Brian Daboll said in his postgame press conference that Sunday went according to plan. Keep in mind this was a game in which Saquon Barkley took snaps during an emergency situation after quarterbacks Daniel Jones (ankle) and Tyrod Taylor (concussion) suffered injuries.
While the head coach was really referring to their run-heavy script that came to fruition, it was a credit to the players and staff keeping their heads in what appeared to be chaotic only from the outside. Internally, they were prepared for such contingencies.
"That's our job as a coaching staff is to make sure you're prepared for whatever situation comes up," Daboll said. "Is it always going to be great? No, it's not. There's certainly things that we can all do better, starting with me. But I just think that's what you do in a leadership position, too. You don't panic. You try to stay composed. You try to give people a plan that they can go out and execute and believe in when they need to do it. Whether that's the quarterback is not able to move, so you put him out there at receiver and give it to Saquon, who can move, and throw Matt Breida in there. I would say just our smart, tough, dependable theme, smart is at the top of that list. So, being able to adjust and handle things as they come our way – whether it's the coaching staff or whether it's the players – that's very important to us."
"When I saw Tyrod go down, I kind of realized I'm up next. I'm the quarterback," Barkley said. "First of all, you have to give credit to DJ coming back in the game. I can't curse, he's a tough you know what. Nothing but respect for him to go in and continue to fight through that for his team just shows you the type of person and type of player he is. I think I just tried my best to read it. It's really not that hard, I guess, but I think I made the right reads on them. But we were able to keep the ball moving, get down field, get some points and the defense did a great job for us."
View photos from the Giants' Week 4 game against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium.
IT WAS OVER WHEN
It was almost over when Graham Gano, who has been automatic, lined up for a 37-yard field goal that would have put the Giants up by 11 with 17 seconds remaining. However, the ball went off the left upright on a windy day, which also caused Chicago's Velus Jones Jr. to muff a punt on the previous possession. Instead of the Giants putting the game fully out of reach, Chicago had one last-ditch effort and played a game of laterals before the ball finally came to a rest and the retro scoreboards from the Legacy Game read 0:00.
The Giants allowed 13 sacks and generated just three of their own in the first three games. They reversed those number dramatically on Sunday, sacking Justin Fields six times while allowing just one on Jones. The defensive numbers included a strip-sack by Azeez Ojulari that led to a fumble recovery by rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux. Defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence also had two sacks.
"We were having fun; we're building that chemistry," said Thibodeau, who missed the first two games due to an injury along with Ojulari. "This is our second time really out and we're still missing a couple of guys, but just being able to play free and the offense playing complementary football; going down there and scoring and giving us really an opportunity to go put some pressure on the quarterback."
INTO THE HISTORY BOOKS
The Giants etched a spot in the record books with 262 rushing yards, the ninth-highest single-game total in franchise history. It was the most in the regular season since they rushed for 301 yards in an overtime victory over Carolina in 2008.
"Good week of practice," Daboll said. "That was, I would say, the plan going into it. It's always good when things work out the way we want them to work out in a game. Daniel's weren't necessarily designed runs. There was pass elements to the play we thought would be a few good designs to run against their team. They happened to go with the receiver. We hit a couple of other ones. We hit the one to (wide receiver David) Sills where they called us on a formation. I thought our line did a good job. We ran the ball inside; we ran the ball outside; had a couple of scheme runs in there that we liked this particular week. And then 26 (Saquon Barkley) – I've said it since OTAs – is a really good football player. So, that along with Daniel's, what did he have – about 70 or something around there? That's the way we wanted to play this game. And it worked out."
Having yet to speak to the medical staff, Daboll said in his postgame press conference that he had no new updates on injuries. All he had at the time was a list, and what a list it was. In addition to the quarterbacks, the following players dealt with injuries: G Mark Glowinski (ankle), CB Aaron Robinson (knee), S Julian Love (concussion), DL Henry Mondeaux (ankle), OT Evan Neal (neck), and WR Kenny Golladay (knee). This was after the Giants ruled out five players due to injuries before the game: CB Cor'Dale Flott (calf), CB Nick McCloud (hamstring), WR Wan'Dale Robinson (knee), WR Kadarius Toney (hamstring), and DL Leonard Williams (knee).
As for their quarterbacks, Jones said he felt good but a "little sore" after the game. Taylor, meanwhile, sustained a concussion and is in the protocol.
WHAT THE WIN MEANS FOR THE GIANTS
Since 1990, teams that started 3-1 went on to make the playoffs 63.7 percent of the time. The Giants will put that record to the test when they travel to London in Week 5 to take on Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. The Giants, who played in the first regular-season NFL game oversees in 2007, are undefeated in their previous two London Games.
WHAT THE LOSS MEANS FOR THE BEARS
Chicago, which has alternated wins and losses through the first four weeks, stay on the road for a divisional matchup against the Minnesota Vikings, who are flying back from their London trip with a 3-1 record.
"Obviously very disappointed in the loss here," Bears coach Matt Eberflus said. "Just got out of the locker room with the players and talked to those guys about us working to improve. Obviously, in the first half we needed to do a better job of stopping the run with the quarterback. I thought we did a good job of adjusting to that in the second half. Saquon ended up popping some runs on us and they ran the ball too effectively for us to win the game today. So, we have to improve that for sure. It's 14-9 at halftime and when other team scores touchdowns and we kick field goals typically that's not good. We've got to make sure we handle that in terms of our scoring efficiency on offense in the red zone as well. Turn some of those threes into sevens that's going to be big going forward."