The New York Giants are still rolling with their winning streak, capturing their fifth straight win against the Chicago Bears. The Giants were not facing a tough opponent in the Bears, but the Bears kept the game close and that forced the Giants to make plays in short yardage situations.
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was finding holes in the Giants secondary and he exploited them to get big yards through the air. The Giants did find a way to get their defense going and the defense would be the deciding factor in this win. The Giants defense comes up big during the end of games and that is how they close out.
Early in the game the Giants defense was having trouble against the Bears running game because of running back Jordan Howard. Howard would power his way through the Giants defensive line and pick up big chunks of yards. He would get 17 carries and rush for 77 yards. Howard was wearing the Giants defense out, but they were able to keep him out of the end zone.
Another player that the Giants had trouble with was Bears tight end Zach Miller. Miller got wide open a few times grabbing 3 receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown. Miller would break his foot later in the game and that ended his game and possibly his season.
The Giants showed up again on offense and they are continuing to get better week by week. It is no surprise that the Giants wide receivers are good not just on paper, but on the field as well. Each week Eli Manning chooses a different primary target. Usually it would be Odell Beckham Jr., but in this game it was rookie Sterling Shepard.
Shepard had a huge game being targeted 11 times he would have 5 catches for 50 yards and a touchdown. Shepard is emerging as a star not only on the Giants, but league wide as well. All of the receivers played a big role in this game.
Victor Cruz only had 2 targets during the game, but he would have one catch for 48 yards. Cruz is well overdue for a big game, and in the limited role he has had during this 5-game winning streak he has shown what he is still capable of doing.
When Cruz does get a game when he gets a few more targets it will be a problem for the opposing team. Beckham Jr. did not have big game as well with 5 catches for 46 yards. The Giants have plenty of weapons in their wide receiving unit, but getting all of them the ball is something Manning is going to have to work on.
The Giants are a legitimate playoff contender this season after years of being an 8-8 caliber team or worse. They seem to have everything working at the right time with a favorable schedule. The Giants have to stay healthy in order to have a deep run in the playoffs.
They are 3rd place in the NFC and are at the top of the wildcard race right now. They are 2nd place in the NFC East and are not too far behind the Dallas Cowboys for first place. The Giants could be the team that gets hot during the tail end of the regular season and may win their division.