Updated: October 11, 2013 1:26PM
It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t easy, but the Bears held off the New York Giants for a 27-21 victory at Soldier Field on Thursday night to improve to 4-2 this season.
“The bottom line is, is our defense was able to get the ball turned over to us three times, and offensively we played a very clean game,” coach Marc Trestman said. “It wasn’t as good as we wanted it to be, we didn’t finish some drives, but Jay [Cutler] took care of the football. Our guys took care of the football. We were able to run some clock.
“It wasn’t all pretty and we know that. That’s exciting from our standpoint because we know we have a chance to get better.”
The Bears are off Friday and won’t practice again until Monday. With that in mind, here’s how the playing time shook out against the 0-6 Giants:
Linebacker Lance Briggs, safety Chris Conte and cornerback Zack Bowman were the only defensive players on for all 54 snaps against the Giants. It was by far the most playing time for Bowman, who was playing in place of an injured Charles Tillman.
On offense, quarterback Jay Cutler and his starting offensive line of Jermon Bushrod, Matt Slauson, Roberto Garza, Kyle Long and Jordan Mills played all 68 offensive plays.
Moves at linebacker
Rookie linebacker Jon Bostic got his first action on defense this season, taking the place of D.J. Williams (chest injury). Bostic got 21 snaps against the Giants.
Williams suffered his chest injury in the first quarter, but officially came out in the second half. He also played 21 snaps.
Bostic also took James Anderson’s spot in the nickel package in the fourth quarter after Anderson suffered a back injury. Anderson played a season-low 37 snaps.
Blake Costanzo saw five defensive snaps with Anderson hurt too.
Receiver Brandon Marshall missed just one offensive play, getting 67 of 68 snaps. Tight end Martellus Bennett was on for 59, while receiver Alshon Jeffery got 56.
Running back Matt Forte continued to carry the load, getting 57 snaps. Backup running back Michael Bush got 11 plays.
No. 3 receiver Earl Bennett was on for 29 snaps, while extra offensive lineman Eben Britton was used on 24 plays.
Fullback Tony Fiammetta’s workload increased from Week 5 against Saints. He got 23 plays on offense against the Giants.
Receiver Joe Anderson got a season-high five offensive snaps.
In the trenches
The banged-up reality of the Bears’ defensive line led to a lot of action for some young players against the Giants.
Rookie defensive tackle Zach Minter got his first taste of NFL action, getting 14 snaps. Rookie defensive end David Bass played 29 snaps – 54 percent of their defensive plays.
Defensive tackle Landon Cohen started with Stephen Paea inactive. He played 37 snaps at nose guard. Corey Wootton, playing the three-technique tackle, got 46 snaps (85 percent).
Defensive end Shea McClellin also played 46 snaps, while veteran Julius Peppers was on for one less play against the Giants.