When we looked at the Bears (2-5) schedule before the season, there was a chance that the quarterback matchup for today's game against the Giants (5-2) could have been Rex Grossman against Eli Manning. Instead, we have Craig Krenzel versus Kurt Warner. The Bears will find out today if they made a mistake by not signing Warner in the offseason.
Adam Caldarelli is at Giants Stadium (what an original name). Send him your e-mails by using the form on the right.
Warner hasn't necessarily set the NFL on fire this year. He only has four touchdown passes and has fumbled numerous times. Look for the Bears to put the pressure on him this afternoon. Giants running back Tiki Barber leads the NFL in total yardage, with 748 yards rushing and 352 yards receiving.
Krenzel comes in unbeaten as a starter. I know, it was only one game, but, hey, the Bears won it. He needs to get good protection and hopefully, he can throw more passes like the one to Bernard Berrian last week against the Niners.
Football coming up.
Adam: There are no real surprises to the inactive list. Rex Tucker again will replace Gandy at guard. Let's see if he fares better than he did in his first game back in two years against San Francisco last week, when he was beat repeatedly and was seen sucking oxygen on the sideline. Also of note, Adewale Ogunleye is active. Whether he's hampered by his ankle injury remains to be seen.
Bears receive and Jerry Azumah has no room to run, and the Bears start at the 11. Thomas, starting for the injurted Jones, gets nailed for a loss of a yard and then catches a screen pass for a five-yard gain to the 15. Krenzel has time to throw and moves to his right and fires for Justin Gage and he can't hang on. Maynard's punt is short and goes out of bounds near midfield.
Adam: Not sure why Krenzel didn't run that himself for the first down.
Warner will pass on first down and throws behind Ike Hilliard. Barber carries and trips at the line so it'll be third-and-10. Warner has all day to throw, but sails one over Amani Toomer's head. Jeff Feagles kick is downed at the Bears 5, as David Tyree leaped to grab the ball in the air over the end zone and threw it back in the field of play.
It's a gorgeous day in New Jersey with temperatures in the 60s and clear skies. Tough spot here for Krenzel, and David Terrell is called for a false start so that brings it back to about the 3. Thomas goes straight ahead and gets back to the 5.
Adam: David Terrell said this week that this offense is now his "show" and then he false starts from their own 5.
Krenzel hits Bryan Johnson on a screen, but they only gain a yard. Krenzel is under pressure and tries another screen, this time for Thomas, but it's too high and Maynard will punt from the end zone. Another poor effort and the ball is downed at the Bears 38.
Adam: Maynard has had two bad punts from deep in the Bears' territory, but it is pretty windy here.
After an incomplete, Tommie Harris is called for being offsides. From the 33, Warner hits Toomer for a big gain to the 12. Barber carries for three and then a completion to the 3, brings up third-and-1. Barber finds a hole and carries into the end zone. Christie adds the PAT.
Giants 7, Bears 0
Adam: From the news no Bears fans wants to hear department, Krenzel was shaken up on that last play in the end zone. It appears he may have hurt his ankle.
Barber now has eight TDs on the season, seven rushing. The Giants kick out of bounds, so the Bears will get to start at the 40. Krenzel rolls to his right and hits Terrell for a 13-yard gain and a first at the N.Y. 47. Now Fred Robbins sacks Krenzel for a loss of 7. Rex Tucker moved from his spot too fast. krenzel throws a jump-ball type pass for Terrell, but it's too high. The Giants' DBs are not very tall. However, Dustin Lyman is called for blocking downfield and it's all the way back to the Bears 36 now.
Adam: Nothing like an 8-yard jump ball. And we've got Dustin Lyman away from the play ala Terrell two weeks ago. Was that two weeks ago? These games are all a blur.
Qasim Mitchell, he of a new contract, is called for holding and it's second-and-37. My goodness.
Adam: Mitchell's good for at least two of those a game. Anyone think Marc Colombo will play this season?
On the next play, the Giants are called for illegal contact, and that gives the Bears an automatic first. Big break. Lots of laundry on the field so far.
Adam: That was just an ugly sequence of football there.
Thomas runs for a short gain, and now Krenzel steps up to throw and gets the ball stripped and it's recovered by Osi Umenyiora and N.Y. will take over at the 21. Gibril Wilson caused the fumble.
Warner goes to the air right away and hits Jeremy Shockey and he barrels down to the 1. Barber takes the handoff and walks around end and into the end zone. Christie adds the PAT.
Giants 14, Bears 0
This is the worst position the Bears could be in with a rookie QB. They start at the 17. Thomas sweeps right and gains 5. Krenzel tries for Desmond Clark, but it's low and knocked away. Krenzel's next attempt is tipped away and Maynard kicks--again--and the Giants will start--again--in Bears territory, at the 46.
