Aug 152019
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T.J. Jones, New York Giants (August 8, 2019)

T.J. Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

Preseason Game Preview: Chicago Bears at New York Giants, August 16, 2019

In terms of media and fan perspective, the predominant early narrative on the 2019 New York Giants remains the same. Most see a rebuilding team with a potentially yet-to-be-determined and messy quarterback transition. The game against the New York Jets provided some reasons to be optimistic and some causes for concern. Minus their best player (Saquon Barkley), the Giants pretty soundly defeated their cross-town rivals, and looked sharper in doing so than is normally the custom for the first preseason game. Daniel Jones played better than anyone expected and a number of the newcomers on both sides of the ball flashed. It was an entertaining game and the players seemed motivated and excited. On the flip side, the first-team defense and offense struggled on the initial drives. The Giants couldn’t run the ball. But that should change once Barkley is in the line-up. The biggest cause for concern remains the pass rush.

The following players are not likely to play on Friday night:

  • WR Sterling Shepard (thumb)
  • OT Brian Mihalik (burner)
  • OT George Asafo-Adjei (concussion)
  • LB Alec Ogletree (calf)
  • CB Deandre Baker (knee)
  • CB Sam Beal (hamstring)

Understandably, almost all of the discussion following the first preseason game was centered on the performance of Daniel Jones, who perfectly completed all five of his passes, including a tight 3rd-and-7 sideline throw and a 12-yard touchdown pass. But stormy weather prevented a larger sample size. The good news is that Jones silenced some of his critics in the short-term. The bad news is that expectations may now be unfairly raised. The naysayers are sure to vocally return with the inevitable inconsistencies and growing pains.

While the first game could not have gone better for Jones, it was far from ideal for the actual starting quarterback, Eli Manning. He only had one pass in one series, and on that throw, he checked down to a very short, 3-yard completion when he had another target open farther down the field on the side he rolled to. A strange 3rd-and-8 draw play brought out the boo-birds.  Then Eli got to listen to the fans roar as Daniel Jones easily drove the first-team offense down the field for a touchdown. From a psychological perspective, Manning is in a very tough spot. Everyone knows the transition is only a matter of time. And with every incompletion or (gasp) interception, the calls for Manning to sit will grow and grow. I don’t find it surprising that Manning lit it up in practice this week. My guess is he sees the writing on the wall and his dander is up.

Beyond the quarterback controversy, to be frank, it’s difficult to judge this offense without its best weapon. Saquon Barkley changes the entire offensive dynamic of this team as both a runner and pass receiver. It would be like watching the 1980s Giants’ defense without Lawrence Taylor playing. So what I am primarily looking at are the various component parts. How does the offensive line block? How much trouble are the Giants in at wide receiver with Golden Tate being suspended for four games? Is there a viable back-up running back on this roster who can spell Barkley?

In their very brief, two-drive action last Thursday, the starting offensive line looked sharp protecting the passer. The run blocking needs work. Outside of the penalties (some ticky tack), what was surprising was how well some of the lesser-known back-ups played. The coaches seemed to have noticed too and it looks like Nick Gates and Chad Slade may be pressing for roster spots as both received first-team reps this week at camp. The bad news is that tackles George Asafo-Adjei and Brian Mihalik are missing valuable playing time with injuries.

On paper, the Giants’ receiving corps appears to be one of the worst in the NFL, especially with Golden Tate now officially out one-quarter of the season. But with Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram sitting on the sidelines last week, the no-names actually had a very good game, racking up 20 catches for 323 yards and three touchdowns. Was that a fluke?

Wayne Gallman, Paul Perkins, and Rod Smith rushed for 34 yards on 15 carries. That’s not getting it done. Barkley is the man, but the Giants need someone else to at least be competent. Perkins in particular had a bad game and if he follows that up with another bad performance, he’s likely out of the picture.

Both Alex Tanney and Kyle Lauletta had a good game. Right now, Tanney appears to still have the advantage with three games to go.

The first defensive series against the Jets would have been far different had Jabrill Peppers finished his excellent coverage by intercepting Sam Darnold’s first pass. But he didn’t. And the Jets then easily drove for a touchdown on the next five plays. Aside from some coverage issues from safety/cornerback Julian Love, what stood out was the lack of pass rush. This could be the team’s Achilles’ heel in 2019. What we do not want to see is teams continually converting on 3rd-and-long because the Giants can’t get to the quarterback.

The starting defense also took a bit of a blow this week when cornerback Deandre Baker sprained his knee. Hopefully, he will be back soon. He needs the reps in advance of the regular-season opener. While Corey Ballentine has flashed both in camp and the first game, Antonio Hamilton received more of the first-team reps opposite of Janoris Jenkins in practice this week. Meanwhile Sam Beal has missed virtually all of training camp with a nagging hamstring injury. This just goes to show you how multiple injuries at one position can change things overnight. Two names to keep an eye on at back-up safety are Sean Chandler and Kenny Ladler. Both have made some noise.

The Giants actually appear to be in good shape on the defensive line. Starters Dalvin Tomlinson, B.J. Hill, and Dexter Lawrence are big, strong linemen with good quickness. They are still very young and will get better with playing time. Chris Slayton and John Jenkins were a bit more disruptive than I expected against the Jets. If Olsen Pierre and R.J. McIntosh can show something, this will be a good group.

Linebacker is the focus. Inside, it’s fascinating to see how rapidly Ryan Connelly has moved up the depth chart. With Alec Ogletree not likely to play, Connelly may even start against the Bears. The coaches also seem to prefer the overall athleticism of Tae Davis over B.J. Goodson, who appears to be falling like a rock on the depth chart. He’s in danger of not making the team with Nate Stupar being a core special teams player. I would not also completely discount Jonathan Anderson.

The top four edge guys are Lorenzo Carter, Markus Golden, Kareem Martin, and Oshane Ximines. You see a hint of potential with all four, but they aren’t getting the job done (yet). Get to the quarterback! In the meantime, one has the sense that the coaches are desperately trying to justify keeping Jake Carlock on the roster.

There is some concern at punter. Riley Dixon wasn’t very good against the Jets. Ryan Anderson has been cut and Johnny Townsend was claimed off of waivers from the Raiders.

T.J. Jones was sure-handed as a punt returner against the Jets, but he didn’t show much quickness and was tackled far too easily. On the other hand, Corey Ballentine did have a 40-yard kickoff return. It will be interesting to see if Darius Slayton and/or Brittan Golden get any reps as returners.

Head Coach Pat Shurmur on the quarterbacks in this game: “I do plan on playing all four quarterbacks, like I did last week… I’d like to see Eli get a little bit more time. We’ll just see how that plays out. But there’s a chance that (Daniel Jones) could play behind the one (offensive) line.”

Pass rush, pass rush, pass rush. Got to get to the quarterback or we’re in for a frustrating year on defense.

Dec 042018
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Odell Beckham, Jr., New York Giants (December 2, 2018)

Odell Beckham, Jr. – © USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants 30 – Chicago Bears 27


On a rainy, gloomy afternoon in East Rutherford, the 8-3 Chicago Bears, winners of 5 straight, took on the 3-8 Giants. The Bears were without their starting quarterback, Mitch Trubisky, but were being led by veteran backup Chase Daniel whom led them to a win in Detroit on Thanksgiving 10 days prior.

The tale of the first half was very much about a puttering Giants offense being picked up by the defense that has shown glimpses throughout the year. Eli Manning got off to a rough start, throwing a couple of near-interceptions on the first two drives. On his eighth attempt of the game, his pass did end up in the hands of a CHI defender. Kyle Fuller picked off his 6th pass of the season and this one had the look of a defensive battle.

I say that because Daniel, who started his fourth game in 10 years, gave the Giants 7-0 lead on a pick 6 thrown to Alec Ogletree on their second play from scrimmage. Both teams were forced to fight through poor QB play. All was not lost offensively, however, as both teams were seeing success with their respective ground game.

