The New York Giants (7-3) overcame a lackadaisical first half to edge the visiting Chicago Bears (2-8), 22-16. Here's what we learned...
- Giants fans wondering why this is their first five-game winning streak since 2010 or first 7-3 record since the 2007 Super Bowl season have to realize just how significant their offseason investment in Olivier Vernon and Damon Harrison has been. The end of the Tom Coughlin era was recognized for the team's inability to win close games, so this offseason the team went out and got themselves some closers. Vernon was beastly on Sunday even if the box score did not recognize it. Jay Cutler's final act of the night -- a backpedaling scramble and deep interception -- was indicative of the entire afternoon in East Rutherford.
- While the Giants managed to reverse field and dominate the second half physically, the underlying factor of luck was ever-present. The Bears dropped a pair of potential red-zone interceptions on Sunday and missed the chance to recover a botched punt return in the fourth quarter on Sunday -- not to mention a completely ill-advised pass that Manning sailed on a third down with three minutes to go in the fourth quarter that was batted down by Rashad Jennings. It's bizarre how moments like these -- long the source of Giant agony -- can come to define a season. Normally, this team is not used to being on the receiving end of kismet (at least since 2012).
- A scary -- and disheartening -- moment for the Bears with a few minutes to go in the fourth quarter. First-round pick Leonard Floyd was carted off the field after lowering his head in attempt to make a tackle on Jennings. The terrifying moment was broken up only because Floyd was almost insisting he did not need any treatment. Before being strapped into the cart, he was moving his arms and legs and acknowledged several teammates on the way off the field. The young core of this Bears defense is just about the only bright spot amid a bleak 2-8 season and Floyd is most certainly in the running for defensive rookie of the year. Here's hoping his neck injury (officially classified in a press box announcement) is nothing serious.
- Giants offensive line coaches Mike Solari and Lunda Wells deserve a boatload of credit. This unit has been in complete disrepair for months now, often shuffling two or three replacements into the lineup per game. Center Weston Richburg will likely earn his first Pro Bowl nod this year and has been a fail-safe for a patchwork group of veterans and still-developing youngsters. People enjoy comparing Giants teams to their two most recent Super Bowl rosters and the one constant was always a dependable offensive line. Should this team progress any further, it will be on the strength of their front five.
- Another week, another Ben McAdoo fourth-down gamble that paid off with a touchdown. The coach and playcaller will be chided for an extremely conservative fourth quarter, but he's taking the chances where it counts and displaying confidence in his team the right way. For a first-year head coach, it is extremely difficult to develop an identity and style so early, but the long-time Mike McCarthy disciple is doing just that in New York.