EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants won their fourth game of the season Sunday, and all it took was – deep breath – touchdowns scored on an interception return and on an Odell Beckham, Jr. pass and reception, the longest field goal in the 94-year history of the Giants franchise, losing a 10-point lead in the final 1:13, having your opponent tie the score as time expired in the fourth quarter, and finding the strength to set that aside and rally to win the game in overtime.
All that and more happened in a wild 3:34 of football played in a light but steady rain Sunday in MetLife Stadium. Aldrick Rosas’ 44-yard field goal with 4:03 expired in the extra period provided the deciding points in the Giants’ 30-27 victory against the Chicago Bears. But that triumph wasn’t clinched until Chase Daniel’s fourth-down pass from the Bears’ 40-yard line fell incomplete.
“The takeaway is, and I told the team this - I’ll keep the swear words out of it - some people are fond of talented people, some people are fond of smart people, I’m fond of tough, resilient people,” coach Pat Shurmur said. “When you’re trying to flip culture, when you’re trying to build something, you’ve got to really dig in on that. There was some toughness and some resiliency. It would have been easy to cave when they came back, an 8-3 team, came back and tied us up, they had a little bit of juice, a little bit of mojo, but our guys found a way to put points on the board and then stop them at the end. I’m fond of toughness and resiliency, and our team showed that today.”
The Giants had a seemingly safe 10-point lead after the two-minute warning only to lose it in part because they failed to recover an onside kick. But they kept their composure and drove 49 yards in eight plays to the game-winning score. The Giants improved to 4-8, while the Bears fell to 8-4.
“As a team, we put it all together and found a way to beat a very, very good team,” Beckham said.
“We don’t give up,” safety Landon Collins said. “Even though our record is what it is, these guys don’t give up and I love that about us.”
Beckham’s 49-yard touchdown pass on the opening possession of the third quarter was the game’s longest play. After forcing a Bears punt, the Giants drove 60 yards in 13 plays, the last a one-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Beckham. But the fifth-year receiver’s contributions went beyond his statistics.
“I addressed the team at halftime, and I told them there’s just something I had to get off my chest,” Beckham said. “I love these boys. Every time I put on a helmet, whether it’s practice or it’s a game, I’m going to give it my all and I feel like I owed them more, to give them all of me and whatever that entails. So we drew a play up, I told Bennie (Fowler), ‘I don’t care what happens, I’m going to throw it to you.’ They double covered him and this grown man from LSU who I’ve played with for a long time (Russell Shepard was his teammate at LSU), I saw him down the middle of the field and I was like, ‘This can’t be real,’ and I just launched it to him. It’s all good, he wasn’t supposed to do that, but he’s just playing football and he came up with a huge play for us. Very, very, very big play.”
It was one of many the Giants executed.
Alec Ogletree made the first on the game’s second snap, when he tapped and then caught Chase Daniel’s pass and returned it eight yards for his second touchdown of the season and an early 7-0 lead. It was the first of Ogletree’s two interceptions in the game.
“It was just a big play for us as a team,” Ogletree said of his touchdown. “It definitely set the tempo for how the day was going to go and I was just happy to be in that position to make a play.”
Chicago held a 14-10 lead when the Giants took possession at their own 30-yard line with 17 seconds remaining in the half and no timeouts. The situation seemingly called for the Giants to take a conservative approach, particularly since they were to receive the second-half kickoff. But Saquon Barkley (125 rushing yards) broke free for a 29-yard run. After Manning’s nine-yard pass to Rhett Ellison, Rosas kicked a Giants-record 57-yard field goal as time expired to pull the Giants to within 14-10 at the half.
“I’ve said this all along, I’m fond of our kicker and I’m fond of who he is as a football player,” Shurmur said. “Because he’s not just a kicker, he’s a football player. If a fight broke out, he’d be right there. He’s tough, he’s resilient, and I’m really proud of the fact that he’s having a really positive impact on our games.”
After Rosas’ kick and Beckham’s inspirational address, the Giants came out in the third quarter and scored on Beckham’s long throw to Shepard and short reception from Manning.
“Russell made something up and Odell hit him for a TD,” Manning said. “Sometimes, you have to draw it up in the dirt. We hit a big play there.”
Codey Parkey’s 36-yard field goal pulled the Bears to within 24-17. But when Rosas kicked a 37-yarder with just 1:49 left, the Giants held what seemed to be a safe 10-point.
It wasn’t. Parkey’s 21-yarder made it 27-20 with 1:13 remaining. Tight end Daniel Brown then recovered the onside kick at the Bears’ 47-yard line.
“It was a great kick,” Beckham said. “Honestly, when it took the hop, the guys on the front line kind of looked like we were in a position where we didn’t know if they were going to get it, if they wanted me to go get it and I was just so far back when they passed the ball, I was trying to run up there and get in the mix and I got to it late.”
With three seconds remaining, B.W. Webb received a defensive pass interference penalty for making contact with Allen Robinson II in the end zone. Given a first-and-goal at the one, Daniels handed the ball to Trey Burton, who flipped it to Tarik Cohen, who threw the tying touchdown pass to Anthony Miller as the clock reached all zeroes.
After scoring 10 points in 1:13, the momentum seemed to be with the Bears. But the Giants won the overtime coin toss and on the first play, Barkley took off for a 29-yard gain to the Bears’ 46. On third down from the 26, Manning’s pass for Sterling Shepard fell incomplete in the end zone. Rosas then kicked the go-ahead 44-yard field goal.
“I thought we were going to have a walk-off touchdown to Shep when I let the ball go,” Manning said. “I said, ‘I got him,’ and I put it right where I wanted it. He said he lost it in the lights a little bit. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the TD but we got the field goal and the defense did a great job getting the stop.”
The Bears still had a chance to win with a touchdown, but the Giants defense, which had given up late scores last week in Philadelphia and in the fourth quarter, stopped the Bears with the game on the line.
“Toughness and resiliency are demanded in our sport, and we have that,” Shurmur said. “We’ve just got to clean up the mistakes and keep going. That’s why I’m proud of our guys. It’s fun to win.”
Especially as they did on Sunday.
Giants.com hands out game balls in the Giants win