CHICAGO — Jay Cutler threw two touchdown passes to Brandon Marshall, and Tim Jennings returned an interception 48 yards for a score to help the Chicago Bears beat the New York Giants 27-21 on Thursday night.
Cutler completed 24 of 36 attempts for 262 yards as the Bears ended a two-game losing streak.
With the Giants looking to avoid their first 0-6 start in 37 years, Eli Manning threw interceptions on New York’s first two possessions, but rebounded with two touchdown passes and led a 91-yard scoring drive.
With New York down 27-14 midway through the third quarter, Manning attempted a comeback effort by connecting with Victor Cruz for 23 yards and Hakeem Nicks for 31. On third- and-7 from the Bears 32, Manning stepped up to find Rueben Randle for 18 yards.
Manning attempted a pass to Nicks in the end zone, but he was interfered with by Tim Jennings to put the ball on the 1. On the next play, Brandon Jacobs ran it in to cut the Bears’ lead to 27-21 with 6 seconds left in the quarter.
There was no scoring in the fourth quarter.
Manning was 14 for 26 for 239 yards with the three interceptions.
Manning’s pass was picked off by Zackary Bowman on the third play from scrimmage. Bowman returned it to the 12, but the Giants held off Chicago as Cutler couldn’t convert a fourth-and-2 pass to Marshall.
On the next Giants’ drive, Jacobs broke a 16-yard run and Randle had a 20-yard catch, then Manning tried to go back to Randle, but after an apparent communication breakdown, his pass was picked off by Jennings, who returned it for a touchdown. It was the second time this season Jennings has returned an interception for a touchdown.
New York has not dropped its first six since an 0-9 start in 1976.
LIONS: Calvin Johnson was back on the practice field for Detroit. That doesn’t mean his status for this weekend is even close to determined.
‘’I don’t have any updates on him,’’ coach Jim Schwartz said. ‘’You guys saw what you saw.’’
Johnson was inactive in a loss at Green Bay last weekend because of an injured right knee. He didn’t practice Wednesday, but he was on the field Thursday during the portion of practice open to reporters.
Johnson didn’t participate in every drill, but he did do some footwork and pass-catching exercises with other receivers.
‘’It feels good to be out there,’’ Johnson said. ‘’I’m feeling better, definitely. So we can just leave it at that.’’
COLTS: Will pay tribute to Peyton Manning when he returns to Indianapolis next week.
What exactly the team will do hasn’t been finalized yet.
Indy has usually celebrated the return of former longtime stars, such as Edgerrin James and Jeff Saturday, with a highlight reel of the players’ careers between the third and fourth quarters. USA Today reported Wednesday that the Colts will honor Manning during a pregame tribute.
Manning set Colts’ franchise records for attempts, completions, yards, touchdown passes and wins before being released in March 2012 and signing with Denver.
The Broncos (5-0) are one of three unbeaten teams left. The Colts (4-1), behind Andrew Luck, have sole possession of a division lead for the first time without Manning since October 1996.
EAGLES: Coach Chip Kelly might wait until Sunday before deciding on his starting quarterback for Philadelphia’s game at Tampa Bay.
Michael Vick is nursing a pulled hamstring, suffered in last Sunday’s 36-21 win over the New York Giants, and has been limited all week. Foles played well in relief of Vick as the Eagles improved to 2-3.
Foles worked with the first team again on Thursday.
“I get a feel from Mike that he is improving, and I just go day by day,” Kelly said. “He said he felt good. But we’ll see what happens when we go and get warmed up.”
BUCCANEERS: Guard Carl Nicks is being treated for a recurrence of the MRSA infection in his left foot.
Bucs general manager Mark Dominik said the team received confirmation that Nicks has MRSA again in the “same place, same location.”
Nicks had already missed most of training camp while recovering from surgery on his left big toe when he was initially diagnosed with MRSA in late August. MRSA is a staph infection that is resistant to some antibiotics.
Nicks sat out the remainder of the preseason, then missed the first two games of the regular season. He started the past two games against New England and Arizona.
A second player, kicker Lawrence Tynes, also was diagnosed with MRSA in August.
“From everything we’ve been told and understand, this does happen, which is why MRSA is a bacteria that’s hard to treat,” Dominik said of the recurrence.
“In talking with the infectious disease specialist who’s been treating Carl and working with us, and working with other professionals,” Dominik added, “he also confirms and believes strongly this is the same infection.”
The initial cases were confirmed while the Bucs were in New England holding joint practices with the Patriots before a preseason game. The team hired a company to sanitize One Buc Place, the team’s headquarters and training facility, on two separate occasions in an effort to minimize the prospect of other cases.
The Bucs said at the time they did not know where Nicks and Tynes were exposed to MRSA.
Nicks, who signed with the Bucs as a free agent in 2012, was an All-Pro two years ago with the New Orleans Saints. He was listed on Thursday’s injury report as “limited” in practice for the second straight day.
Earlier Thursday, coach Greg Schiano said the sixth-year pro had a problem with his left foot, but declined to give specific details.
Tynes, who helped the New York Giants win a pair of Super Bowls, signed with the Bucs before training camp. He was sidelined by an ingrown toenail on his kicking foot when he was diagnosed as having MRSA.
The Bucs later placed Tynes on the non-football injury list.