PRO FOOTBALL

Jennings' late pick seals close win for Bears

2013-10-10T22:00:00Z 2013-10-11T23:39:09Z Jennings' late pick seals close win for BearsAl Hamnik al.hamnik@nwi.com, (219) 933-4154 nwitimes.com
October 10, 2013 10:00 pm  • 

CHICAGO | All the "experts" figured the fading New York Giants had little chance of beating the Bears on Thursday night.

In a season of finger pointing by players and coach Tom Coughlin apologizing to fans, the Giants came to town with their worst record since the 1987 strike season, were allowing a league-high 182 points, and had 20 turnovers.

Quarterback Eli Manning, their two-time Super Bowl MVP, was having a season he'd love to stuff in a shoe box and bury in the backyard -- eight touchdowns, 12 interceptions and 15 sacks.

Hoping to avoid their third straight loss, the nicked-up Bears had no reason to be overly confident with cornerback Charles Tillman (knee, groin) and defensive tackle Stephen Paea (turf toe) among their inactives.

Fortunately, they had a healthy Tim Jennings roaming the secondary like a shark off shore. His interception of a deflected Manning pass at the Bears' 10 sealed Chicago's 27-21 win.

"If they throw it to me, I got to go get it," Jennings said. "It's my job."

Jennings' earlier pass interference on Giants' receiver Victor Cruz at the Bears' 1 had led to Brandon Jacobs' second touchdown run, pulling New York within 27-21 at :06 of the third quarter.

Suddenly, it was a ballgame, particularly after losing linebacker D.J. Williams to a chest injury that quarter.

Jacobs, re-signed on Sept. 10, finished with 22 carries for 106 yards and two scores.

"Brandon Jacobs is a tough man;  he is hard as hell to bring down," said Bears' linebacker Lance Briggs, still panting. "I'm just excited we got the W.

"Tim came up with a big play to prevent them from extending the game and possibly having overtime. We got a bunch of fighters."

Jay Cutler threw for 262 yards, two TDs and was not sacked or picked off. Manning finished with 239 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions and a 58.5 QB rating.

Forget the Giants had the league's worst scoring defense (36.4), worst turnover ratio (minus-13) and worst rushing offense (56.8).

"I'm not going to review (Manning's) season," defensive end Julius Peppers had said on Wednesday. "We're gonna try to make him play bad, again."

The Bears (4-2) led at the half, 24-14, on Cutler's two short TD passes to Brandon Marshall, Jennings' 48-yard interception return and a Robbie Gould field goal.

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