The New York Giants are now 3-1 after defeating the Chicago Bears(2-2) 20-12 at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. The Giants used a stout defense; Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones did the job on the ground. In addition, New York overcame injuries to Jones and backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
Jones, who ended the game 8/13 for 71 yards, left with an ankle injury late in the third quarter after being sacked by Jaquan Brisker, while Taylor left in the fourth quarter with a concussion. However, the man that has been doing it all for the Giants, Barkley, became the wildcat quarterback and continued his strong rushing performance. Jones did return, but Barkley did some heavy lifting.
“It’s something that we practiced,” Barkley said about the wildcat formation after the win. “I think we did it; we showed it against Carolina. It was a package that we had in. You don’t want to be in that situation, but the way that the coaches reacted, brought us all in and started drawing it up. It felt like you’re back again as a little kid in the backyard playing football. But like I said, we had some of those packages already. We worked at it, and we have some really talented (running) backs and a great offensive line, and we were able to have a little bit of success on it.”
Giants head coach Brian Daboll added: “I just thought those were the right thing to use at that particular time based on where (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) was, limping around a little bit. And then we put a couple of other ones in on the sideline – ones that (offensive line coach) Bobby (Johnson) and I have run in the past. So I didn’t have to get to all of them but got to a couple of them that I thought helped us, particularly the edge plays with (running back Matt) Breida there at the end. And Barkley’s been ballhandling since training camp, not for this necessary (reason that) both quarterbacks go down – just because it’s part of our package that we have. Just thought that was the best thing to do.”
Barkley had his second 100-yard game of the season as he finished with a career-high 31 carries for 146 yards. Jones also carried the load as he had 68 yards on the ground, including rushing touchdowns of 21 and eight yards. New York rushed for 262 yards on 44 carries. It was their highest rushing yardage total since 2008.
“I thought our line did a good job,’ Daboll said. “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.”
New York is now 3-1 for the first time since 2011, and “Big Blue” is winning with defense and a strong running game; Daboll gave all the credit to the players.
“I think the players played good when it counted the most,” Daboll said. “Give all the credit to the players. I think the assistant coaches and coordinators are doing a good job of putting them in position, and those guys are playing hard for 60 minutes. So, I’d say give the players, first-and-foremost, all the credit. And give the assistant coaches and coordinators the second part of it.”
New York will have to see if Jones will be healthy next week as they travel to London to face the Packers. Jones did say he was feeling good following the game.
“I feel good. I feel good,” he said. “A little sore but all good. Listen to the trainers and doctors and go from there but feeling good.”
-In addition to Jones and Taylor, several Giants left the game with injuries. Cornerback Aaron Robinson (knee), safety Julian Love (concussion), tackle Evan Neal (neck), wide receiver Kenny Golladay (knee) and defensive tackle Henry Mondeaux (ankle) did not return. Guard Mark Glowinski (ankle) did.
-Love and fellow safety Xavier McKinney were the only players on the Giants’ defense to play every snap in the first three games.