Fennelly: What We Learned From the Giants’ Week 11 Win Over the Bears

The Giants improved to 7-3 with their 22-16 win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. They are in sole possession of second place in the NFC East after 11 weeks, two full games behind frontrunning Dallas (9-1), a half-game ahead of third place Washington (6-3-1) and two games in front of the 5-5 Philadelphia Eagles.

They escaped with another close call on Sunday. Don’t complain. They have won seven games by a total of 27 points this year. Last year, they lost eight games by a total of 26 points. The worm has turned. The objective this past offseason was to find out how to turn losses into wins. They’ve figured it out. In the standings, only wins and losses count in this league. There is no column for style points.

They may have to find a new kicker. Robbie Gould is an experienced NFL placekicker the Giants brought in after the Josh Brown affair. He missed several PATs but made a 46-yard FG. He only had one touchback in kickoff attempts. Granted it was a wild and windy day, but it’s late November in Northern New Jersey. The weather is not going to get any better.

Odell Beckham, Jr. has to realize he’s on a team, a winning one. Coming into this season, the Giants were 10-15 with OBJ in the lineup. Yes, he is exciting to watch and his numbers have been as good as any who have ever played the WR position, but no man is an island. He has to realize that he’s only as good as the other 52 players on the roster. When the Giants win a game, he should be happier regardless of his personal performance that day. He needs to taste some postseason football perhaps to fully appreciate the gravity of pro football.

Running the football is still a problem. Yes, the Giants ran for over 100 yards for the second straight game but they could not run the ball in the second half when they needed to. With the weather changing in the Northeast, they have to do better than this. After coming out in the second half last Sunday and scoring touchdowns on their first two drives, they punted on their next five, including three three-and-outs. Their other two drives lasted just five plays each.

Larry Donnell had no targets for the third straight game. It’s clear the Giants have moved on from Larry Donnell. In the passing game, it’s been all Will Tye and Jerell Adams. In the running game and max protect formations, they’ve been bringing in extra linemen. He is very close to being an inactive or even cut at this point. At the very least, he won’t be a Giant in 2017.

Sung and unsung heroes for this team. Safety Landon Collins has played 99.3% of the club’s defensive snaps this season. CB Janoris Jenkins has played 99.2%. That’s a refreshing change from years past when they had a revolving door in the secondary. On offense, three players have played every snap this season: QB Eli Manning, G John Jerry and LT Ereck Flowers. Say what you will, but these guys come to play every week.

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