Well it wasn’t pretty, but the New York Giants on their Legacy Day were able to yank out a victory over the Chicago Bears by a score of 20-12 on Sunday to make them 3-1 to begin the Brian Daboll era in New York. Daboll is the first Giants coach since Tom Coughlin in 2004 to begin their first four games with a record of 3-1. Though it was not an ideal victory with both quarterbacks for the Giants with Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor leaving the game with injuries, here are my three biggest takeaways from the Giants victory.
1. Saquon Barkley is back
It’s time to say it. Saquon Barkley is back and is being the running back the Giants have finally been waiting for since his rookie season. He had a career high 31 carries for 146 yards now giving him a total of well over 400 scrimmage yards to begin his season. Barkley has been awfully impressive for the Giants in the first four games of the season and has really carried the Giants offense this year and especially today with both Jones and Taylor leaving due to injury. Barkley just seems like he’s in a much better place and more importantly, healthy for Big Blue.
2. Giants defense still struggles on third down
Even though the Giants defense sacked Justin Fields five times and their defense really applied a whole lot of pressure for the majority of the game, third down and particularly third and long have killed the Giants defense this season. They allowed the Bears to convert on a third and twenty on a screenplay and gave up a 51 yard throw too. The Giants defense still did show a lot of promise with players like Tae Crowder getting 10 tackles and the defense overall not giving up a single touchdown and just four field goals. Still, this game and the other three they have played, getting off the field on third down has been a problem for the Giants and if they want to make any kind of noise this season in the NFC, the defense needs to play better when it matters the most and that’s getting off the field on third down.
3. Giants receivers need to step up
The Giants wide receiving corps need to step up. Kenny Golladay was again held without a catch, Darius Slayton dropped what could have been a long touchdown and David Sills had a quiet game as well. The Giants cannot rely on Saquon Barkley for their next 13 games so it is safe to say that Slayton and Golladay need to step up in the absence of Sterling Shepard and until Kadarius Toney is able to return.