for Tynes’ short field goal and a 3-0 lead with 3:29 left in the quarter.

New York got the ball right back in Bears territory when Terrell Thomas jumped in front of tight end Greg Olsen and Cutler threw the ball right to him. But after taking over at the Chicago 28, the Giants couldn’t get a first down, and they came away with no points when Tynes missed.

The Giants’ first punt went from near calamity to near good fortune to a routine outcome — and Devin Hester had nothing to do with it.

Rookie Matt Dodge dropped the ball setting up for the punt. He was able to chase it down, which actually left him in position to scamper for the first down. Instead, he punted on the run. It officially went as a 42-yard punt with no return.

New offensive coordinator Mike Martz had helped Cutler cut down on interceptions after he threw a league-high 26 last season. But the quarterback looked rattled by the Giants’ pressure.

New York had spent the week answering questions about coach Tom Coughlin’s leadership after committing five personal fouls and three turnovers in a loss to the Titans.

will not be displayed