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Giants’ Second Half Surge Extends Winning Streak to Five

(Photo via Giants.com)

(Photo via Giants.com)

The New York Giants (7-3) winning streak is extended to five games after defeating the Chicago Bears (2-8), 22-16 on a windy Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium.

The Chicago Bears, who have one of the worst records in the NFL, made a strong opening statement on their first drive. The Bears worked their way from their own 24 yard line, to set up a Jay Cutler 19 yard pass to tight end Zach Miller for the touchdown, giving the Bears a 6-0 lead.

The Giants would answer on their opening drive as well. After receptions from Odell Beckham Jr (11 yards), Rashad Jennings (16 yards), and Sterling Shepard (15 yards, as well as an Paul Perkins rush (11 yards), the Giants were set on the Bears own two yard line. Jennings would cut to the left past defenders for a two yard touchdown, tying the game 6-6.

The Bears would take the lead later in the first quarter after a 40 yard field goal from kicker Connor Barth, giving them a 9-6 lead. On their next drive in the second quarter, the Bears would increase their lead. After a huge 27 yard rush by Bears running back Jordan Howard, the Bears would add seven points to their lead with a one yard run from running back Jeremy Langford.

The Giants would decrease their deficit after a 46 yard field goal from kicker Robbie Gould, now heading into halftime behind 16-9.

The second half resulted in a spark for the Giants. On their opening drive of the second half, the Giants would work their way down field, which was exemplified by a 20 yard reception by Beckham. Two plays later, Manning would throw a nine yard pass to tight end Will Tye for the touchdown, now tying the game at 16.

On their next drive, the Giants would again utilize their high tempo offense. Manning would complete a pass to wide receiver Victor Cruz, who would take it 48 yards before being pushed out of bounds. Manning would then complete a 15 yard pass to Shepard for the touchdown, giving the Giants a 22-16 lead, after a miss PAT from Gould.

With three minutes remaining in the game, the Bears had an opportunity to tie the game or take the lead late in order to give them their third win of the season. With a 35 yard reception by receiver Marquees Wilson and a 23 yard reception by Joshua Bellamy, the Bears found themselves in Giants territory. Cutler would attempt a deep pass to Wilson, but the pass was intercepted by Landon Collins, who is continuing his hot streak. This interception would seal the game for the Giants, extending their winning streak to five games.

“It was good to get the win today,” said Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “We had a good week of preparation, a short week. It was nice to see it pay off here in the second half.”

The Giants offense started off slow, but it really picked up in the second half. With the receiving corps they have and if they all continue to contribute like they have, they’ll be a force to be reckoned with late in the season.

“Everybody’s stepping up,” says Manning. “Just getting into third and manageable situations and we did a good job converting on third downs. Once we get into the green zone, we’ve done a good job these last few weeks. Scoring touchdowns in the green zone, that’s been big.”

“With every victory, with every week, we’re getting stronger as a team,” said Cruz. “That’s what you want to see. That’s how you want to continue to progress as the meat of the season comes. As it starts to get cold, that’s when the real football starts to kick in.”

The play of Landon Collins has been nuclear hot. Collins had the game sealing interception this game, and now has four consecutive games with an interception. In my feature article about Collins, we are truly witnessing the rise of Collins as the defensive star of the future.

“It is coming to me quick right now but I mean I am just taking it as I strive and [it’s] a blessing right now,” said Collins. “I worked this hard to get here and I worked this hard every day in OTAs to know my defense, to know the players, to be on the same page, to be a unit.”

“Landon came up for us big again today,” said McAdoo. “Anytime you can end the game on a play like that, that’s encouraging. Sideline was fired up, we were fired up for Landon, he made a heck of a play.”

The Giants defense smothered Cutler throughout the second half. The Giants front seven has pressured Cutler, sacking him four times throughout the game and forcing a fumble. The entire defensive staff has made a name for themselves as one of the better defenses in the league.

“As a unit, no matter who is in there, the big guys or the four D-ends, we are going to get the job done,” said Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. “We just have to find a way to get the job done, play the run better and that is basically it.”

“Being consistent is the biggest thing that we have tried to work on during the whole offseason and coming to training camp and leading up to this point right now,” said Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon. Consistency is the key. As long as we stay consistent, we are going to be alright.”

The Giants look to extend their winning streak to six games next Sunday as they travel to Cleveland to face the winless Browns (0-11).

Team Stats
Total Plays: 65
Total Yards: 329
Penalties: 4-35 yards
Turnovers: 0
First Downs: 19

Player Stats
Eli Manning: 21/36, 227 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT, 95.5 QBR
Rashad Jennings: 21 rushes, 85 yards, 1 rush TD, 5 receptions, 44 yards.
Odell Beckham Jr.: 5 receptions, 46 yards.
Sterling Shepard: 5 receptions, 50 yards, 1 TD
Will Tye: 2 receptions, 12 yards, 1 TD.
Landon Collins: 6 tackles, 1 INT.
Jason Pierre-Paul: 5 tackles, 1 assist, 2.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble.
Jonathan Hankins: 6 tackles, 1 assist, 0.5 sack.
Olivier Vernon: 3 tackles, 1 assist, 1 sack.

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