The dual RB system that CHI has is one of the best in the league. Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen combined for 98 yards on 21 carries, further proving the NYG run defense since the trade of DT Damon Harrison has really been a newfound weakness. The Bears used that rushing attack in combination with a sandlot-type passing game to drive the ball 70 yards on 10 plays to net their first score of the game towards the end of the 1st quarter. Daniel hit backup tight end Adam Shaheen on a 2-yard rollout pass to tie it up at 7.

More consistent gains via the running game and a 30-yard gain via a pass to Allen Robinson to put them inside the NYG 10 with just a few minutes left in the second quarter. Instead of going for a short field goal on 4th and goal from 1-yard line, Head Coach Matt Nagy put the ball in the hands of defensive tackle Akiem Hicks who crossed the goal line for a touchdown, uncovering memories of William Perry’s role as a short yardage back 25+ years ago.

The two struggling offenses exchanged possessions in the final 3 minutes with NYG getting one more shot with about a minute left. Manning was sacked on the first two plays and it appeared they were ready to concede the half but CHI opted to stop the clock with 17 seconds left. This was one of the most overlooked, yet most important moments of the game. CHI simply called a timeout to make NYG punt the ball in rainy weather, which naturally creates more margin for error.

In typical NFL fashion, NYG opted to run a draw play on 3rd and 23. This is where Barkley once again proves his worth. In his typical highlight-reel fashion, he created something out of nothing, broke 2 tackles, missed a couple more, and gained 22 yards on a play where he had no business gaining anything more than a third of that. With just a few seconds left, NYG opted to go for it on 4th and 1 which they converted. That left 1 second on the clock and allowed Aldrick Rosas to come out for a 57 yard attempt. The potential Pro-Bowler nailed it as time expired, setting a new franchise record and giving NYG momentum heading into the locker room.

That momentum was taken to a new level on the first drive of the second half, the most important drive of the game according to a lot of coaches. NYG gained 26 yards on the first 3 plays and opted for a trick play on the 4th. A reverse to Odell Beckham that was designed to be a pass resulted in him tossing a flat-footed ball 50 yards in the air into the waiting arms of Russell Shepard, who was completely alone in front of the end zone. An easy score for the home team put them up 17-14 and NYG had this game by the horns.

After forcing another 3 and out as CHI continued to struggle on 3rd down, NYG used a more traditional approach to net 7 more points on their next possession. A 13-play drive that gave the ball to Barkley seven times ended in a 4th and goal touchdown pass from Manning to Beckham. The Giants had a game-high 10 point lead and they maintained that lead for the first 5 minutes of the 4th quarter.

CHI got within 7 with just under 10 minutes left via a 36-yard field goal. NYG was in a similar position as they were last week. They had a second half lead and a running back that was built for situations like this: to bleed the clock to death. However on the third play of the drive, Barkley went down hard on the football and was in obvious pain. I cannot remember a time where the entire stadium let out a collective, fearful gasp like that. It goes to show just how vital this kid is to not only the offense, but the entire organization. He walked off the field and missed the rest of that drive.

NYG pressed forward, however. They converted two straight 3rd downs but faulted on the next one, as the offensive line started to falter. Manning was sacked for a 9-yard loss from the CHI 30, putting them just out of field goal range and forcing them to give the ball back to the Daniel-led offense. The defense had to step up and make a stop. And make a stop they did.

BW Webb forced a fumble after the catch by Taylor Gabriel that was recovered by Sean Chandler. NYG had a 7 point lead with the ball in their possession with just over 2 minutes left.

A holding penalty by fullback Elijah Penny pushed them back 10 yards and made a game-sealing first down unrealistic, but NYG did get past the 2 minute warning and put another 3 points on the board via a Rosas field goal. It was 27-17 with 1:49 left when CHI took back the ball.

The Bears used some chunk-gains via passes to Robinson and Cohen in addition to a roughing-the-passer penalty by Chandler to get all the way inside the NYG 5-yard line. Chicago opted for the 3 points so that they could take a shot in the dark on an onsides kick, as it was a 2-possession game. That shot in the dark worked out well, as they recovered. The Bears then used every bit of game clock to march down the field. And with 3 seconds left, they ran a reverse to Cohen who threw the ball into the end zone to Anthony Miller for the game-tying score. This one was headed to overtime.

NYG won the toss and took the ball first. They wasted no time giving the ball to their best player. Barkley gained 29 yards on the first play and with a couple completions to Sterling Shepard, who was also playing through pain, NYG took the lead back 30-27. CHI had one more shot.

They made it just shy of midfield but a slippery ball and a productive pass rush put an end to the sloppy-CHI offensive surge. The defense came up with the stop that they needed the most.

NYG wins 30-27.


-Eli Manning: 19/35 – 170 yards – 1 TD / 1 INT. Now that the offensive line has at last somewhat stabilized, we are starting to get a stronger grasp on what Eli Manning is at this point in his career. In this one, on a somewhat slipper/rainy day, Manning was off. He was horrid in the first half, going 7-17 and an interception in addition to 2-3 more near INTs. He really didn’t connect on difficult passes, although he threw a beautiful ball that should have sealed the win to Sterling Shepard in overtime, but Shepard dropped it. Manning can be trusted when the game is on the line, but his lack of movement away from pressure both in and out of the pocket really limits this offense.


-Saquon Barkley: 24 att / 125 yards – 3 rec / 21 yards. Chalk up another 100+ total yard performance for the rookie, his 10th of the season. The Giants are now 3-0 when Barkley 20+ carries and as I said last week, that will be as important as a barometer for his team to hit as any in the coming years. His presence in the backfield changes how the defense lines up, plain and simple. There aren’t many backs in the NFL that have that kind of impact. Barkley’s 22-yard run before halftime and 29-yard run to begin overtime were the two biggest offensive plays of the day for NYG. Keep giving this kid the ball guys, it is turning into a no brainer.


-Odell Beckham: 3 rec / 35 yards – 1 pass att / 49 yards – 1 TD. Beckham’s biggest play of the day came on his second pass of the season. 2 passes, 2 touchdowns for OBJ. Beckham also had a few key blocks on the outside and it refreshing to see his effort out there. The onsides kick where he made a business decision to not pursue the ball because of the likelihood he would have been trucked did rightfully bother some. If this were a playoff spot on the line and that happened, everyone would have a right to be enraged. But I will say this, part of the game is avoiding injury and it isn’t too different than Manning falling to the ground as a pass rusher gets near him. So don’t play the double standard game. One more thing regarding Beckham; I would like to see this scheme find more ways to get him the ball. I see so many offenses have no issues getting the ball to their top receivers and it just seems like it is too much of a struggle with Beckham. They need to figure that out.

-Sterling Shepard: 4 rec / 28 yards. Shepard was hurt early, it looked like some sort of abdominal or ribcage strain. He played through the pain but didn’t impact the game from a volume perspective, but did come up with 2 key catches in overtime. He did miss his opportunity at a game winning, overtime catch in the end zone as he just didn’t track the ball while moving vertically, something I have noticed about him a few times.

-Backups Russell Shepard and Bennie Fowler combined for 3 catches / 70 yards. Both had big plays in different fashions. Shepard came up with the 49-yard Beckham TD pass, thus it got more publicity. However, Fowler’s 3rd and 11 catch and tough-earned yards after that netted a first down in the 4th quarter allowed the clock to keep running for what turned out to be another 4+ minutes, which was huge.


-Rhett Ellison: 4 rec / 42 yards. Ellison was the team’s leading receiver ironically. Since he has stepped in for Evan Engram as the starting tight end, this team’s running game has been more productive and the position’s production in the passing game hasn’t skipped a beat.

-Scott Simonson: 2 rec / 25 yards. While he did come up with a couple key blocks in addition to a tough 3rd down catch that ended up being pretty crucial, he was flagged 3 times on the day. Way too much for anyone, let alone a guy that played under 40% of the snaps.


