It wasn’t pretty. It certainly wasn’t easy. The New York Giants, though, won their fifth straight game Sunday, holding off the Chicago Bears, 22-16.
The Giants are 7-3, remaining two games behind the NFC East leading Dallas Cowboys. The Bears fall to 2-8. The five-game winning streak is the Giants’ first since 2010, and they are off to their best 10-game start since going 9-1 in 2008.
As they have a number of times during their winning streak, the Giants had to make one final defensive stand in the closing minutes. The Bears reached the Giants’ 30-yard line, but a sack/fumble by Jason Pierre-Paul pushed the Bears back and an interception by Landon Collins with 1:11 remaining sealed the victory.
“Just making a play,” Pierre Paul said of his strip/sack. “It wasn’t anything special. I just beat him. I rushed the edge and that was basically it. It wasn’t anything special.”
Eli Manning completed 21-of-36 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns, one to Sterling Shepard and one to Will Tye. Rashad Jennings ran 21 times for 85 yards and caught five passes for 44 yards.
“7-3, we’ll take it. The NFC East is tough. Obviously we know we’re behind Dallas still and Washington and Philly are playing good football and have a lot of wins,” Manning said. “We can’t get comfortable. We’ve got to keep getting better so there’s still lots of room for improvement. We’ve got to score more points offensively but no turnovers today, so that’s a positive. It wasn’t the most ideal conditions to have a big day offensively, but we ran the ball over 100 yards, threw the ball efficiently enough, and had a nice game plan. Guys played smart and played good football.”
The Giants have capitalized on a three-game home stand during their five-game winning streak.
“We knew we had to take advantage of that opportunity. Having three home games is rare and obviously if you can win all three of them, that’s big. We did what we had to do and took care of it.,” Manning said. “Now we’ve got two road games and we have to continue to handle business. I’m just proud of the way the guys are finding ways to win.”
Defensively, Pierre-Paul led the way with 2.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a pass defensed. The Giants sacked Jay Cutler four times.
Per the FOX broadcast crew, the Giants are an NFL-best 7-2 this season in games decided by 7 points or less.
"Whatever the situation is guys don't get nervous, they get excited about the opportunity." - Eli Manning #CHIvsNYG— New York Giants (@Giants) November 20, 2016
- Things we learned on Sunday
- Sunday’s biggest winner, loser
- Latest on scary injury suffered by Leonard Floyd
- JPP comes up huge in second half
Moments that mattered
Final defensive stand — After taking possession with 3:00 remaining the Bars moved from their own 22-yard line to the Giants’ 30 before Pierre-Paul and Collins made the game-saving plays.
Third-quarter turnaround — The Giants turned a 16-9 halftime deficit into a 22-16 lead. They got even on their first drive of the second half, completing a 9-play, 56-yard drive with a 9-yard pass to Will Tye. Dwayne Harris set things up with a 46-yard kickoff return to start the half. The Giants got their first lead, 22-16, with 6:49 left in the third quarter on a 15-yard pass to Sterling Shepard. That completed a 7-play, 79-yard drive keyed by a 4-yard Manning first down scramble and a 48-yard pass to Victor Cruz.
The defense, on its heels in the first half, forced three-and-outs by the Bears on their first two drives of the second half, changing the momentum.
“Super Bowl” defense gashed early — The Bears scored the first three times they had the ball with touchdown drives of 9 plays, 76 yards and 8 plays for 79 yards sandwiching a 7-play, 39-yard drive that led to a 40-yard Connor Barth field goal. The Giants finally got a stop on Chicago’s final possession of the half, but not without the help of a Bears’ holding penalty that negated a first down at the Giants’ 26-yard line.
The Giants have up 16 points and 214 yards in the first half to a Chicago offense averaging 15.7 points and 347.3 yards per game.
Fourth-down conversions — The Giants responded to Chicago’s opening drive with one of their own, going 78 yards in 11 plays. They converted a fourth-and-2 from the Bears’ 17-yard line along the way. They converted another fourth-and-2 at the Bears’ 33 that led to a 46-yard Robbie Gould field goal to make it 16-9 Bears with 3:38 left in the first half.
Kicking adventures — Robbie Gould of the Giants missed two extra points in the swirling MetLife Stadium winds and Connor Barth of the Bears missed one. The wind also pushed a 51-yard Barth field goal off the right upright early in the fourth quarter.
Injury updates — The Giants lost wide receiver Roger Lewis Jr. to a concussion. The Bears lost tight end Zach Miller and offensive lineman Josh Sitton to leg injuries. Miller had three catches for 61 yards, including a 19-yard TD in the first half. Bears rookie Leonard Floyd was carted off with an apparent head or neck injury with 5:53 left in the game. (Read more)
Larry Donnell, Leon Hall being inactive — For the veteran cornerback Hall, that is three straight games without being on the game-day roster. For Donnell, this is a first but the veteran tight end has not been on the field with the offense since the bye week. Pretty easy to see neither of these guys is part of the Giants’ plan moving forward. [Read more]
— Coach Ben McAdoo after Sunday’s victory
The Giants hit the road for a 1 p.m. ET game against the Cleveland Browns. FOX will have the broadcast. It is the last game on the Giants’ schedule against a team that is not currently in the playoff race. Here is the Giants’ schedule for the final five games:
At Pittsburgh Steelers; vs. Dallas Cowboys; vs. Detroit Lions; at Philadelphia Eagles; at Washington Redskins.