Grades from the Giants’ 30-27 overtime win over the Bears on Sunday:
Dreadful first half gave way to a more respectable second half, led by the wondrous Saquon Barkley (82 of his 125 rushing yards after halftime). Barkley’s 29-yard run to start overtime was huge. Odell Beckham (3-35, 1 TD) was quiet except for a loud 49-yard touchdown pass to wide-open Russell Shepard. Rough most of the way for Eli Manning (19-for-35, 170 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT), but he too was better in second half. Three sacks allowed, but fearsome Khalil Mack (one sack) did not wreck the game, so credit to Nate Solder for that.
LB Alec Ogletree started things off with a leaping interception he returned 8 yards for a touchdown and in the second quarter made a brilliant one-handed interception. Good stuff. Rookie DT B.J. Hill had a breakout, three-sack game. Good thing the opposing QB was Chase Daniel or else this would have been ugly. Daniel carved this defense up late in regulation. Landon Collins could not deal with shifty RB Tarik Cohen (12 receptions for 156 yards). Olivier Vernon (first two-sack game of the season) had a sack/forced fumble in OT. Bears converted their first four fourth-down conversions. Safety Curtis Riley had the easiest of interceptions lined up — a floater up for grabs — and dropped it. Inexcusable.
Beckham froze as the ball came his way on an onside kick recovered by the Bears. That is not good. Cannot make a better play than the Russell Shepard-Antonio Hamilton-Zak DeOssie display of teamwork to pin the Bears at their 2-yard line late in the fourth quarter. Perfect. Aldrick Rosas went 3-for-3 on field goals and drilled a career-long 57-yard field goal on the final play of the first half. The guy has been great. Jawill Davis should have stepped up to field a first-quarter punt, rather than let it roll for a 65-yard kick. Riley Dixon uncorked a 52-yard punt angled to the right sideline early in the fourth quarter that could not be returned. Scott Simonson, who had a holding penalty on offense, had a holding penalty on kickoff return.
Pat Shurmur made a few tweaks after a dismal first half of offense. Giving the ball more often (17 times) to Barkley in the second half (he had seven rushing attempts in the first half) was wise. Shurmur could have avoided some tense moments late in the fourth quarter if he called for running plays with the Giants already in field-goal range before a sack took them out of it. James Bettcher’s defense applied more pressure than usual and benefited from Daniels holding onto the ball too long.