-With the amount that Bears DE Khalil Mack is moved around, both Nate Solder and Chad Wheeler had a tall task placed on their shoulders. Solder responded well finishing with 1 TFL but no sacks or pressures allowed. While he does make Manning rush a bit as he gets walked into the pocket, his overall play has leveled off a bit. Wheeler, on the other hand, had one of his worst games of the season. He allowed 2 sacks, 2 pressures, and a TFL. He really couldn’t sustain his position against power and his balance was off all afternoon. Not a good combination.


-Solid day for the guards. Both Will Hernandez and Jamon Brown finished with positive grades. Hernandez was really productive when he pulled. That is where his power/foot speed combination are at its best. He still has work to do as a pass blocker, as he was flagged for a hold, but he continues to be the most consistent OL on this team. Brown was solid in both departments. He finished with the highest grade among the OL in this one. NYG is 3-1 since he has been added to the team.

-Spencer Pulley continues to be the weak point of the middle. He allowed a sack and a TFL, as he was not match for Akiem Hicks, one of the better run defenders in the league.


-Very solid, disruptive game from Olivier Vernon. 5 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 pressures, 1 TFL, and 1 forced fumble. That is a stat line that anyone and everyone would gush over if it weren’t Vernon, to be honest. While he remains one of the most up-and-down players on a defense that has been very up-and-down as a whole, his level of play on the outside is on a completely different level than everyone else within the edge group.

-Kareem Martin added 5 tackles and a TFL of his own, as he was very solid in the first half. He, along with Kerry Wynn, had a few key spots in big moments on 3rd down.


BJ Hill put in a career game, as I’m not sure he will ever record 3 sacks in a single game again. They were his only 3 tackles of the day, but he displayed top tier technique and punch off the line. He was approaching the “dominant” level in the second half when it came to snap-by-snap impact.

-Dalvin Tomlinson was as active as we’ve seen him all year. He finished with 7 tackles and 2 TFL along with a pressure. He really is a better athlete than some give him credit for and knowing how Bettcher built his defensive line in ARI, it makes sense why he has enough confidence in the second-year pro to take over for Damon Harrison at NT. His range within the tackle box is wide and he really brings a physical presence.

-Josh Mauro, Mario Edwards, and RJ McIntosh essentially split backup snaps. Edwards continues to be the aggressive, up-field penetrator, but this week it got him into trouble. He was flagged twice, one of which was on a 3rd down stop. Mauro continues to be Mr. Stout inside and McIntosh is still getting his feet wet, showing some good athletic ability.


-Alec Ogletree has been getting the rough end of these game reviews for most of the year, but he deserves the game ball in this one. A team-leading 10 tackles in addition to 2 athletic interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown in the 1st quarter, were integral to NYG winning this game. He was active in pursuit and stout between the tackles. Excellent game from him, his best as a Giant.

-Tae Davis and Ukeme Eligwe split snaps next to Ogletree. Davis has been struggling to play between the tackles, as he is almost-woefully undersized and came from a low level of college football. Eligwe flashed a few times. He is more physical, stouter, and showed plus-burst as a blitzer, recording 3 tackles and a pressure.


-Don’t put it in the books yet, but the Janoris Jenkins / BW Webb duo has actually been grading out as one of the top 10 CB duos in the NFL over the past 8 weeks. They have both been flying around all over the field and defending deep routes exceptionally well. Part of what they do well can only be seen on the All-22 tape, but these two are really holding it down in a league where playing corner is almost impossible. Jenkins finished with 3 pass break ups and Webb finished with 1 of his own in addition to a forced fumble that NYG recovered.

-Grant Haley was flying all over the field. He finished with 8 tackles and 2 TFL. I’ve said this before but it keeps happening over and over; Haley may be small but this kid is really tough and physical. His quickness and burst are near top-tier but combining his toughness and knack for ball reactions with them makes him a legit candidate to be a very good player for this defense next year. This is a really important stretch for him.


Landon Collins continues to factor vs the run, finishing with 5 tackles and a TFL. He continues to get burned in man coverage. This time it was Tarik Cohen not once, but twice. I don’t want to beat a dead horse here.

-Curtis Riley and Michael Thomas are solid role players who get exposed with the more snaps they get. Riley dropped an interception that was essentially thrown right to him. I guess that why he is plays on defense. Thomas got flagged for holding as CHI was making their 4th quarter comeback but he did play Cohen in coverage well a few times.

-Rookie Sean Chandler saw a season high 21 snaps. This coaching staff really likes him and I think with the instability that Riley plays with, we may see more. He recovered the fumble forced by Webb in the 4th quarter but was flagged for a low hit on QB Daniels during the 4th quarter comeback by CHI. They eased Haley into the rotation and now I think Chandler is next.


-K Aldrick Rosas: 3/3 (Made 57-37-44). Rosas is on fire and he was a vital piece to this win. His 57 yarder is a franchise record and his 44 yarder in overtime is as pressure-heavy as it gets. He deserves strong Pro Bowl consideration.

-P Riley Dixon: 7 punts – 44.3 avg – 42.1 net. Dixon was on the field often in this one, a season high 7 punts. That 42.1 net is very solid and he put one inside the 5-yard line.

-Jawill Davis averaged 12 yards per punt return, a very good number and Corey Coleman’s cooled off a bit after a few strong weeks as the team’s KR.


-LB Alec Ogletree, DT BJ Hill, K Aldrick Rosas


-OT Chad Wheeler, QB Eli Manning, S Landon Collins


This is a hard team to gauge. They’ve had a few convincing wins and lost 4 games by a combined 14 points (7 of which came against the Patriots). I think their defense is as balanced as any team in the league and happens to host arguably the most dominant edge talent out there. Once Mitch Trubisky comes back, their QB position is stabilized and I think this team is one of 3 contenders for the NFC, the other to being LAR and NO.

-What I don’t like from a consistency standpoint is their OL play. These guys were really beat badly by an average to below average NYG defensive line. If they run into a team that can really get after the passer, that could end up being their undoing.

-Tarik Cohen is one of the most exciting players in the NFL and I think we are only seeing a glimpse of what he will be. He is the only player that I legitimately compared to Darren Sproles when he was coming out of college. Sproles has had a fantastic career, especially when he has played for offensive minds that know how to use him. CHI seems to have figured it out and he could be a guy that ends up having a better career than Sproles in today’s NFL.


-This was an interesting game that I think can be looked back on if this core group/coaching staff ever turn it around. The offense struggled in the first half but they were picked up by the defense. Then, in the second half, the defense struggled but they were picked up by the offense. It is amazing how many roller coasters a team can go through in a single game but the ones that stay even keel and take advantage of the opportunities given to them are the winners. This is part of developing a winning culture that I think is so vital to year after year success which is why we should all want this team to win every week.

-The biggest difference this offense will see in the post-Manning era, whenever that is, will be a QB creating on his own under duress. That has never been a strong suit of Eli’s game, but it’s near non-existent at the moment. This offense has a ton more potential with a guy who can move around and is considered a plus-athlete. The options with this personnel are limitless, especially if the OL can be shored up.

-As I get deeper into the scouting process for the 2019 Draft and as I watch more of NYG, the right tackle position may need to be a focal point. Wheeler shows admirable effort and hustle. He has come a long way since being an UDFA, no question. But if this OL needs to be a top 10 unit, maybe even a top 5 unit, Wheeler won’t be a part of it. He just can’t do it week to week. I think his role here is important, however. He can be the backup swing tackle who will be relied on in spurts. But I just don’t think he is going to get over the hump as a weekly starter.

Dec 042018
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Eric Kennedy of and Greg Breton of the ManCave Huddle join YES Network’s Chris Shearn on his latest “And…We’re Off” podcast. We discuss the New York Giants dramatic overtime victory over the Chicago Bears, including the play of Eli Manning, Saquon Barkley, Odell Beckham, Alec Ogletree, Landon Collins, and the offensive line. We discuss Head Coach Pat Shurmur, and weigh in on whether it is better to win or lose these final games of the 2018 season.

Dec 022018
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Janoris Jenkins, New York Giants (December 2, 2018)

Janoris Jenkins – © USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants blew a 10-point lead against the Chicago Bears with less than two minutes to play, but persevered to win the game in overtime, 30-27, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Giants improved their overall record to 4-8.

The Giants jumped out to a quick 7-0 advantage when linebacker Alec Ogletree intercepted a pass from quarterback Chase Daniel at the 8-yard line and returned it for a touchdown. Then both teams exchanged punts twice before the Bears tied the game by driving 70 yards in 10 plays. Daniel hit tight end Adam Shaheen for a 2-yard score.

Momentum continued to swing in the direction of the Bears as quarterback Eli Manning was picked off on the ensuing drive, setting up Chicago near midfield at the end of the first quarter. However, the Giants got the ball back when Ogletree intercepted his second pass, this one at the New York 14-yard line, returning it 20 yards.

After the Giants went three-and-out twice and the Bears once, Chicago took the lead on a 7-play, 74-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by defensive lineman Akiem Hicks. The Bears now led 14-7.

The Giants punted for the fifth time in the first half on the ensuing possession. The Bears went three-and-out and New York received the ball with 1:14 before halftime. Although the Giants only picked up 18 yards, place kicker Aldrick Rosas kicked a 57-yard field goal with no time left on the clock. It was the longest field goal in New York Giants’ team history.

At the half, the Bears led 14-10.

The Giants started the second half on a high note. After receiving the kickoff, the Giants picked up 26 yards on three plays. Then the Giants ran a trick play that had wide receiver Odell Beckham pass the ball to a wide-open wide receiver Russell Shepard for a 49-yard touchdown. The Giants now led 17-14.

After forcing the Bears to go three-and-out, the Giants put together a 13-play, 60-yard drive that ended with a Manning-to-Beckham 1-yard touchdown pass on 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line. The Giants were now up 24-14 with four minutes left in the third quarter.

The Bears picked up two first downs on their subsequent drive but were forced to punt. After a three-and-out by the Giants, the Bears finally managed to put together a scoring drive by moving the ball 56 yards in seven plays to set up a 36-yard field goal. Giants 24 – Bears 17.

With just over nine minutes to go in the game, the Giants drove the ball from their own 8-yard line to the Bears’ 30-yard line. However, a 9-yard sack on 3rd-and-8 took the Giants out of field goal range. The ensuing punt was downed by the Giants at the 2-yard line. On Chicago’s first offensive snap, cornerback B.W. Webb forced wide receiver Taylor Gabriel to fumble, which was recovered at the Chicago 13-yard line by safety Sean Chandler.

At this point, it appeared the game was all but officially won. But New York did not manage the clock well in the final 2:19 of the game. The Giants lost six yards and settled for three points after only taking 30 seconds off of the clock. Still, New York was up 27-17 with 1:49 left to play.

The Bears’ first score was aided by a 32-yard pass completion and 15-yard roughing-the-passer penalty on Chandler. This moved the ball to the New York 8-yard line where Chicago was forced to settle for a 21-yard field goal with 1:13 left.

Then disaster struck when a less-than-aggressive Beckham did not handle the onsides kickoff. The Bears recovered at the Chicago 47-yard line. The Bears completed a 23-yard pass on 4th-and-3 down to the New York 9-yard line with 11 seconds to play. After two incompletions, Webb was called for pass interference, giving Chicago a 1st-and-goal situation at the 1-yard line with three seconds left in the game. The Bears then ran their own trick play, a halfback pass by Tarik Cohen to wide receiver Anthony Miller with no time on the clock.

The game was tied 27-27 and headed to overtime.

The Giants won the toss. Running back Saquon Barkley picked up 29 yards on the first play of the drive. On 3rd-and-2, Manning found wide receiver Sterling Shepard for an 8-yard completion to the Chicago 30-yard line. The Giants only manged four more yards, but it was enough to set up a successful 44-yard field goal by Rosas. The Bears now needed to score on their ensuing possession or lose the game.

The Bears kept things interesting by gaining 10 yards on 4th-and-7. Then on 4th-and-8 from the Chicago 40-yard line, the Giants came with an all-out blitz. Daniel threw a deep ball to wideout Taylor Gabriel, but cornerback Janoris Jenkins had perfect coverage over the middle and knocked the ball away to win the game.

Offensively, Manning finished the game 19-of-35 for 170 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. His leading receivers were tight end Rhett Ellison (4 catches for 42 yards) and wide receiver Sterling Shepard (4 catches for 28 yards). Barkley rushed for 125 yards on 24 carries.

Defensively, the Giants forced three turnovers. Ogletree picked off two passes, one which he returned for a score. The Giants also accrued five sacks, three by defensive lineman B.J. Hill and two by linebacker Olivier Vernon. The Giants were also credited with 10 tackles for losses and seven pass defenses.

Video highlights are available at

Inactive for the New York Giants were tight end Evan Engram (hamstring), linebacker B.J. Goodson (neck), linebacker Lorenzo Carter (hip), quarterback Alex Tanney, center Evan Brown, nose tackle John Jenkins, and safety Kamrin Moore.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (ribs), linebacker Tae Davis (ankle), and safety Landon Collins (shoulder) were all dinged up in the game.

Video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Pat Shurmur and the following players are available at

Head Coach Pat Shurmur and select players will address the media on Monday.

Nov 302018
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Bears at Giants in the Polo Grounds (December 6, 1925)

Game Preview: Chicago Bears at New York Giants, December 2, 2018

With four minutes left before halftime at Lincoln Financial Field last week, New York Giants fans finally had a reason to smile. Winners of two straight, the Giants looked primed to win their third game in a row, with the added benefit of finally running roughshod over the hated Philadelphia Eagles. The defending Super Bowl champions were back on their heels, as Saquon Barkley had just ripped off a spectacular 51-yard touchdown run, his second TD of the day. The Giants led 19-3. The offensive game plan was working. An undermanned defense was holding the Eagles in check. Yet by 4PM, all of those positive thoughts and emotions were gone. And Giants fans were left with yet another painfully disheartening loss in what has becoming an embarrassingly one-sided rivalry.

There was a lot to unpack in last Sunday’s loss, including some horrific officiating that DID help to decide the game. But three things stood out to me:

  1. Strongest evidence yet that Pat Shurmur is not cut out to be a head coach. Clock mismanagement has become a serious issue with him. Sitting Barkley after the Eagles had cut the score to 19-14 in the 3rd quarter, and giving the player who was killing the Eagles only five second-half touches, suggests a lack of feel for the game. And his Sunday and Monday post-mortem media sessions were real head-scratchers. I’m a little wary of completely writing the guy off because I can remember a bunch of games that even Giants greats like Bill Parcells and Tom Coughlin blew, but I’m not feeling it with Shurmur. “But John Mara would never fire a coach after just one season!” Probably true. But that doesn’t make it the correct decision.
  2. The run defense, which was supposed to a team strength, has become a problem. As bad as the New York offense was in the second half of last week’s game, the run defense was just as guilty for the loss. Even with the departure of Damon Harrison, guys like Dalvin Tomlinson and B.J. Hill were supposed to be able to hold down the fort. They haven’t. The Eagles knew they were going to win last week once they discovered the Giants couldn’t stop what had been a bottom-tier run offense.
  3. Eli… oh Eli… Two very strong games in a row, including one game where he threw only one incompletion. The early warning signs were there. He badly missed seeing a wide open target on the 2-point conversion. But the real killer was his horrifically dumb and costly interception into double/triple coverage at the end of the first half, ignoring another wide-open target, which cost the Giants certain points. Psychologically, this may have been the biggest mistake of the game. Even at age 37, Eli still makes these head-scratching throws. Once the line play deteriorated in the second half, so did Manning’s play, as New York only generated three second-half points.

