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Giants 22, Bears 16: Things we learned on Sunday

Somehow, the Giants just keep winning close games

Chicago Bears v New York Giants
Landon Collins celebrates Sunday after a game-sealing interception.
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

What did we learn Sunday afternoon as the New York Giants defeated the Chicago Bears, 22-16, in a much-too-close-for-comfort game at MetLife Stadium? Let’s take a look.

Jason Pierre-Paul can still dominate

Giants’ defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul said during the week he felt he had been “all over the field” in recent games. Sunday, he left his imprint all over the game in the second half.

Pierre-Paul finished with 2.5 sacks for 19 yards, one that forced a fumble on the Bears’ final possession, a pass defensed and three hits on Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler.

In all, the Giants defense took advantage of a Bears’ offense missing three starters and tight end Zach Miller in the second half. All four of the Giants’ sacks came in the final two quarters, when they held Chicago scoreless and allowed only 101 yards of offense.

Chicago running back Jordan Howard had 12 carries for 72 yards in the first half, but only 5 carries for 5 yards in the second half.

The Giants will never make anything easy

The Bears came into MetLife Stadium playing out the string of a miserable season. The Giants entred the game riding a four-game winning streak. Then, the Bears scored the first three times they had the ball and took a 16-6 lead before the Giants woke up, scoring the game’s final 16 points. The Giants have now won seven games by a combined 27 points, with their largest margin of victory being seven points, a 17-10 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

The Giants can play a game without a turnover

The Giants managed to get through an entire game without turning the ball over for the first time this season. Eli manning did have one throw go through the fingertips of a Chicago defender and got lucky when a high fourth-quarter pass to Rashad Jennings went off his hands and fell harmlessly to the turf with 3:18 left. That play nearly turned into a Pernell McPhee pick 6 that would have tied the game.

Sunday was, in fact, the first time in 18 games the Giants did not commit a turnover.

More progress from the running game

Rashad Jennings had a huge day, running 21 times for 85 yards and catching five passes for 44 yards. The Giants will need that kind of effort as the weather worsens in the Northeast.

The Giants are allergic to covering tight ends

Even knowing that Zach MIller was pretty mucht he only real pass-receiving weapon the Bears had entering the game, the Giants still couldn’t cover the tight end. Miller had three catches for 61 yards, including a 19-yard touchdown catch in the first half. As impressive as their defense was over the final two quarters, you have to wonder how different the game might have turned out had Miller not injured an ankle at the end of the first half an been unable to play the rest of the way.

Ben McAdoo is a gamblin’ man

McAdoo went for first downs twice on fourth-and-2 in the first half, continuing a trend he has established throughout the season. Both times the Giants were in field-goal range, once at the Chicago 17-yard line and once at the 33. The first led to a touchdown, the second to a 46-yard Robbie Gould field goal.

The Giants’ offense couldn’t close this one out

The Giants closed out the Bengals Monday night with their four-minute offense. They couldn’t do that this time. In fact, the giants generated only one first down in four fourth-quarter possessions, leaving this one up to the defense at the end.

Jordan Howard is pretty good

The Bears’ rookie running back had 12 carries for 72 yards in the first half, showing why Chicago is so high on their fifth-round pick. The Giants clamped down on him in the second half, though, allowing him only 5 yards on 5 carries.

Dwayne Harris can drive you crazy

After Harris tried to bring a kickoff out of the end zone in the first half and got stuffed at the Giants’ 15-yard line I wanted someone to tell him to never bring a kickoff out of the end zone again. Then he brought the second-half opening kickoff out of the end zone and went 46 yards with it to kick-start a big third quarter. I’m still questioning his judgment, but it worked in this case.