It came down to the last play of the game for the Giants in their 17-13 loss in Chicago Sunday afternoon.
With four seconds left and the ball at the Bears’ 10-yard line, Daniel Jones rolled out and threw a high pass to Golden Tate, who apparently had pushed back on the Bears’ Eddie Jackson, who deflected the ball away.
Out came a flag.
Redemption for the Giants? They certainly earned it.
However, Tate was tagged for pushing off, and the Bears escaped with their second consecutive last-second victory.
Moral victories don’t keep your coach employed. But this new Giants’ coach can break that trend.
Joe Judge has infused new blood into a franchise that has been seeking a coaching guru since Tom Coughlin left. Two weeks into this season, it’s safe to say that they found one.
“We did a good job overall as far as moving the ball systematically down the field,” said Judge. “Look, we’re standing at the 10-yard line with one play to go. That’s really what you’re working for in the 2-minute drill. Just give yourself an opportunity.”
For most of the game, it didn’t look like it would. The Giants trailed 17-0 at one point and they lost Saquon Barkley with a reportedly ACL tear.
Daniel Jones was struggling with a pair of turnovers, and the defense couldn’t find itself. Chicago’s Mitch Trubisky looked like Jim McMahon in his Bears’ prime.
But these are the 2020 Giants, not any version of the past few years. This is a team that has shown character and grit.
They fought hard against Pittsburgh in the Monday night opener, but they found themselves overmatched by a Steelers’ defense that may be one of the surprises of the league.
They faced a similar situation with a grizzled Bears’ defense that hassled Jones and his receivers throughout the first half. It was 17-0 and chances were slim.
The Giants made the necessary adjustments at halftime and stymied the Bears’ offense. Julian Love snared an interception that led to a field goal.
Dion Lewis’ one-yard plunge to start the fourth quarter cut the deficit to seven. Then James Bradberry literally stole the ball from a Chicago wide receiver, and Graham Gano converted another field goal.
The ending for the past two weeks hasn’t been the desired one. However, the road on the way there has followed the right path.
“We asked those guys today, we said we’re going to find out a lot about ourselves,” added Judge. “We came out at halftime and said we’re going to find out a lot out about the team we are. You’re down 17 nothing, what kind of team we’re going to have.
“It’s never about what happens to you. It’s about how you respond to it. I liked the way our guys responded. We’ve got the right guys. We’ve got the right kind of guys.”
They also again discovered they are on the right road for the future.
Photo: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire