Emma: Bears-Giants Observations

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CHICAGO (670 The Score) -- After the Bears escaped with an uninspiring 19-14 win over the Giants on Sunday, coach Matt Nagy was already ready to drive from Soldier Field to Halas Hall and move on.
There wasn't much to be gained from this latest lackluster performance, and the Bears now face a short week as they prepare to face the Lions on Thanksgiving Day on Thursday.

Here were the takeaways from Sunday:

Up tempo

The Bears went three-and-out on their first offensive possession. They've now failed to score points on nine of their 11 opening drives. 

That's an ugly mark on Nagy, his coaching staff, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and the entire offense. Operating with the script to open the game, the Bears haven't produced. What can be changed?

Perhaps Nagy and the Bears can look to the success that Trubisky has in the simplified two-minute to alter their offense. 

"I can just see the defense," Trubisky said. "Not thinking as much. Guys are in their spots. You're not worried about the play clock. You're just seeing space, you're seeing the defense and you're kind of just reacting. It's something I've been doing my whole life, so it's more natural for me."

The Bears have lacked an offensive identity all season. There's no bread-and-butter aspect that they can rely on, which calls into question whether Nagy is putting Trubisky in the best position to succeed.

Trubisky's struggles operating the offense outside of tempo are problematic, but it's clear that having to make fewer pre-snap decisions has benefited Trubisky.

He even admitted it.

"Just the comfort level that we have with our two-minute offense is a strength of our offense right now," Trubisky said.

Return of the Mack

The 2018 Bears enjoyed much of their success because of game-changing plays from a dominant defense, as they led the NFL with 36 takeaways. The Bears are tied for 13th with 15 turnovers forced over 11 games this season.

Their win Sunday may have been a loss if not for star pass rusher Khalil Mack breaking out of a slump with a strip-sack of rookie quarterback Daniel Jones. It set up the sputtering offense at the Giants' 3-yard line and positioned the Bears for a 19-7 lead.

Mack didn't factor on the stat sheet during in a loss to the Rams on Nov. 17, when he dealt with double- and triple-team blocks. He arrived at Soldier Field on Sunday with just one sack since the start of October.

So, when Mack drew a one-on-one against Giants tackle Nate Solder, he was ready.

"Finally got singled up and I knew I had to make the most of the opportunity," Mack said.

The lack of All-Pro production from Mack -- and takeaways from the Bears' defense -- has been stark since Pro Bowl defensive lineman Akiem Hicks suffered an elbow injury on Oct. 6. Chicago's vaunted defense has missed its relentless force up front, and foes have focused more resources to blocking Mack.

Two for the price of none

In the third quarter, the Bears initially cashed in on a two-point conversion attempt before a questionable call on receiver Allen Robinson, who was flagged for offensive pass interference. The officiating crew called Robinson for an illegal pick before Trubisky hit receiver Taylor Gabriel in the corner of the end zone.

"In my case, if I'm inside in the slot or inside the play, there's not too much I can do on a play like that," Robinson said.

After that penalty, kicker Eddy Pineiro faced a 43-yard extra-point try, only to have the Bears be flagged for an illegal substitution. What happened there? 

Tackle Bobby Massie had left with an ankle injury after the two-point try and wasn't lined up for the extra point. Backup tackle Cornelius Lucas replaced Massie in the kicking protection, but the Bears feared they had 10 men on the field. They were set properly with 11, then defensive lineman Brent Urban ran out as the 12th man.

Pineiro was forced into a 48-yard extra-point try and missed. The Bears went from two points to zero.

Nothing special

The Bears were in trouble with 3:48 remaining in regulation. They led 19-14 and were facing fourth-and-2 from their own 33. 

Nagy elected to send his offense out on the field and much of Soldier Field wondered whether the Bears were making a gutsy decision to go for it. So did Giants coach Pat Shurmur, who left his defense out on the field. But Trubisky and the offense sprinted off the field, and punter Pat O'Donnell emerged with the punt team. The Giants failed to counter properly.

The Giants didn't have their punt return team ready for the Bears' fire drill, and O'Donnell pinned them with a 61-yard punt that was downed at the 6-yard line. The failed recognition by Shurmur and his coaching staff left the rookie Jones and the offense facing 94 yards for a go-ahead score.

The Bears then stopped the Giants at their own 35-yard line and sealed the game with that turnover on downs.

Star power

Amid the disappointment of this Bears season, top receiver Robinson is performing like a star.

He had six receptions for 131 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. Robinson now has 63 catches for 764 yards and four scores. He's tied for 11th in the NFL in receptions, including eighth among all receivers.

Extra points 

-- Soldier Field booed after Pineiro sent the opening kickoff out of bounds -- meaning frustration mounted before the game clock even ran. Giants kicker Aldrick Rosas opened the second half with a kickoff out of bounds. This game was far from a clinic.

-- Early in the first quarter, Trubisky took a hit and was limping. Was it his right hip again? "I was fine," he said. "It was actually something else. Yeah, I was fine, just walked it off."

-- What do the Bears have in running back David Montgomery? He rushed 13 times for 22 yards Sunday and is averaging 3.3 yards per carry this season.

-- Receiver Anthony Miller caught four passes in the Bears' two-minute drill late in the second quarter. That's as many catches as he had combined in the first four games of the season.

-- Nagy pointed out that Trubisky's stat line could've included nearly 100 more yards if not for a drop by tight end Ben Braunecker and a hands-to-the-face penalty from center Cody Whitehair, which negated a 60-yard completion to Robinson.

-- The Bears lost key special teams player Sherrick McManis to a groin injury during the first half. With a short week, it seems unlikely he will be ready to return Thursday.

-- This game included a six-play, three-yard drive for the Bears. Yikes.

-- After the Bears held Club Dub in their locker room, they moved to Club Tub and began recovery early in the cold tubs.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.