Man­ning, Gi­ants earn 5th straight vic­tory

Man­ning throws pair of touch­down passes as N.Y. grinds out win over hap­less Chicago

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Tom Cana­van

Noth­ing has come easy for the New York Gi­ants this sea­son, even the games they are sup­posed to win.

The dif­fer­ence this year is they are win­ning the close games, a big change from pre­vi­ous sea­sons.

Eli Man­ning threw a goa­head 15-yard touch­down pass to rookie Ster­ling Shep­ard in the third quar­ter as the Gi­ants ral­lied for their fifth straight win with a 22-16 de­ci­sion Sun­day over the Chicago Bears in a gusty MetLife Sta­dium.

New York (7-3) re­mains two games be­hind the Dal­las Cow­boys in the NFC East.

“We did find a way, that’s the re­siliency of this team,” guard Mar­shall Ne­w­house said. “In the past we’d lose a lot of close games, now we are win­ning a lot of close games. Peo­ple see that as a neg­a­tive and I don’t see why. Ob­vi­ously there is stuff to im­prove on, but if you can play, maybe not play­ing your best, and you win, that’s a pos­i­tive.”

Man­ning (21 of 36 for 227) also threw a third-quar­ter touch­down to Will Tye, Rashad Jen­nings scored on a 2-yard run and Rob­bie Gould kicked a 46-yard field goal on a day he missed two ex­tra points.

The Gi­ants got a sec­ond-half shutout from their de­fense and a game-clinch­ing in­ter­cep­tion

from Lan­don Collins .

Af­ter tak­ing a sur­pris­ing 16-6 lead, in­juries on the of­fen­sive line fi­nally caught up with the Bears (2-8) and left Jay Cut­ler un­der con­stant pres­sure.

The win­ning streak is New York’s long­est in the reg­u­lar sea­son since 2010, while the Bears’ starts matches their worst since 2002.

“This one is go­ing to be a hard one to swal­low,” said Cut­ler, who was 17 of 30 for 252 yards and sacked four times. “These games that you lose when you def­i­nitely have a chance at the end to win, those are the ones that kind of keep you up at night.”

Down 16-9 at the half, the Gi­ants grabbed the lead in the third quar­ter, scor­ing on their first two pos­ses­sions. The sec­ond fea­tured a third-down scram­ble by Man­ning and 48-yard pass to Vic­tor Cruz on the next play. Man­ning ran to­ward the line on what looked like another run, then found Cruz be­hind the de­fense.

Shep­ard split a seam in the mid­dle of the Bears de­fense three plays later, but Gould missed the ex­tra point keep­ing things tense.

“We’ll take it as it comes,” Cruz said. “We’re con­tin­u­ing to rally these vic­to­ries and con­tin­u­ing to build on them. With ev­ery vic­tory, with ev­ery week, we’re get­ting stronger as a team. That’s what you want to see.”

Chicago got to the New York 30 in the fi­nal two min­utes but Ja­son Pier­rePaul had a 13-yard sack and Cut­ler was picked off by Collins, his fifth in­ter­cep­tion in the last four games.

“I even told some guys that it is time to blow up, it is on us, and guys re­sponded,” said Pierre-Paul, whose 21/2 sacks were his best per­for­mance since in­jur­ing a hand in a fire­works ac­ci­dent last year. “I re­sponded my­self. I can’t just do the talk­ing, I have to show up and we came out with a win.”

Cut­ler found Miller for a 19-yard TD on the open­ing pos­ses­sion. A 34-yard pass to Miller set up Barth’s 40yard field goal and Langford’s short TD lunge put Chicago ahead half­way through the sec­ond quar­ter.

GO­ING FOR IT

A cou­ple of fourth-down gam­bles got the Gi­ants nine points in the half. A 15-yard pass to Shep­ard on a fourth-and-2 at the Bears 17, set up Jen­nings’ TD run. A 5-yard pass to Jen­nings on fourth-and-2 at Bears 33 set up Gould’s 46-yard field goal with 3:33 left in the half.

IN­JURIES

Leonard Floyd, the Bears first round draft pick from Ge­or­gia, was re­moved from the field on a stretcher with 5:53 to go against the Gi­ants with a neck in­jury. He gave a thumbs-up to team­mates leav­ing the field. ... Miller had to leave the game early in the sec­ond half with a pos­si­ble bro­ken foot . ... Gi­ants re­ceiver Roger Lewis Jr. and Bears cor­ner­back Cre’Von LeBlanc left in the first-half with con­cus­sions.

BILL KOSTROUN — AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Gi­ants quar­ter­back Eli Man­ning waves to fans as he leaves the field at MetLife Sta­dium af­ter New York’s 22-16 vic­tory over Bears.

SETH WENIG — AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Gi­ants wide re­ceiver Ster­ling Shep­ard catches a pass for go-ahead touch­down dur­ing vic­tory over Bears on Sun­day.

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