Giants.com's John Schmeelk breaks down tape of the 20-12 win over Chicago in Week 4.
The Giants beat the Bears 20-12 on Sunday on the strength of their running game and defense. Here's what I saw from reviewing the film:
1. Saquon Barkley played well once again, but the success in the run game was a team effort, from the quarterback to the tight end to receivers to the offensive line. On the first scoring drive, Daniel Jones saw something pre-snap and changed the play a couple times to help set the offensive line and Barkley up for big gains.
On this first play, Jones sees a soft spot on the left side of the Bears' front, which the Giants run right into.
Only two plays later, the Giants see that their two tight ends lined up on the left side of the line have outside leverage on the Bears' defenders, which allows them to seal the edge to give Barkley a big gain.
We don't know exactly what kind of audible or adjustment Jones is making pre-snap on these two plays, but the results are positive with the Giants attack opportunities given to them by the Bears defense.
2. The Giants worked off their running game the majority of the game using a variety of play-action passes and naked boot legs off of their run action. On these two plays, watch what the play-action pass does to rookie safety Jaquan Brisker, who is left confused at the end of the line of scrimmage.
On the second play, Brisker never gets back outside to contain Jones, which gives him room to run down the field. A block in the end zone by Tanner Hudson gives Jones the room to get into the end zone for the touchdown.
Giants quarterbacks combined to run nine times for 98 yards in the game with much of it coming off of tucking the ball and running it off of those play-action passes and boot action.
There are other times when the running back makes something happen when nothing is there. On this third-and-9 play on the Giants' second touchdown drive in the second quarter, they run a screen pass that the Bears diagnose. But Barkley's natural talent takes over, which turns a potential negative play into a first down that leads to a touchdown two plays later.
3. The Giants used three tight ends (14 times total in the game) for much of their third drive and ran the ball effectively out of those formations. It helped set up this second-and-6 play-action bootleg that allowed Jones to trot into the end zone.
According to Pro Football Focus, the Giants only ran seven straight drop-backs that didn't feature any play-action, RPO, or screen action the entire game. They completed only two passes on those plays. The Giants' gameplan and execution created easy yards off misdirection for much of the game and showed the value of a mobile quarterback and how it forces a defense into difficult situations on the edge when they have to focus on stopping an elite running back like Saquon Barkley.
In addition to using three tight ends, the Giants also featured a couple of snaps in 21 personnel with both Barkley and Matt Breida in the game. On this play the Giants show the Bears jet sweep action with Breida and a fake hand-off to Barkley to move the defense before Jones takes off and runs for 19 yards.
Once Tyrod Taylor and Daniel Jones both left the game injured, the Giants offensive staff once again had to dip into their bag of tricks and employed a wildcat formation with Barkley, Breida and Brightwell all in the game together. They ran four plays and gained 18 yards using Barkley in the wildcat to help set up an important Graham Gano field goal that increased the lead from 5 to 8.
4. The Bears ran the ball for 149 yards in the game on Sunday, but that was not indicative of how the Giants' rush defense played in the game. Bears running backs ran for 97 yards, but it took 25 carries for them to get there. Khalil Herbert and Trestan Ebner only had one run each of 10 or more yards.
Tae Crowder often found the right hole to fill, and finished the game with 11 total tackles, with seven solo. He also had a sack, tackle for loss and a two quarterback hits. He did a good job of anticipating where the run was going and getting there to be involved in a lot of plays.
Nicholas Williams was also strong against the run, finishing with five tackles and playing strong at the point of attack. On one of the critical plays late in the game, Williams and Crowder combined to stop Khalil Herbert on a third-and-2 that turned into the Bears final possession of the game.
5. Dexter Lawrence was a menace rushing the passer all game. He won with power and quickness, even overcoming double-teams on his way to the quarterback. Here's compilation of some of his pressures throughout the game.
The Giants also got after the quarterback using blitzes up the middle to fluster Justin Fields. These are three blitzes where you saw both inside linebackers come staggered up the middle to get pressure on Fields.
This was the coming-out party for the pass rush, managing pressure on 20 of the Bears' 36 drop-backs, according to PFF. The Giants blitzed on just under 53% of the pass plays they defended, which was the second-highest blitz rate of the week. The Giants had six sacks and nine official quarterback hits in the game.
Fabian Moureau played well and made two plays on the ball on potential big plays down the field. On the first play he showed good instincts to leave his man in the slot to get towards the sideline to force the incompletion. On the second play he breaks up a deep pass by getting his hand at the catch point without committing a defensive pass interference penalty.
The pass rush and tight coverage combined to hold Justin Fields to just 11 of 22 passes for 174 yards. Darnell Mooney had 94 yards on four catches, including his 56-yard deep catch over the top. No other Bears wide receiver had a reception in the game.
* The Giants had five plays of 18 yards or more in the game. Four of those five plays came on the Giants two touchdown drives. This fifth came on the Giants field goal drive in the third quarter. You need explosive plays to score points. The Giants had two plays of 20 or more yards, with one each coming on their two touchdown drives.
* Mark Glowinski left the game for eight snaps after injuring his ankle. Ben Bredeson moved to right tackle, with Josh Ezeudu stepping in at left guard. David Sills led wide receivers playing 72% of the snaps with 47 total. Darius Slayton played 39, with Kenny Golladay playing 27 and Richie James logging 21. The Giants were only in 11 personnel for 21 snaps, which lines up exactly with James' play time.
* Saquon Barkley played all but four of the team's snaps on offense and finished with 61 total.
* Tae Crowder, Xavier McKinney and Adoree' Jackson played every defensive snaps. Dexter Lawrence played 94% of the snaps with 58.
* Dane Belton logged 46 snaps on defense playing in place of Julian Love. Jaylon Smith played half of the defensive snaps with Micah McFadden playing only four fewer snaps with 27. Fabian Moureau is moving into a more of a full-time role playing 79% of the team's snaps. Kayvon Thibodeaux increased his snap count to 46, while Azeez Ojulari played 30.
View photos from the Giants' Week 4 game against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium.