We learned three distinct things about the New York Giants in their 30-27 overtime victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY—The New York Giants 30-27 win over the Bears wasn’t pretty as the Giants blew a 10-minute lead in the final 1:49 of regulation. But when you’re trying to build a new culture, Sunday’s win was exactly what the Giants and head coach Pat Shurmur needed.
The win was the Giants third win in four games and shows the team hasn’t given up on the season or each other.
On Sunday, we also learned and witness three distinct things about the Giants and what we can expect to see over the final four games of the season.
1. The Giants intend for Kyle Lauletta to see the field this season
For the first time all season the Giants made rookie Kyle Lauletta active on Sunday. Some thought he may have blown his chances of playing this season after being arrested last month for a traffic violation, but him being active on Sunday is a clear indication the Giants intend on playing him if the right opportunity presents itself.
On Monday, Shurmur was asked if Lauletta moving to number two on the depth chart is an indication that he’s closer to seeing some game action.
“Yeah, I think that’s a fair evaluation of that. Behind the scenes, we’re watching. We evaluate every step every player takes, everything they do all the time, and I’ve said all along he had a long way to go. He came from a small program, he did enough things in the preseason to say he’s good enough to make our team, but we needed to see more from him in order to feel confident in giving him a jersey, and he’s done some things behind the scenes that have given us more of that confidence.”
Eli Manning obviously gives the Giants the best chance to win, but if over the last four games of the season a game is out of reach or the Giants are winning in a blowout, it’s clear that Lauletta will see his first game action.
2. Saquon Barkley is the clear favorite to win rookie of the year
For the 11th time in 12 games this season, Barkley had at least 100 all-purpose yards. The 125 yards Barkley had on the ground on 24 carries were the most yards the Bears allowed to an opposing running back all season.
He had to leave the game for a short time on Sunday due to a shoulder injury, but on Monday Barkley said his shoulder is fine.
The 954 rushing yards are the most by a Giants rookie running back and based on his performance on Sunday, and how Barker Mayfield imploded on Sunday throwing three interceptions in the Browns 29-13 loss to the Texans, Barkley is the clear favorite to win Offensive Rookie of the Year.
3. The players still believe in Shurmur
Blowing a 10-point lead to a backup quarterback with less than two minutes in a game can be devastating and deflating to a team. But the offense took the opening possession of overtime and drove the ball 49 yards to setup Aldrick Rosas’s go-ahead 44-yard field goal. Then the defense closed the showing allowing the Bears offense to travel just 15 yards on eight plays.
The fact that the Giants didn’t let the fourth-quarter collapse affect them in overtime shows the team has fight in them, and that they still believe in their head coach.
Shurmur was asked if he thought his team would have a letdown entering overtime.
“No, I didn’t sense that. I really felt like we were going to get the ball and score, and we did that. It’s like the people that were ‘woe is me’ at the fact that we were up by eight at halftime against the Eagles a week ago. That’s not the feeling I had. I really felt like we were going to win this game, and I’ll say it again: If we play football the right way, I really feel like we can beat anybody we play. Until somebody can show me different, I’m going to always believe that.”
The Giants will now look to ride this momentum into Washington as they look for their first division win of the season against the Redskins on Sunday.