Nothing is ever easy for the 2018 New York Giants and Sunday’s Week 13 game against the Chicago Bears was no exception.
In this wild season in which the Giants have played in so many close games, losing most of them, this was a refreshing change of pace. Big Blue had the NFC North-leading Bears dead to rights, up by two scores with less than two minutes remaining only to allow them to tie the game and send it into overtime.
They overcame a flat first half on offense to overtake the Bears in the second half. The Giants had a 27-17 lead with 1:49 remaining, but Chicago had other ideas. They scored 10 unanswered points, including a touchdown with no time left on the clock — a pass from their running back — to force overtime.
This time, the Giants wouldn’t let the home crowd down however, holding on to win by the score of 30-27.
The Giants jumped out to a 7-0 lead on Alec Ogletree’s pick-six off Chase Daniel on the first series of the game but found themselves down, 14-7, as halftime approached.
Their offense picked up right where they left off versus the Eagles, punting on five of their first six possessions and giving the ball away on an interception on the other.
Right before halftime, Aldrick Rosas continued his strong season by kicking a franchise-record 57-yard field goal. The old record was held by Ali Haji-Sheikh in 1983 (he hit two 56 yarders that year).
Seeing that quarterback Eli Manning wasn’t sharp early, the coaches knew they had to dial up something different. That came in the form of this play on the first series of the third quarter which gave the Giants a 17-14 lead.
Later on in the quarter, the Giants drove 52 yards on 13 plays, scoring on a one-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Beckham to extend their lead to 24-14. The Bears closed the gap to 24-17 with a field goal, but the Giants held on thanks to this incredible save of touchback late in the fourth quarter.
The Giants forced a fumble on the next play. Penalties stalled what could have been a touchdown drive but the Giants were able to extend their lead to ten on a 37-yard field goal by Aldrick Rosas.
The Bears mounted a comeback in the final two minutes. It took them just 36 seconds to drive 72 yards, narrowing the score to 27-20 on a 21-yard field goal by Cody Parkey.
Then, after a successful recovery on an onside kick (just the fourth in 39 tries in the NFL this season), the Bears drove 53 yards in 1:13 to tie the score at 27 with no time left on the clock on a 1-yard touchdown pass from running back Tarik Cohen to wide receiver Anthony Miller.
In overtime, the Giants got the football first and took a 30-27 lead on a 44-yard field goal from Rosas. They then held on that lead, shutting down the Bears in nail biting fashion.
The Giants improved to 4-8 and keep their hopes of an 8-8 season alive. Fans like thrilling football, but this took it a bit too far. What a crazy game.
Saquon Barkley rushed for 125 yards and broke Tuffy Leemans’ rookie record for rushing yards (830) early on in the game. He is an amazing player. I’ve been following this franchise for a half-century and he just might be the best offensive player they’ve had in my time. Sorry, Odell.
Rookie defensive lineman B.J. Hill had a monster game with there sacks. Olivier Vernon finally made an appearance on the scoresheet with two sacks of his own. Ogletree had 11 total tackles and two interceptions.
Wide receiver Sterling Shepard went into the tunnel in the second quarter with bruised ribs but returned in their quarter. Rookie Tae Davis, who started at middle linebacker in place of B.J. Goodson, injured his ankle on punt coverage in the second quarter and did not return.
The Giants once again were flagged heavily by the officials. They drew 12 penalties for 107 yards (not including several flags that were picked up or declined). The infractions almost cost them them game for second week in a row and, whether the NFL wants to hear it or not, many were rubbish.