So why am I rehashing all of this in what is supposed to be a preview for the Chicago Bears? Because I think the storyline for this game is going to be how competitive the Giants are going to be against one of the best teams in the NFC. If Shurmur is going to lose this team, now is the time after last week’s devastating loss, which not only ended any desperate hope for a late playoff run, but was emotionally draining and open to coaching criticism.

If the Giants play hard and keep it close, Pat Shurmur will gain respect in my eyes. But if this team starts to tank, John Mara had better reconsider all of his options.


  • TE Evan Engram (hamstring – out)
  • DE Kerry Wynn (concussion – probable)
  • LB Lorenzo Carter (hip – questionable)
  • LB B.J. Goodson (neck – out)
  • LB Tae Davis (ankle – probable)
  • CB Grant Haley (hamstring – probable)
  • S Curtis Riley (shoulder – probable)


This could get ugly. Really ugly. The Chicago Bears are 4th in defense (3rd in scoring defense, 2nd in rushing defense, 11th in passing defense). Chicago has forced a lead-leading 29 turnovers (20 of which are interceptions). They have sacked opposing quarterbacks 34 times (five off of the league-leading Steelers).

To me, much depends on how the offensive line responds. This unit had been playing better for two and a half games before falling apart again in last week’s second half. Not coincidentally, what had been an improving scoring offense went back into a shell. So does the front five rebound or regress? It’s hard to see the Giants scoring more than 13-17 points if the offensive line doesn’t rebound.

So much of New York’s future success or failure depends on what they do at quarterback. Eli is 37 years old and clearly nearing the end. He says he wants to play his entire career with the Giants and has a no-trade clause. He has one year left on his contract and will count about $22 million against the 2019 salary cap. Behind him are journeyman Alex Tanney and rookie Kyle Lauletta. After the Bears game, there are only four games left, and it appears that Lauletta still is not taking 2nd-team snaps during practice. Thus, the Giants will head into the 2019 offseason being forced to assume they will need to draft a QB high in the 2019 NFL Draft. And Eli will probably be back for one last season. This entire thing has the feel of postponing the inevitable and wasting time.


The 23rd-ranked (25th in scoring) New York Giants defense can’t stop the run (26th) or pass (18th). They can’t sack the opposing quarterback (14 in 11 games) or force turnovers (13). And with a game on the line, they can’t hold a lead. Besides that, everything is wonderful.

Chicago will be playing their back-up quarterback this week. That’s another kiss of death for the Giants.


If it were not for Saquon Barkley’s superlative rookie season, Aldrick Rosas would be the team MVP.

The stands will be empty. And the empty gray seats will likely reflect the mood of the day. All of this would be somewhat acceptable if there was a sense that there was a viable rebuilding plan under proper leadership. But I still question whether John Mara has the right people in place. The Giants appear to be living in the past.

Nov 212016
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Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (November 20, 2016)

Sterling Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants 22 – Chicago Bears 16


Before we get into the minutiae of the Giants-Bears game, sometimes it is important to take a step back and look at the overall picture. With 10 regular-season games down and six to go, the New York Giants find themselves with the third-best record in the NFC. Before the season started, most Giants fans would have gladly accepted a 7-3 record at the 10-game mark (though no one envisioned the Cowboys being 9-1 with a rookie quarterback, and the Giants clearly played the Packers and Vikings at the wrong time).

With six regular-season games left to play, the Giants already have more wins than they did in 2014 and 2015, and the same amount of wins they had in 2013. The Giants are winning the close games as seven of their victories have been by a total of 27 points. The Giants have gone from 32nd in defense to 16th (11th in in scoring defense) despite being 29th in team sacks with 18. On the other hand, the Giants offense has fallen from 8th in the NFL in 2015 to 20th in 2016 (rushing game from 18th to 31st being the biggest culprit). Perhaps the most remarkable statistic is that the Giants are 7-3 despite being 29th in the NFL in turnover differential (-7).

What this all means is there is still tremendous room for improvement. The defense has rapidly improved despite struggling to sack quarterbacks and forcing turnovers until the last few games. The offense is still capable of dramatically improving if it cuts down on turnovers and sustains drives better with a more consistent running game, the latter which is finally showing some signs of life. The Giants have yet to score more than 28 points in a single game. They can do better than that.

As for the game, the Bears had to be thrilled with the windy conditions. Jay Cutler is not a good quarterback, but he has the type of arm that can cut through the wind. Eli Manning doesn’t and the conditions helped to neutralize the strength of the Giants offense. Greater emphasis was placed on the ground game where the Bears held the advantage coming into the contest. In effect, the playing field was leveled for the Bears. This was the type of game where you are just thrilled to get out with a win and relatively healthy.

Giants on Offense

Some fans will say the Giants offense stunk in the first half because the team only scored nine points. But the Giants only had three first-half offensive possessions, and two of those resulted in scoring drives. That offensive success continued early in the 3rd quarter as the Giants scored two touchdowns. However, after the Giants gained a 6-point lead, the offense went into a shell for the rest of the game as the next five possessions resulted in only two first downs and five punts. Had New York lost this game by 1-point, the fans and the media would be calling for Ben McAdoo’s head. Good defense covers up a multitude of sins.

That all said, on a terribly windy day, the Giants played a very clean game. No turnovers. No sacks. One offensive penalty. The Giants were 3-of-3 (100 percent) in the red zone. The Giants only had one offensive play over 21 yards.


Statistically, it was not an awe-inspiring game for Eli Manning as the team was held to 6.3 yards per pass play. But it was an efficient game despite treacherous windy conditions. Manning finished 21-of-36 for 227 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no interceptions for a quarterback rating of 95.5. What impressed me was the way Eli calmly avoided pressure to buy more time to deliver the football. The Giants scored four times on their first five possessions (three touchdowns and a field goal). Manning was 5-of-6 on the first TD drive, including a 15-yard pass on 4th-and-2. And despite six incompletions on the second scoring drive, Manning helped to set up the 46-yard field goal with a 5-yard pass on 4th-and-2. (Manning was lucky that the ensuing 3rd-and-10 pass was not intercepted). On the third scoring drive, Manning had key passes of 12 yards to Sterling Shepard on 3rd-and-8, a 20-yard sideline shot to Odell Beckham, and then a 9-yard touchdown throw to Will Tye. On the final scoring drive, Manning rushed for four yards on 3rd-and-4, made an excellent play by scrambling out of trouble and finding Victor Cruz for a huge 48-yard gain, and then threw a 15-yard scoring strike to Shepard on 3rd-and-4. In the last five possessions, Eli was 2-of-7 for nine yards. Both of his completions came up 1-yard short of the first down marker. His dumb-ass moment of the game was his last throw when he forced a 3rd-and-10 pass to Jennings that came close to being a game-winning pick-6 for the Bears.

Running Backs

The backs were not great, but it was a respectable performance on windy day where the Giants desperately needed their running game to be respectable. Rashad Jennings was the leading runner (7 carries for 34 yards and a touchdown) and receiver (5 catches for 44 yards) for the Giants in the first half. The longest gain on the team’s first scoring drive was his 16-yard screen reception, and he finished this drive off with a 2-yard touchdown run. Jennings was responsible for 49 of the team’s 57 yards on the field goal drive, including a 12-yard reception, a 21-yard run, a 10-yard reception, and a 5-yard, tackle-breaking catch on 4th-and-2. On the second TD drive, Jennings gained four yards on 3rd-and-1. While Jennings did pick up two first downs on the last five possessions (10-yard run on 2nd-and-4 and a 12-yard run on 2nd-and-9), Jennings and the rest of the team failed to move the chains the rest of the game.

