There was one prominent sound at Met Life Stadium late Sunday afternoon.
When Janoris Jenkins knocked the pass away from Chicago’s Taylor Gabriel with 2:49 left in overtime, everyone associated with the Giants throughout the tristate area felt a sigh of relief.
The Giants finally had fate on their side. In the final two minutes, the game surely looked like it would end in another disastrous loss.
Yet, Jenkin’s swat and the pass rush dialed up by defensive coordinator can go a long way to further cement some character and confidence
Despite their issues, Big Blue has won three of its last four games since their bye week, the latter a 30-27 overtime victory over the once 8-3 Bears. The same Bears who were one of the league’s hottest team with an impressive five-game winning streak.
Ironically, it was a defensive play that began and ended the game. There weren’t many glowing stats, but instead there was a gritty, overall effort.
Alec Ogletree, who has begun to atone for his early season miscues in pass defense, brought back a pick six in the first quarter. He also had another pick to cap an arduous afternoon. Olivier Vernon showed his capabilities with a pair of sacks, a notable one late in the game.
From there on, it basically was the Giants’ afternoon until late in the fourth quarter.
They received another 100-plus yard effort (125 yards) from Saquon Barkley, but Eli Manning had a subpar day.
Overall, though, the once catastrophic season has begun to mend itself. Slowly.
Despite not totally solving its sack issue, the offensive line has been more cohesive over the past month. The addition of Jamon Brown looks more solid with each passing day.
Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard are showing why they can be one of the league’s top duos. The tight-end tandem of Rhett Ellison and Scott Simonson has been developing into an effective outlet catching the ball as well as blocking for Barkley.
There are still plenty of holes to fill for a bad football team that could emerge as a mediocre one.
With four weeks left, the culture can change. There are winnable games with Washington and Tennessee ahead.
Holding on to this win will certainly help the cause. The Giants are playing to win and not playing for one of the top three picks in the draft in April.
They just have to maintain the mojo.
Head coach Pat Shurmur indicated Manning will get the start in Washington and there is a good chance rookie Kyle Lauletta finally could see some action.
This was an example of what was expected. A team with some moxie battling its way through the playoffs.
For two recent weeks, the Giants and their fans stuck out their chests only to be deflated by the second half in Philadelphia.
They can do it again. Hopefully, it won’t require too many deep breaths and exhales.