Adam: At this point the game looks way too fast for Krenzel.
Barber finds an enormous hole and picks up 19 to the 27. This game is going to be over before the first quarter ends. Warner has plenty of time and zips one to Shockey down to the Bears 14. Barber scores on the next run, but the Giants are called for holding. Amaini Toomer is the culprit.
Adam: An interesting question from reader Jeff Sanders, not the Jerry Krause draft pick I assume, in Carson City, Nev., who asks when's the last time a team had more yards in penalties than they gained in a quarter? Jeff, I have no idea, but I bet the Bears have done it this season.
Adam: And another question from a reader, Aaron Gesicki, who asks what happened to Urlacher on that second Barber TD. He was nailed off the line by Shockey. That was the second Barber TD, as opposed to the third, which was just called back because of a penalty.
They cut down Barber this time, and it's second-and-12. Warner's pass is tipped by Urlacher and it's third down. Warner is forced to run and he is hit by Jerry Azumah and fumbles and Nathan Vasher grabs it before it goes out of bounds and the Bears start at the 30.
Adam: Great play by Azumah. You could see that driving up the New Jersey turnpike. Great play by Vasher to scoop that up, too.
Krenzel has no time to throw, and is sacked by Michael Strahan for a loss of 14.
Adam: I'm not sure why they would leave Dustin Lyman one-on-one against Strahan there. That's asking an awful lot of the guy.
Thomas carries for 4. again, Krenzel has no time and he has to tuck the ball away and fall forward for a gain of about 1. Maynard finally gets off a good punt and the Giants take over.
From the 40, Barber carries and gets flipped over after a two-yard pickup. Warner goes deep and R.W. McQuarters is right there and it's almost picked off near the sideline. N.Y. is called for a false start and so it's back to the 37.
Adam: Oh, boy. I may take a nap. Put me down for a fourth-quarter wake-up call, Chris.
Giants are called for offsides after Warner was sacked by Alex Brown and the Bears decline that penalty and N.Y. kicks. The Bears are called for running into the kicker, which is a five-yard penalty and a re-kick. The Bears start at the 37.
Thomas gains about 4 and then carries again for no gain. Mitchell is called for another false start. Tony Siragusa, on Fox-TV, says the Bears need to re-negotiate his new contract, which he just signed. Krenzel's next pass is incomplete and Maynard punts.
After the kick, Alfonso Marshall is called for unsportsmanslike conduct after the Giants were called for taunting. Those penalties offset. If Marshall walks away, the Giants would have been back 15 yards.
As it is, they begin at the 32. The Bears get the rush on Warner, but he dumps one to Barber for a pickup of 9. Barber is stopped for no gain on second down.
Adam: This game's getting a little chippy. There's a lot of taunting and shoving. Before that little imbroglio with Alfonso Marshall, Giants cornerback Terry Cousins taunted the Bears bench before running off the field.
Barber is nailed again and the Bears hold. Brian Urlacher blasted through the line and made the play. Feagles' punt is downed at the 24.
Thomas gets the call and picks up a few to the 26. Krenzel goes to Terrell on a fade, but the pass is caught out of bounds. Krenzel throws well behind his intended receiver, and the Bears will, surprise, punt. I didn't even see who the intended receiver was because there was no one in the picture.
Giants start at the 29 and Warner rolls out and will have to run and he gains 5. The Giants are called for an illegall block, and then two runs and the Giants punt. McQuarters will return this one and the Bears will begin at their own 47.
Adam: OK, it may be time to call this game because of lameness.
The Bears call timeout. At least the lineman can't move on this. Six miutes to play in the half, which can't end soon enough. Terrell catches a pass across the middle and he has running room and gets down to the N.Y. 35. Now, Krenzel throws a perfect pass into the end zone to Berrian and that's a TD. Second time in two weeks for those two. What did Lovie say during that timeout? The PAT is good.
Giants 14, Bears 7
Adam: Anytime Will Allen wants to play some defense, I'm sure would be fine with Tom Coughlin. After the play, Allen waved his arms more complaining about a push-off than he did defending the pass. But great throw by Krenzel and two straight weeks with a Berrian touchdown.
The Giants start at the 25. Barber has no room to run as Alex Brown blows in and that'll be a loss of 3. Warner has no time to pass and Brown gets a sack back to the 19. What a year he is having. He even lost his helmet on the play.
Adam: This game is turning. The Bears have held the Giants to three straight three and outs thanks to Urlacher and Alex Brown.
Warner completes to Hilliard and he fumbles and the Bears have it after a scramble at the 30.
Adam: Bears defense has turned this game. And how about the helmet-less sack by Alex Brown. That's up there.
The Giants will challenge, saying the pass was incomplete. Play stands. N.Y. loses a timeout.
