It didn’t take long for edge rusher Robert Quinn to make an impact on Chuck Pagano’s defense.
On the defense’s first third down of the game, Quinn lined up in a three-point stance opposite Giants rookie left tackle Andrew Thomas and used his patented jump chop-club move to get around the No. 4 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Quinn then made his way to quarterback Daniel Jones, dislodged the football out of his hand and Khalil Mack recovered the fumble for the Bears’ first turnover on the day.
The Bears would go on to sack Jones four total times in their 17-13 victory over the Giants, with one sack coming in each quarter. This performance by Chicago’s pass rush at Soldier Field was an improvement from the one sack the defense registered a week ago in the win against the Lions.
“I have to give credit to Chuck Pagano and his staff on defense and then the players to execute,” head coach Matt Nagy said in his postgame conference call. “This is two games in a row now that we were able to learn from last week and get better this week …”
For the Bears’ second sack, backup defensive linemen Brent Urban and John Jenkins collapsed the pocket in front of Jones, and this forced the Giants’ QB to move to his left. Outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo then stopped his rush against Thomas and dove to tackle Jones short of the line of scrimmage.
On the ensuing third-and-8 play, the Bears’ front four pushed the pocket back into Jones, and this caused the young QB to make a quick throw to Evan Engram, but the tight end slipped on the play. Safety Deon Bush jumped the route and recorded his first career interception.
Chicago’s third sack came on the Giants’ first possession of the third quarter. Akiem Hicks started off by lining up directly in front of center Nick Gates. After Hicks used his rip move, the center passed him off to left guard Will Hernandez, but Hernandez was overwhelmed by the 6-foot-4, 347-pound defensive linemen.
Mack would go on to record the final sack on the day for Chicago’s defense. Pagano took advantage of Thomas, who was making just his second career start, by lining up Bilal Nichols in front of him. Thomas blocked Nichols and this freed up Mack to have a direct route to the quarterback.
Pagano told the media last Thursday that the Bears’ defense would play better against the Giants, and when comparing the points allowed, total yards, sacks and takeaways to Week 1, he was right about his unit.
Even though the defense did make some positive improvements overall, Hicks acknowledged in his postgame conference call that there are still areas that need to be addressed, but, for now, he and the rest of the team are going to enjoy their second victory of the season.
“2-0 is never a bad situation. I don’t care how you get it,” Hicks said. “2-0 is delicious. I’ll eat that every day of the week and twice on Sunday. What I’ll say is this, there are bumps in the road during the course of a game and you got to be able to pick yourself up and keep fighting …”