CHICAGO - Brandon Jacobs turned back the clock Thursday night, posting the sort of rushing numbers he hadn't delivered in years.
It still wasn't enough to get the Giants a win.
"I felt good out there, but without a win it doesn't mean anything," Jacobs said after the 27-21 loss to the Chicago Bears. "Like I told the guys before the game, I'm going to give everything I have on every snap."
Jacobs rushed 22 times for 106 yards and two touchdowns. He hadn't gone over 100 yards or gotten into the end zone twice since Dec. 11, 2011, in Dallas. He hadn't carried the ball 20 or more times since Nov. 1, 2009, in Philadelphia.
And it wasn't just a return to the goal-line, short-yardage Jacobs who served in that role for much of his seven seasons with the Giants before he departed for an unhappy season with the 49ers in 2012, followed by no training-camp invites this summer.
No, this was the every-down back Jacobs always wanted to be, and he earned his keep from the start Thursday night. His 53 first-quarter rushing yards were only two shy of David Wilson's season high in Kansas City.
Wilson missed the Bears game with a neck injury, bringing Jacobs into a starting role for the first time since that 2011 game in Dallas, when he ran for 101 yards and two touchdowns.
Jacobs bulled over Bears linebacker Lance Briggs on the way to a 4-yard touchdown run to tie the score at 7-7 in the first, then barreled in from a yard out to cut the deficit to six late in the third quarter. He also had five runs of at least 11 yards, including three double-digit runs to get the Giants out from inside their own 10.
"We got a good football game out of him," coach Tom Coughlin said. "He ran hard. He's a very difficult guy to contend with, and he played well."
At 31, Jacobs has toned down the brash talk that defined his first stint with the Giants -- at least somewhat. He spoke often after Thursday night's loss about his team sticking together, even though he joined the squad only a month ago.
"My body feels great, but obviously my pride is hurt, just like everybody else in this locker room," Jacobs said. "We keep battling, keep fighting together, that's about all we can do. Keep working, keep encouraging one another."
Now with 59 rushing touchdowns, Jacobs extended his Giants career mark in that category. He also went over 5,000 career rushing yards.
Quite a surprise given that he was staring at an unwanted retirement before the Giants brought him back after Andre Brown's season-ending injury in September.
There was a glimmer of the old Jacobs at the end of his session with reporters.
"We should've beat these guys, there's no question in my mind,'' Jacobs said. "But we didn't.''