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Giants grades: Defense finds its way, offense not consistent

Jason Pierre-Paul #90 of the New York Giants

Jason Pierre-Paul #90 of the New York Giants celebrates after stripping the ball from Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 20, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Credit: Mike Stobe

Offense: C

For the first time since Week 7 of last season the Giants did not commit a turnover. Nor did they allow a sack. And their running game showed a pulse for the second straight week (105 yards on 26 actual carries, not kneel-downs). Eli Manning threw for 227 yards and two touchdowns and Rashad Jennings ran for a score. So why does it feel like they came up so short? Probably because after TDs on the first two possessions of the second half they never again reached Bears territory and had three three-and-outs in their final four full possessions (not counting the kneel-downs after the late interception).

Defense: B

The defense was just the opposite. They started bad, allowing a pair of red zone TDs in the first half after leading the NFL in that category coming in, but rebounded to hold onto the win. Jason Pierre-Paul was dominant for the first time since returning from his hand injury over a year ago, registering 2 1⁄2 sacks, batting down a pass, and getting another tackle for a loss. Olivier Vernon also had a sack and two tackles for losses. And what Giants game these days would be complete without a Landon Collins interception? His pick with 1:11 remaining sealed the win.

Special Teams: D

The Giants finally got a big kickoff return from Dwayne Harris to start the second half and spark the comeback, but it was one of the few bright spots for the unit. Harris also muffed a punt that came dangerously close to setting up the Bears in Giants territory with a shot at the go-ahead TD. Eli Apple made a critical play to recover the ball for the Giants. Robbie Gould missed two extra-points that made the six-point lead in the fourth quarter all the more nerve-wracking. He did, though, hit a 46-yard field goal in a furious wind. Harris had one decent punt return that was negated by a block-in-the-back penalty against Orleans Darkwa.

Coaching: C

Great second-half adjustments by Steve Spagnuolo to handle the Bears’ offense (although their losing tight end Zach Miller to a broken foot may have been the biggest game-changer). Ben McAdoo continues to show guts on fourth-and-shorts in field-goal range, going for it twice in the first half in a game in which he believed the Giants would need TDs and not FGs. They tested the winds early on offense with some throws down the field but eventually went to more of a short-pass game plan.

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