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Saquon Barkley kept the Giants running

Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants

Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants is tackled during a run in the fourth quarter by Roquan Smith #58 of the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Credit: Jim McIsaac


Saquon Barkley did not score a touchdown, but he ran for 125 yards on 24 carries and two of his long runs — a 29-yarder to open up overtime and a 22-yarder late in the second quarter — helped set up critical field goals. Against a defensive front that was supposed to tear them apart, the offensive line wasn’t awful. Odell Beckham Jr. threw for and caught a touchdown, although six of the nine passes in his direction were incomplete. That had more to do with Eli Manning, who saw the two things he’d improved most on this season – completion percentage and turnover elimination — suffer. Manning had trouble putting the ball in the right spot for most of the game, though he does get credit for the game-winning drive in overtime.


Alec Ogletree gets an A with two interceptions, one of them returned for a touchdown, but the overall mark sinks after allowing a 10-point advantage to disappear with 1:49 to play. The Giants still haven’t figured out how to cover or stop Tarik Cohen, who finished with 156 receiving yards on 12 catches and also threw the TD pass that sent the game into overtime. A few costly penalties hurt the Giants; Mario Edwards Jr.’s personal foul on what would have been a third-down stop extended a drive on which the Bears eventually scored a touchdown. B.W. Webb forced a fumble and B.J. Hill had three of the team’s five sacks. Curtis Riley needs to catch the easy interception in the first half.


Russell Shepard flipping a punt out of the end zone to Antonio Hamilton, who then flipped the ball out of the end zone to Zak DeOssie to down it at the 2, should have been the play that sealed the Giants’ win in the fourth quarter. It obviously did not, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive. Aldrick Rosas kicked a franchise-record 57-yard field goal and also connected on a 44-yarder in overtime to give the Giants the win. So why do they get a B and not an A? The Giants have to recover the onside kick by the Bears after Chicago closed within a touchdown with 1:13 remaining. They even called a timeout to determine what the Bears would try to do and had the ball heading to Odell Beckham Jr. on the bounder. Had the Giants lost the game, that play would have been circled as the reason why.


Pat Shurmur did a nice job of changing things up in the second half, coming out with a pass from Beckham to Shepard for the first offensive touchdown. That gave the Giants a lead and allowed them to focus more on running the ball rather than rely on a shaky Manning as they had for most of the first half. He also made sure that Barkley had plenty of opportunities with the game on the line, unlike last week against the Eagles. The rookie running back had almost as many touches in overtime (4) than he had in the second half last week (5). James Bettcher needs to figure out a way to get his defense to stop giving up leads late in games.

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