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Tim Jennings provides early, late pick-me-ups

CHICAGO IL - OCTOBER 10:  Defensive back Zack Bowman #38 Chicago Bears runs after intercepting pass first quarter against

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 10: Defensive back Zack Bowman #38 of the Chicago Bears runs after intercepting a pass in the first quarter against the New York Giants during a game at Soldier Field on October 10, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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Updated: October 11, 2013 12:53AM



Tim Jennings didn’t see Rueben Randle stutter-step and take off down the field.

It didn’t matter because Eli Manning had thrown the ball — a gross first-quarter miscommunication with his wide receiver — and Jennings had his eyes on the Giants quarterback.

The ball landed in Jennings’ arms at the 48-yard line, and he returned the interception for the Bears’ first score of the game.

“I had a good read on it. I had a good break on it,” Jennings said after the Bears’ 27-21 win Thursday night. “He threw it. I don’t know what the receiver did. I was playing the quarterback the whole time. There was nobody in front of me.”

Jennings’ second interception was the exact opposite. Everyone was in front of him when Manning sailed a pass with just under two minutes to play. The pick sealed the victory.

“I threw the ball a little too high,” Manning said. “I had a guy open.”

Jennings recognized the vertical route from a few plays earlier.

“The ball was overthrown,” he said.

Tillman, Paea out

Jennings helped to cover for the loss of Charles Tillman, whose streak of 53 consecutive starts was broken.

Tillman has been nursing a knee injury since before the team’s third game of the season, in Pittsburgh.

The Bears treated him gently in practice the last two weeks. He hurt his groin in part because he was favoring his injured knee.

Tillman was held out of practice on the Wednesdays and Thursdays before the Lions and Saints games but practiced on a limited basis on those Fridays and managed to play.

Tillman hadn’t missed a game since the 2009 season finale.

Among NFL cornerbacks, only Brandon Carr and DeAngelo Hall have longer starting streaks.

Defensive tackle Stephen Paea missed his second straight game with turf toe.

“When you’re the next guy up, you always want to be accountable to your teammates,” said Landon Cohen, who started for Paea.

This and that

Rookie defensive tackle Zach Minter played the first snaps of his career.

◆ Rookie David Bass rotated at defensive end for the second straight week, and Christian Tupou played defensive tackle after being signed this week.

◆ Giants running back Brandon Jacobs posted 58 yards on his first 11 carries Thursday night. How unusual was that? The burly back had 55 rushing yards, combined, in 2012 and 2013 before taking to the Soldier Field turf.

Email: pfinley@suntimes.com

Twitter: @patrickfinley



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