OK, let's see if the Bears go for it all here. Krenzel fakes the end around and runs and slides and is hit and that's a roughing penalty and the Bears have the ball at the 8 after all that. Krenzel has time to pass, but can't find anyone and will lose 3. N.Y. is called for a penalty and it'll be first-and-goal at the 4. What a break. Thomas takes the handoff and runs untouched into the end zone. What a turnaround. 2:35 left.
Bears 14, Giants 14
David Terrell and Todd McMillion are celebrating on the sidelines with some downward finger-pointing. Whatever that means.
The Giants return the kick to the 28. Lot of upsets in the NFL today--maybe the Bears can add to the list. Warner looks for Toomer and Vasher intercepts the high pass and returns it to the 9. But there is a flag. It's on N.Y. for a low block and the ball moves to the 4. Mike Green upended Toomer on that pass. Vasher has two turnovers today.
Adam: Alex Brown had a chance to nail right tackle Luke Petitgout, whose name in French I believe means little gout, and the guy Brown's been going up against all game. Brown blocked him but got knocked backwards and Petitgout was able to get a hand on Vasher, which saved the touchdown.
I can't believe it, but the Bears try to pass and Krenzel goes down at the 10. Why? After Thomas just ran untouched for a TD from the 4 just a minute ago. Two-minute warning. Now Thomas gets the call and gets back to the 4. Krenzel throws a jump ball to Gage, but it's too high and goes out of the end zone. Edinger gives the Bears the lead with a 22-yard FG.
Bears 17, Giants 14
Willie Ponder returns the kick over 80 yards to the 10, but it's called back for holding and Tom Coughlin is losing it on the sidelines. N.Y. will start at their own 30. Warner's pass is knocked up in the air and it's intercepted by Azumah and the Bears are at the 41 of the Giants with :44. The Bears have two timeouts. Green tipped the ball.
Krenzel finds a wide open Wade at the 14 and he takes the ball down to the 2. Timeout Bears. Thomas gets the call and he loses a yard and now they call their last timeout. Have to pass now. Krenzel goes for another jump ball and it's way out of bounds. They try the same play and it's also incomplete. Too bad Wade didn't get in the end zone on his catch. Edinger nails another 22-yarder as the half ends. What a reversal.
Bears 20, Giants 14
Ponder brings the kick back to the 41 and Barber is stopped for no gain on first down. Warner goes to Hilliard near the sideline and he reaches for the first and is just shy at the Bears 49. Barber carries and the Bears make the stop. What a defensive performance since early in the game. Feagles gets off an awful punt that goes out at the 23.
Thomas finds some room to run and gains 6 to the 29. Thomas gets the call again and he falls forward to the 32. A-Train again and he gets the first to the 34. Krenzel tries for Wade and it's knocked away by Will Allen on a pass that was thrown behind Wade. Krenzel looks for Thomas, but A-Train isn't looking for it and it hits him in the shoulder behind the line so that's a fumble and it's knocked around and the Giants recover. The Bears will challenge the call. Play stands.
N.Y. starts at the 18. Warner tosses a screen to Hilliard and he fumbles, but the Giants fall on it. Loss of 2. Warner goes to pass and the ball is stripped and Ian Scott recovers for the Bears. Unbelievable. N.Y. can't hold on to the ball. That's 12 fumbles by Warner this year.
Adam: Alex Brown was given a sack on the play, his third.
Thomas carries twice and the Bears are out to the 40. It's third-and-3. Krenzel is hit as he throws and his pass falls to the turf. On the punt, Mark Jones calls a fair catch at the 10 with 8:09 to go.
Adam Caldarelli is at Giants Stadium. Send him your e-mails by using the form on the right.
Barber rushes for a seven-yard gain and then the Giants are called for a false start. Back to the 13. Barber sweeps to his right and gets out to the 19, so it's third-and-1.Warner throws and it's tipped away by Ogunleye. First time we've heard his name today. The Bears are dominating on defense. McQuarters takes the punt and he finds some space and boggies up the middle to the Giants 40. A 29-yard return. Plus, a facemask penalty on N.Y., so that's 15 more. Nice.
Bears start at the 25. Krenzel goes to Thomas in the flat and the Bears are called for an illegal formation after a 21-yard gain. That hurts.
Adam: Strahan strained his chest and may not return.
Thomas goes nowhere on first-and-15. Krenzel is sacked back to the 39. Umenyiora went around Qasim Mitchell like he was a pylon.
Adam: Mitchell's going to need a signing bonus to buy Krenzel dinner after that phantom block.
Krenzel's pass is intended for Clark, but it's a bit high and the Bears punt. Boy, the Bears were at the 3 after that Thomas pass play, and now they get nothing. Maynard's punt hits at the 1 and takes a 90 degree turn and goes out of bounds.
