The Giants season has been a roller coaster to say the least but not on this day as they stun the heavily favored Chicago Bears in overtime 30-27. The game was forced into overtime as the Giants gave up 10 points in the last two minutes of the 4th quarter. The Giants won for the third time in four games and improved to 4-8.
The Bears marched down the field and with 1:13 remaining kicker Cody Parker hit a 21 yard field goal that cut the lead down to seven. Head Coach Matt Nagy defended settling for three points instead of the touchdown. “Well, the thought process is — number one, we have to come away with points, so whether it is a touchdown or a field goal — it was tempting there down at the, I forget what yard line it was, but inside the five to go for the touchdown — but we took the points, and then how about — I think the percentage, I don’t know exactly, but it is under 30% to get an onside kick, and we got it. When that happened, now it is like, ‘OK, here we go, let’s go,’ and you could feel everybody, the juice picked back up”
With the field goal cutting the lead to seven, the Bears attempted an onside kick which they recovered. Odell Beckham failed to come up with the recovery and gave the Bears a sense of hope. “The ball got in there, we probably would’ve been a little closer to it but they did a good job.” said Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmer. “That was well-executed by them, was a perfect kick, and certainly they got their hands on it and we didn’t. ”
After the recovery Chase Daniel led Chicago down the field and ran a trick play with Anthony Miller which found Tarik Cohen in the end zone and this happened to be a play the team has worked on “That’s a play that we’ve had for a long time. I think we put it in (the playbook) in camp or the beginning of the season. It’s designed to go to the quarterback, and there’s a second read on there. They had covered Chase (Daniel), so… in practice, I actually had to throw it this week, even though Chase wasn’t covered (in practice), so it worked out. ”
In overtime, the Giants won the toss and Giants QB Eli Manning marched down the field and helped deliver the knock out punch that led to the game winning field goal. “Obviously that was a big drive for the offense right there. We were moving the ball and had a good game. We just had to keep doing it. Let’s go get one more drive and end this thing. I thought we were going to have a walk-off touchdown to Shep when I let the ball go. I said I got him and I put it right where I wanted it. He said he lost it in the lights a little bit. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the TD but we got the field goal and the defense did a great job getting the stop.”
Manning struggled in the first half as he was 7-17 for 73 yards and an interception with no touchdowns. Manning eventually recovered and finished 19-35 for 170 yards with a touchdown to Odell Beckham in the third quarter. Beckham was wide open which is how they designed it “Scheme. There’s a lot of people crossing down at the goal line and it’s hard to cover. You don’t know whether to switch, swap, does he run with me? Does he switch it? It just worked out.”
Beckham did more then just catch the ball today as he was able to connect with Russell Shepard at the 12:49 mark in the third quarter for his second passing touchdown of the season. His first one was against Carolina as he found Saquon Barkley for a touchdown. “So we drew a play up, I told Bennie (Fowler) I don’t care what happens, I’m going to throw it to you and they double covered him and this grown man from LSU who I’ve played with for a long time, I saw him down the middle of the field and I was like this can’t be real and I just launched it to him. It’s all good, he wasn’t supposed to do that, but he’s just playing football and he came up with a huge play for us. Very, very, very big play. ”
Russell Shepard’s touchdown catch was the fifth of his career and first since Sept. 10, 2017, when he caught a 40-yard touchdown pass while playing for Carolina at San Francisco. The 49-yard reception was the longest of Shepard’s career.
“That was a big play. It got us on the board.” Shurmer said. “Certainly, his contributions in the game were big. I think something everybody gets wrapped up with is touches, but a player’s presence on the field makes a difference. I try to tell the players all the time that if you’re doing what you’re supposed to do on the field, your presence matters and that was a great opportunity for us to see how talented Odell can be.”
The tone was set early on as at 14:14 mark in the first quarter, Bears QB Chase Daniel was intercepted by Alec Ogletree who ran the ball into the end zone for an eight yard touchdown. Ogeltree had two interceptions on the day and stated earlier in the week he knew he had to play better and had a higher expectation for himself.
Alec came through as he played what might have been his best game as a member of the Giants. “I’ve never had two interceptions in a game, but I have had an interception for a pick-six before. It was just a big play for us as a team. It definitely set the tempo for how the day was going to go and I was just happy to be in that position to make a play.”
Chase Daniel broke down the opening play. “Tarik [Cohen] is my first read in the flat, and I saw him open. I really didn’t see [Alec] Ogletree. Who sort of mush rushed as we call it and just dropped and threw it right to him. A lot of people wondered ‘what is he doing?’ I thought he was blitzing and rushing. He just dropped out and made a good play.”
Ogletree is the first Giants linebacker with four interceptions in a season since Vince Costello in 1967. His four interceptions this season are twice as many as he had in any of his first five NFL seasons.