There’s a lot of positives to take from the New York Giants beating the Chicago Bears. You could point out the long touchdown pass thrown by none other than Odell Beckham Jr., you could point to the rushing game and the 125 rushing yards from Saquon Barkey on 24 attempts, which shows that the Giants are finally learning to make Barkley a center point of the offense. Or you could praise Alec Ogletree’s two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.
But those aren’t the most important things to come from this game, when looking at things from a long term perspective. The most important thing also isn’t the fact that the Giants won, because let’s face it, the window to make the playoffs is closing rapidly and while it’s mathematically possible, very few would actually bet on New York making it in.
It’s unlikely that the Giants will win out and finish 8-8, and even if they do, making the playoffs with that record isn’t an easy feat. With the win, the team will have a worse position in the NFL Draft next year, which could hurt their hopes of finding a franchise player that will help them to rebuild in the future.
So why is this win so beneficial?
Because in terms of momentum, it could be a turning point. The Giants finally beat a good team, a team that is on top of the NFC North, and even if they finish with a mediocre record that is neither satisfying to the fans or beneficial to their draft position, they might be able to take something away from this season and carry some momentum into next year. There’s still four games left in this season, but the Chicago game could be the start of a momentum shift that lasts all the way through the season finale, assuming the team continues to play competitive football.
“I think that the whole shift they’re trying to make is a winning culture and so winning games I think is doing that, but I think more than that is being a really solid team after a season that’s been so tough, number of wins we’ve had and how close we’ve lost and all those sort of things and it speaks to the resiliency of the guys,” said Nate Solder. “It speaks about the type of guys we have in the locker room and we just got to keep doing it and moving forward and believing in each other and doing it together.”
Earlier in the year, the Giants entered the draft in panic mode following a historically bad season. After the Chicago win, it looks less likely of that happening. The result isn’t going to improve the team’s draft position and it’s also not going to help them make the playoffs. But with that being said, entering the next year with a bit more momentum, confidence, and stability is worth it if the Giants are to turn things around.
Alec Ogletree also commented on changing the culture. “Like I said, things are going to be tough sometimes and you have to be able to keep fighting there and keep standing there and do your job at the highest level that you can. When you do that, it definitely changes the culture around here and it gets guys around here to play well.”
That culture change, not staying alive in the playoff hunt, is the most valuable thing that can be taken from this game.