Barber breaks away off tackle and he's caught by Todd Johnson at the 22. Now a quick pass to Barber and they're out to the 30, but the Giants held on the play.
Adam: A reader asks which receiver covered up the tight end on that illegal formation penalty. I believe it was Mr. Show, David Terrell.
From the 16, Mike Cloud (who?) carries and gets a couple. Warner moves to his left and has all day and he completes to Barber and that's a first at the 42. Tommie Harris takes Warner down on the next play for a loss of 4. Cloud has running room and he's out to the Bears 48. N.Y. calls timeout with :52 left. Warner goes for Shockey and he can't make the play, so it's fourth-and-1. Barber goes straight up the middle and it's close. Looks like he may be short. He is.
A-Train carries into Giants territory and that's the quarter.
Thomas gets a few more and it's third-and-4 and Krenzel is forced from the pocket and he is forced out of bounds about a yard short. Maynard's kick is taken by Jones at the 18 and he returns it to the 30, but he called for a fair catch and the refs were slow to pick up on it, but finally got it right and that penalty brings the ball back to the 11.
He waved both arms just above his chest, which is not a fair catch signal, but you still can't make any arm movements that appear to be a fair catch signal.
Barber gets 5 and then Warner completes to Shockey out to the 26. No gain for Barber. Screen pass falls incomplete and it's third-and-10. Warner's next throw is short as he was forced to rush the throw. Ogunleye was coming on. McQuarters returns the punt to the 24.
A-Train gets out to the 29. Thomas takes the pitch and ends up a few yards shy. Krenzel hits Terrell on a slant and it's an 8-yard gain. Those two hookup again and the Bears are all the way to the N.Y. 40. A-Train tries to go right, but the Giants string it out and he loses 2. From the shotgun, the Giants blitz and Krenzel hands to Thomas and he breaks to the left and gets to the sidelines and he's gone. Sweet. The Bears will go for 2. Krenzel runs it in.
Bears 28, Giants 14
Ponder returns the kick to the 36. It's A-Train's birthday today. What a way to celebrate. There's 7:30 left. Warner is hit as he throws and the Bears are called for roughing the QB on a blow to the head. Terrible call. Ogunleye's hand just followed through as he rushed Warner and it hit his helmet. Now a pass to Toomer to the Bears 30 and they're in the hurry-up. A screen to Barber and they're quickly to the 12. Shockey catches a pass down to the 5. Now they blitz Warner and Urlacher almost picked it off. The next pass is deflected and it's fourth-and-3. The Bears bring everyone and Warner throws it to the dirt. Michael Haynes is called for roughing Warner. He shoved him just after he threw. Now an illegal motion on N.Y. So they're at the 7. First-and-goal.
Adam: They give them fewer steps to the quarterback each week. The Bears have been flagged for that a number of times. How is Michael Haynes supposed to stop himself there? Some Bears personnel guys are behind us in the press box and they went nuts over that call.
After a short pass to Hilliard to the 4, the Giants are called for a false start. Barber takes the handoff and loses 4--back to the 13. With 4:45 to play, N.Y. has third-and-goal.
Adam: This is a break-out game for the Bears defense. It's true the Giants offense has hurt itself plenty of times, but the Bears D changed the game in the second quarter and has been in control ever since.
Hilliard takes a screen and gets down to the 5, which brings up fourth down. A fade to Toomer is knocked away by Vasher and the Bears take over. And this one should be in the books, folks.
Thomas runs for no gain on first down. Nathan Vasher's fumble recovery was huge in the first quarter. The Bears could have been down 17-0 or 21-0. New York hasn't scored since. The Bears run again and N.Y. calls timeout. Another run and the Bears punt. Jones has room to run on the return and he gets all the way back to the Bears 11. Only a 31-yard punt.
Warner's pass is out of the end zone with 2:18 left. Hilliard catches the next pass and gets to the 1 at the two-minute warning. Warner hits a wide open Shockey and the Giants are back to within 8. The extra-point is good. Giants are out of timeouts and the onside kick coming up with 1:56 to go.
Bears 28, Giants 21
Hope I didn't speak too soon when I said it was over. After a mad scramble, N.Y. has it at their own 40. It never bounced up. It stayed low the whole time and it hit Justin Gage's leg. Oh, boy.
Warner's pass falls incomplete. Ogunleye gets to Warner this time and that's a loss of 4. Warner runs into his own man and Alex Brown gets his fourth sack. Fourth-and-20. Warner roams around behind the line and heaves one downfield and it's tipped away and the Bears will hang on. The Bears had 7 sacks today.
Krenzel takes two knees and he's still unbeaten as a starter and the Bears move to 3-5. Upset Sunday in the NFL continues. Great comeback.
Bears 28, Giants 21