Giants.com's Dan Salomone explores the state of the team following the win over the Bears:
Heading into Sunday's matchup with the two-win Bears, coach Ben McAdoo was asked all week about a possible letdown from the Giants. His response stayed the same: "There's no such a thing as a trap game."
But there they found themselves, staring at a 16-9 deficit at halftime to a team that is second-to-last in the NFL in averaging 15.7 points per game. The Giants never panicked, though. Behind a surging pass rush and another clutch play by a Defensive Player of the Year candidate, Big Blue shut out Chicago in the second half while Eli Manning threw two touchdowns for a 22-16 victory.
"Tale of two halves today," said McAdoo, whose team wrapped up a three-game homestand. "I'm proud of the way the guys responded at halftime, 13-nothing in the second half. We came out with the fire burning. We still have a lot of work to do. We realize that, and we look forward to doing it."
IT WAS OVER WHEN
Safety Landon Collins intercepted Jay Cutler in Giants territory with 1:11 left in the game, allowing Manning to come in and take a knee to seal the victory. Collins, who already has two NFC Defensive Player of the Week awards in his second season, now has five interceptions in the last four games.
The Giants have now played 10 games. In the first five, they had four sacks. In the last five, they have 14. Four of those came on Sunday against the Bears, including 2.5 from Jason Pierre-Paul. It was his first multi-sack game since the 2014 season finale. Fellow defensive end Olivier Vernon also notched a sack for the third consecutive game.
"I even told some guys that it is time to blow up, it is on us and guys responded," said Pierre-Paul, who had a strip-sack on the Bears' final drive. "I responded myself. I can't just do the talking; I have to show up and we came out with a win."
FROM THE LOCKER ROOM
"Obviously, I do believe that we have championship-type atmosphere in this locker room. Defensively you can see it. Those guys are playing lights out. Offensively we just want to continue to do what we're doing. I think we have the tools to get to that game. We just have to take it one game at a time and continue to stack these W's." – wide receiver Victor Cruz
WHAT THE WIN MEANS FOR THE GIANTS
Everyone in the NFC East – as well as the entire conference – is trying to keep pace with the first-place Cowboys (9-1), who won their ninth consecutive game on Sunday with a 27-17 victory over the Ravens. The Giants did their part in Week 11 and extended their winning streak to five games. At 7-3, they now go on a two-week road trip through the AFC North, beginning with a visit to winless Cleveland (0-11). After that, the Giants head to Pittsburgh (5-5).
"You are going to see me smile," said Rashad Jennings, who had 85 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries in addition to five receptions for 44 yards. "But it is short-lived because every single week you have a team that is trying to beat you. So we are going to look at the tape, find out where the hidden yardage is at and we can continue to grow and finish with the ball in our hand. We weren't able to do that like we wanted to, and that is something that we are going to have to do down the stretch."
WHAT THE LOSS MEANS FOR THE BEARS
With the loss, Chicago dropped to 0-6 on the road and 2-8 overall. It is the franchise's worst start since 2002 when it finished 4-12. The Bears return to Soldier Field in Week 12 to host the Tennessee Titans (5-6), who lost to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
"It's a loss. It's either a win or a loss, albeit very disappointing," said Bears coach John Fox, who was the defensive coordinator of the Giants from 1997-2001. "We did have some injuries; we had some guys step in and did OK, just not quite well enough, but a loss."
Giants.com hands out game balls in Sunday's win over the Bears