Paul Perkins only carried the ball four times for 16 yards. The niftiest run of the game was his 11-yard cutback on 2nd-and-9 on the first TD drive. He did have two catches for 16 yards. Overall, Jennings and Perkins rushed for 101 yards on 25 carries (4.0 yards per carry).

Wide Receivers

A rare game where a receiver other than Odell Beckham was the leading target for Eli Manning. Sterling Shepard was targeted 11 times, catching five passes for 50 yards. His three most noteworthy receptions were his 15-yard, juking run-after-the-catch reception on 4th-and-2 that set up the first touchdown; his 12-yard reception on 3rd-and-8 on the second TD drive; and his 15-yard touchdown on 3rd-and-4 for the team’s final score. Beckham had a quiet game with five catches for 46 yards, the most significant being his 20-yard reception on the second touchdown drive. Victor Cruz only had one catch, but it was a big one – a 48-yard gain on the final TD drive. Roger Lewis (5 snaps) caught a key 8-yard reception on 3rd-and-7 on the field goal drive. Unfortunately, Lewis was injured on this play and did not return. Overall, aside from Cruz’s big gain, the receivers were limited to 9.5 yards per reception.

Tight Ends

Larry Donnell went from being bench to being inactive. The bulk of the snaps went again to Will Tye who caught 2-of-5 passes thrown in his direction for 12 yards a touchdown. He also dropped a pass. Jerell Adams (17 snaps) was targeted once but did not have a catch. Blocking by the tight ends was decent.

Offensive Line

With Justin Pugh (knee) and Brett Jones (calf) out, Marshall Newhouse started at left guard. The Giants received a scare when he suffered a sprained knee and was replaced by Adam Gettis for five plays, but Newhouse returned and finished the game. The offensive line did not allow a sack and Eli Manning was only officially hit four times. Meanwhile, Giants running backs average 4.0 yards per carry for a total of 101 yards. Ereck Flowers was flagged with a holding penalty that wiped out a first down and sabotaged the Giants second possession and had some shaky moments in pass protection. Marshall Newhouse gave up one big hit. But overall, the line played fairly well.

Giants on Defense

It really was a tale of two halves for the Giants defense. The Bears had four possessions in the first half and scored on their first three: a 9-play, 76-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown; a 7-play, 39-yard drive that resulted in a 40-yard field goal; and an 8-play, 79-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was 11-of-14 for 126 yards and a touchdown in the first half with tight end Zach Miller catching three passes for 61 yards and a 19-yard score. The Giants defense also had trouble stopping running back Jordan Howard as he rushed for 72 yards on 12 carries in the first half (the Bears as a team rushed for 88 yards in the first half).

In the second half, the Bears were shut out. Their seven possessions resulted in a missed field goal, five punts, and an interception. Chicago only gained five yards on the ground and four first downs in the second half. Overall, the defense accrued four sacks, seven tackles for losses, six QB hits, seven pass defenses, and one forced fumble.

The Bears offense did have five plays over 20 yards and two plays over 30 yards. The defense was only flagged with two penalties.

Defensive Line

When evaluating each unit, one must take into account the tremendous early success the Bears offense had combined with defensive shutdown in the second half. The defensive line did not play well for the first 30 minutes, but they woke up after the break. All of the Giants four sacks came in the 4th quarter. Jason Pierre-Paul had a tremendous second half and he was credited with 5 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 tackle for a loss, 3 QB hits, 1 pass defense, and 1 fumble. With the Giants only leading by six points, JPP’s 13-yard sack on 1st-and-10 from the Giants 30-yard line at the 2-minute warning may have saved the game. JPP also drew a holding penalty earlier on this drive and could have had another sack in the 4th quarter but whiffed on Cutler. Olivier Vernon was credited with 3 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 tackles for losses (one for a 7-yard loss). But he was also flagged with a ticky-tack roughing-the-pass penalty. Johnathan Hankins had 6 tackles, 0.5 sacks, and 1 tackle for a loss. Damon Harrison had six tackles and deserves special mention for his hustle way down field to tackle the back on a screen pass. Romeo Okwara (15 snaps) had one tackle for a loss and Owamagbe Odighizuwa (12 snaps) was credited with a QB hit.


Like the defensive line, much, much better in the second half. Kelvin Sheppard (32 snaps) led the linebackers with six tackles, followed by Devon Kennard (41 snaps, 4 tackles), Keenan Robinson (41 snaps, 3 tackles, 1 pass defense), and Jonathan Casillas (40 snaps, 3 tackles, 1 tackle for a 2-yard loss, 1 pass defense). Pass coverage was an issue in the first half. Cutler completed 11-of-14 first-half passes for 126 yards. But six of these passes for 91 yards were to tight end Zach Miller and running back Jeremy Langford. Miller beat Kennard on for a 19-yard score early in the 1st quarter. Miller then beat Robinson for a 34-yard gain on 3rd-and-9 on the Bears FG drive. Miller got hurt near the end of the second quarter and it is probably no coincidence that the Bears offense began to really struggle after that point. The Giants also shut out Langford in the receiving department in the second half.

Defensive Backs

Despite the Bears success moving the football in the first half, Bears receivers only caught five passes for 35 yards in the first half (7.0 yards-per-catch) as the defensive backs basically shut down the wideouts for the first 30 minutes. The receivers did more damage in the second half in terms of yards-per-catch with five receptions for 104 yards (20.8 yards-per-catch). For the second game in a row, Eli Apple (62 snaps, 7 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss) replaced Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (34 snaps, 2 tackles) as the corner opposite Janoris Jenkins (64 snaps, 2 tackles, 1 pass defense). Apple nailed WR Cameron Meredith for a 2-yard loss after a quick throw late in the 1st quarter, though he missed a tackle after another short completion in the 2nd quarter. Apple gave up a 17-yard reception on 3rd-and-18, but his sure tackle forced a punt. Apple gave up a 35-yard completion on the first play of the Bears’ last desperate drive to win the game. Landon Collins’ superb year continues as he was credited with 6 tackles, 3 pass defenses, and the game-saving interception. Nat Berhe’s (24 snaps, 3 tackles) playing time increased at the expense of Andrew Adams (37 snaps, 3 tackles).

Giants on Special Teams

Really an up-and-down peformance. Robbie Gould said it was the worst conditions he has played in and it showed, as he missed two extra points. Fortunately, those did not come back to haunt the Giants. Gould did surprisingly nail a 46-yard field goal. Only one of his kickoffs resulted in a touchback and the Bears did return one kickoff 40 yards and two others for 27 yards. Brad Wing punted six times, averaging 44.5 yards per punt (42.5 yard net) with two downed inside the 20-yard line. Eddie Royal’s three returns only went for a total of 12 yards.

Dwayne Harris returned three punts for a total of 14 yards. He had an 18-yard return wiped out due to an illegal block by Orleans Darkwa. He muffed one punt that Eli Apple thankfully recovered. Harris’ 46-yard kickoff return to start the second half helped to set up the team’s second touchdown. But one of his returns only reached the 15-yard line.

(Chicago Bears at New York Giants, November 20, 2016)
Nov 202016
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Landon Collins, New York Giants (November 20, 2016)

Landon Collins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Giants defeated the Chicago Bears 22-16 on Sunday afternoon at a windy MetLife Stadium. With the win, the Giants improved their overall record to 7-3.

The Giants slightly out-gained the Bears in first downs (19 to 17), total net yards (329 to 315), net yards rushing (102 to 93), and net yards passing (227 to 222). Chicago was 4-of-12 (33 percent) on 3rd down while New York was 5-of-14 (36 percent) on 3rd down and 2-for-2 (100 percent) on 4th down. The Bears turned the ball over once while the Giants did not turn the ball over at all.

The Bears had four possessions in the first half and scored on their first three: a 9-play, 76-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown (extra point missed); a 7-play, 39-yard drive that resulted in a 40-yard field goal; and an 8-play, 79-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was 11-of-14 for 126 yards and a touchdown in the first half with tight end Zach Miller catching three passes for 61 yards and a 19-yard score. The Giants defense also had trouble stopping running back Jordan Howard as he rushed for 72 yards on 12 carries in the first half.

Meanwhile, the Giants only had three possessions in the first half, scoring on two of them. New York drove 78 yards in 11 plays on their first drive. The Giants went for it on 4th-and-2 from the Chicago 17-yard line as quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Sterling Shepard for 15 yards down to the 2-yard line. On the next snap, running back Rashad Jennings scored. The extra point was missed by ex-Bears kicker Robbie Gould. New York went three-and-out on their second possession. Then on their third and final possession before the break, the Giants drove 57 yards in 14 plays to set up a successful 46-yard field goal by Gould. This drive also included a successful 4th-down conversion as Jennings caught a 5-yard pass on 4th-and-2 at the Bears 33-yard line. Manning was 11-of-18 for 100 yards in the first half with Jennings both the leading rusher (seven carries for 34 yards) and receiver (five catches for 44 yards).

Chicago led 16-9 at halftime.

The Giants defense shut out the Bears in the second half. Five of Chicago’s second-half possessions resulted in three-and-outs. Their third possession after the break gained 47 yards in nine plays but ended with a missed 51-yard field goal early in the 4th quarter.

The Giants offense scored touchdowns on their first two possessions of the second half. First, aided by a 46-yard kickoff return by Dwayne Harris, the Giants drove 56 yards in nine plays to tie the game at 16-16 on Manning’s 9-yard touchdown pass to tight end Will Tye. Then New York drove 79 yards in seven plays to go up 22-16 midway through the 3rd quarter. The big play on this drive was a 48-yard pass from Manning to wide receiver Victor Cruz. Three plays later, on 3rd-and-4, Manning hit Shepard for a 15-yard touchdown. Gould missed what could have been a very costly extra point, his second miss of the game.

Holding a 6-point lead, the Giants offense struggled for the remainder of the game as their next five drives resulted in only two first downs and five punts. Fortunately, the Bears were even more inept. Starting on their own 22-yard line, Chicago got the ball one last time at the 3-minute mark. The Bears gained 35 yards on their first play to the Giants 43-yard line. Then on 2nd-and-20, Chicago gained 23 yards to the Giants 30-yard line. But defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul sacked Cutler and a penalty pushed the Bears back into a 2nd-and-29 from the New York 49-yard line. On the next snap, safety Landon Collins saved the win with an interception at the Giants 21-yard line.

Offensively, Eli Manning finished 21-of-36 for 227 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no interceptions. His leading receivers were Sterling Shepard (5 catches for 50 yards and a touchdown), wide receiver Odell Beckham (5 catches for 46 yards), and Rashad Jennings (5 catches for 44 yards). Jennings finished the game with 85 yards rushing and a touchdown on 21 carries. The Giants did not allow a sack and did not turn the ball over.

Defensively, Jason Pierre-Paul accrued 5 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 tackle for a loss, 3 QB hits, 1 pass defense, and 1 forced fumble. Defensive end Olivier Vernon had 3 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 tackles for losses. Landon Collins had 6 tackles, 1 interception, and 3 pass defenses. Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins had 6 tackles, 0.5 sacks, and 1 tackle for a loss.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at

Inactive for the game were left guard Justin Pugh (knee), offensive lineman Brett Jones (calf), tight end Larry Donnell, wide receiver Tavarres King, quarterback Josh Johnson, defensive tackle Robert Thomas, and cornerback Leon Hall.

Wide receiver Roger Lewis suffered a possible concussion. Wide receiver Dwayne Harris (wrist) and offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse (sprained knee) left the game with injuries but returned.

Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Ben McAdoo and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at

The Giants won their fifth consecutive game, their longest winning streak since they won five in a row in 2010.

The Giants improved to 7-3 and have exceeded their victory total from each of the previous two seasons (when they were 6-10) – with six games remaining.

This is the Giants best 10-game start since they were 9-1 in 2008.

The Giants seven victories have been by a total of 27 points.

The Giants improved to 5-1 in MetLife Stadium, their highest total at home since they were 6-2 in 2012.

With the victory, the Giants concluded a 3-0 homestand. This is the first time the Giants won three games at home in consecutive weeks 1962.

The Giants did not commit a turnover, ending their NFL-long streak of 18 consecutive games with at least one giveaway.

Safety Landon Collins has intercepted at least one pass in four consecutive games, the first Giants player to do that since cornerback Phillippi Sparks also had a four-game streak in 1995.

On Saturday, the New York Giants signed center Shane McDermott to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad. To make room for McDermott, the team waived linebacker Deontae Skinner. The Giants also signed quarterback Logan Thomas to the Practice Squad.

McDermott was signed to the Giants Practice Squad on Thursday. He also spent time on the team’s Practice Squad in September. McDermott originally signed by the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2015 NFL Draft, but the Cowboys cut him in September that year. After a brief stint on the Panthers Practice Squad, the Giants signed McDermott to the Practice Squad in November 2015. McDermott is a blue-collar, overachiever who lacks ideal athleticism and strength.

Skinner was signed to the Practice Squad in September and October 2016 and then to the 53-man roster in October 2016. Skinner was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New England Patriots after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Patriots (2014-2015) and Eagles (2015-2016), the latter waiving him in August.

Thomas has been added to and released from the Practice Squad multiple times in 2016. Thomas was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. The Dolphins claimed Thomas off of waivers from the Cardinals in September 2015 and the Giants claimed him off of waivers from the Dolphins in June 2016. Thomas has only played in two NFL games, completing one pass in nine attempts for an 81-yard touchdown. Thomas is a huge, athletic quarterback with a quick release and strong arm. He has been an inconsistent performer with decision-making and accuracy issues.


Nov 182016
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Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants (October 16, 2016)

Jason Pierre-Paul – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Game Preview: Chicago Bears at New York Giants, November 20, 2016

Almost every New York Giants fan is thinking the same thing: the Giants should beat the 2-7 Chicago Bears and 0-10 Cleveland Browns and be 8-3 in two weeks. Clearly that is the most likely scenario if the Giants remain focused and don’t take the Bears and Browns lightly. That said, keep in mind the Giants have won six games by a total of 21 points. Every game has been a struggle.


  • RB Orleans Darkwa (lower leg) – questionable
  • WR Victor Cruz (ankle) – probable
  • WR Dwayne Harris (toe) – probable
  • OG Justin Pugh (knee) – out
  • OL Brett Jones (calf) – out
  • OL Adam Gettis (calf) – questionable

The Bears are a well-coached 3-4 defense under former Giants defensive coordinator John Fox and former 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. Despite not having a lot of top talent, the Bears are 11th in defense (11th against the run, 12th against the pass). The good news for the Giants is the Bears are really beat up on defense. Two starting defensive linemen – NT Eddie Goldman (ankle – questionable) and DE Mitch Unrein (back – doubtful) – have missed practice this week. So has reserve CB Deiondre’ Hall (ankle – doubtful). Four more starting defenders have been limited, including LB Pernell McPhee (knee – questionable), LB Willie Young (ankle – questionable), CB Tracy Porter (knee – questionable), and CB Bryce Callahan (hamstring – questionable). Reserve NT Will Sutton was placed on IR this week.

As is the case with 3-4 defenses, the primary pass-rushing threats come from the outside linebackers. Young leads the Bears with 6.5 sacks, while top reserve and Giants 2016 Draft target LB Leonard Floyd is second on the team with five sacks. Given the depleted nature of the Bears defense, expect Fox and Fangio to play it conservatively. They will focus on preventing the big play in the passing game with extra attention of course being given to Odell Beckham, Jr. This should open up opportunities for the running game as well as other passing targets, namely Sterling Shepard, Victor Cruz, and the backs and tight ends.

What we’re about to discover is if the Giants rushing success against the Bengals was a mirage or not. If the Giants cannot consistently run the ball against the Bears, they will have to continue to live and die with a passing game that has largely been dependent on the big play. The good news for the Giants is that they have really cut down on penalties in recent weeks. But turnovers remain a problem and the blocking up front remains inconsistent. Thus, the offense has largely been feast or famine.

What we’re really all waiting for is a clean game (no turnovers) with consistent running-game performance that results in  30+ points on the scoreboard. The Giants will be very thin up front for this game. Both Justin Pugh and Brett Jones are out and Adam Gettis is questionable.

The Bears are a middle-of-the-pack offense (16th overall, 21st rushing, 18th passing). But like the defense, the Bears are hurting on this side of the ball. Their best offensive weapon – WR Alshon Jeffery – has been suspended. Right guard Kyle Long was placed on Injured Reserve. RT Bobby Massie (concussion) is doubtful.  LG Josh Sitton (ankle – questionable), WR Eddie Royal (toe – questionable), and WR Marquess Wilson (foot – questionable) were all limited in practice.

The Bears offense has long succeeded or failed on the incredibly inconsistent play of QB Jay Cutler. There are occasional moments when Cutler looks like a world-beater, but he has the make-up of a loser who loves to bitch-and-whine when things don’t go his way. Without Jeffery, Cutler’s primary targets will likely be TE Zach Miller (44 catches, 3 touchdowns), Royal (30 catches, 2 touchdowns), and WR Cameron Meredith (29 catches, 2 touchdowns). The Giants secondary should be able to handle this group provided the linebackers and safeties can keep Miller under control.

Despite Chicago’s 21st-ranking in the run game, RB Jordan Howard is a dangerous back. He’s rushed for 605 yards on 114 carries (5.3 yards per carry). Running backs Jeremy Langford and Ka’Deem Carey are averaging 4.0 yards per carry. The focal point must be on stopping the run. If the Giants stymie Chicago’s running game and make it difficult for Miller to get open down the middle of the field, the Bears offense will be in trouble. Look for Cutler to get frustrated and start making mistakes.

Tom Quinn’s special teams units are giving up too many big returns. Eddie Royal is a dangerous punt returner who already has returned one punt for a touchdown this season (and has three in his career). Robbie Gould gets a chance to help or hurt his old team. Dwayne Harris (who is probable) is battling a nagging toe injury and it remains to be seen if Bobby Rainey takes over return duties this weekend. If he does, keep in mind that Rainey has had fumbling issues as a returner throughout his career.

Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan on the Bears outside linebackers: “If you’re talking about the outside linebackers that become different defensive ends, obviously they’re a very talented defensive front. That’s not coach speak. You put the tape on and there aren’t too many quarterbacks that are back there that either are not getting hit or they’re having to reset and move in the pocket or they’re getting sacked. Of course with Floyd, he’s a young guy that’s really coming into his groove. McPhee is a heck of a player, he’s been on a pitch count, if you will, because of his injuries. Hicks, of course, is tremendous and young; that’s a great group. You asked about the outside guys, they become defensive ends when we go to our zebra package and so obviously we have to be aware of opportunities that we have and trying to make sure that if we want to push the ball down the field, we account for those guys, trying to help tackles when necessary and do various things because they definitely do present a challenge.”

The Bears are going nowhere and banged up. They also gave the Giants a gift this week by oddly talking trash. “We’re gonna tear their ass up,” said Pernell McPhee. It’s been a long time since the Giants blew anyone out. Could this finally be the week?

Oct 112013
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Brandon Myers, New York Giants (October 10, 2013)

Interception on the Final Drive – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Free Falling – The New York Giants Are Now 0-6: The Chicago Bears defeated the New York Giants 27-21 on Thursday night at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. With the loss, the Giants are now 0-6 with 10 games left to play in this dreary NFL season. This is the first time the Giants have started a season 0-6 since 1976.

“We’re all sick of it,” Head Coach Tom Coughlin said after the game. ”We’re all sick of losing, but we put ourselves in this position.”

The game was a closely-fought affair with the difference being three interceptions by QB Eli Manning. Eli threw interceptions on the Giants’ first two possessions. Three plays into the game, on 3rd-and-6, Eli’s pass intended for WR Rueben Randle was picked off and returned to New York’s 12-yard line. But the Giants’ defense held, including on a 4th-and-2 pass, and Chicago came away with no points. On the Giants’ second possession, after picking up two first downs, there was miscommunication between Manning and Randle as Manning’s pass was picked off and returned 48 yards for a touchdown. Chicago 7 – New York 0.

The Giants responded with an impressive 10-play, 80-yard drive on their third possession to tie the game at 7-7. RB Brandon Jacobs capped off the drive with a 4-yard touchdown run. But the Bears quickly regained the lead with an 8-play, 86-yard touchdown drive with WR Brandon Marshall catching a 10-yard touchdown pass on 3rd-and-9. Bears 14 – Giants 7.

The Giants responded impressively again, driving 80 yards in seven plays with Manning finishing the series with a 37-yard touchdown pass to Randle. The game was tied 14-14. But back came the Bears with a 9-play, 80-yard possession as QB Jay Cutler found Marshall again for a 3-yard score. Bears 21 – Giants 14.

The back-and-forth scoring ended on New York’s fifth possession with the team going three-and-out. The Bears, on their final possession of the half drove 58 yards in 10 plays to set up a 40-yard field goal. After stuffing the Bears on their first possession of the game, the Giants’ defense gave up 17 points Chicago’s other three drives of the first half.

At the half, the Bears led 24-14.

Chicago extended their lead on their first possession of the second half as they drove 40 yards in eight plays to set up a 52-yard field goal. Bears 27 – Giants 14. The Bears would not score for the remainder of the game however.

The Giants had four offensive possessions in the second half in a desperate attempt to salvage a victory. They went three-and-out on their first possession, but cut the lead to 27-21 on their second possession by driving 91 yard in nine plays. Jacobs scored a second time, this time from one yard out near the end of the third quarter.

The Giants had the ball twice in the fourth quarter. On their third possession of the half, New York punted after picking up one first down. With the game still 27-21, with 5:21 left, the Giants began their final drive at their own 11-yard line. New York picked up three first downs and with just over two minutes left in the game faced a 2nd-and-9 from the Chicago 35-yard line. But Eli’s pass intended for TE Brandon Myers was intercepted at the 10-yard line and returned 16 yards. Chicago picked up one first down and ran out the clock. Ball game.

Offensively, Manning finished the game 14-of-26 for 239 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions. Manning now had an NFL-leading 15 interceptions, matching his total for all of 2012.

”I feel bad for my teammates,” said Manning after the game. “I feel bad for my coaches and everybody, fighting every day, and I’m fighting, too. I am trying to get a win for these guys.”

The leading receivers were WR Hakeem Nicks (4 catches for 70 yards), WR Victor Cruz (4 catches for 68 yards), and Randle (3 catches for 75 yards and one touchdown). Jacobs carried the ball 22 times for 106 yards and two touchdowns.

Defensively, the Giants gave up 372 total net yards, including 110 yards rushing and 262 yards passing. For the second week in a row, the defense forced no turnovers. And they also did not sack, and rarely pressured, QB Jay Cutler.

Video lowlights are available at

Injury Report: RB Da’Rel Scott left the game with a hamstring injury.

Post-Game Player Media Q&As: Video clips of the post-game media Q&As with the following players are available at

  • RB Brandon Jacobs (Video)
  • DE Justin Tuck (Video)

New York Giants-Chicago Bears Post-Game Notes: Inactive for the Giants were QB Ryan Nassib, RB David Wilson (neck), TE Adrien Robinson (foot), OC David Baas (neck), CB Corey Webster (groin), CB Jayron Hosley (hamstring), and S Cooper Taylor (shoulder).

DE Justin Trattou Claimed by Vikings: DE Justin Trattou, who the Giants waived on Tuesday, was claimed off of waivers by the Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday.

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