The Giants took a 10-point lead with 1:49 left in the fourth quarter, but now they were living on the edge.
After a field goal and recovered onside kick, the Bears had first-and-goal at the 1. Three seconds showed on the clock. Could a defense that had let a 16-point advantage slip away in the loss at Philadelphia the week before make a big stop?
It could not. The teams would be working overtime Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
Then the defense had a chance for redemption, a chance to make one last stand and close out a 30-27 win over the NFC North leaders. This time it held up its end.
“We’ve kind of been in that situation a little bit all year long,” said linebacker Alec Ogletree, who made a career-best two interceptions, including an 8-yard pick-6 on the second offensive play of the game. “We haven’t been able to finish. This game was big for us to go out there on defense and end the game the way we did. That’s big for a young defense like us.”
After the Giants (4-8) took a 27-17 lead on Aldrick Rosas’ 37- yard field goal, it took Chicago 36 seconds to counter on Cody Parkey’s 21-yard field goal. Then the Bears recovered the onside kick at their own 47. Rookie defensive lineman B.J. Hill soon picked up his career-high third sack, but the Bears kept moving.
Chicago (8-4) pulled a gadget play out of the bag on first-and-goal at the 1. Quarterback Chase Daniel gave the ball to tight end Trey Burton, who lateraled to Tarik Cohen (156 yards on 12 receptions; 30 yards on eight carries). This time he rolled right and threw. “It was designed to go to the quarterback,” Cohen said.
Daniel was covered, though, so Cohen fired to receiver Anthony Miller in the right side of the end zone. When Parkey kicked the extra point, the Giants’ lead had been erased.
“Nothing went wrong,” Ogletree said. “They just made some good plays . . . They’re one of the top teams in the league.”
After the Giants scored in OT on Rosas’ third field goal, a 44-yarder, two of their highest-paid players — both of whom are having up-and-down seasons — secured the victory.
On third-and-4 from the Chicago 44, linebacker Olivier Vernon swooped in for his second sack and the team’s season-high fifth, stripping the ball. Daniel recovered at the 40.
Daniel went long on fourth down, but cornerback Janoris Jenkins blanketed Taylor Gabriel at the 25 and the pass fell incomplete.
“It takes a lot out of you, man,” cornerback B.W. Webb said. “But we survived . . . We’ll get up on teams and slack off a little bit, but that’s been the message, man — just finish.”
Ogletree got them started with his pick-6, making him the first linebacker in franchise history with two of those in a season.
“He’s one of the guys that’s helping us flip this culture because he’s a winner, he’s tough, he’s resilient,” coach Pat Shurmur said.
It was 7-7 in the second quarter when Ogletree extended his right hand and made a spectacular one-handed interception — like an Odell Beckham Jr. catch — at the Giants’ 14, possibly preventing a touchdown on the play.
“For me, it’s kind of more hard,” Ogletree said. “It’s easier for him. He works on doing that. But I do my share.”