EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — In the week leading up to their game against the Bears, the New York Giants insisted the toughest thing about playing against Chicago halfback Tarik Cohen was finding him.
The 5-foot-6, lightning quick Cohen must have been invisible to the Giants on Sunday.
Cohen caught 12 passes for 156 yards, ran eight times for 30, returned two punts for 15, and threw a 1-yard touchdown pass as time ran out in the fourth quarter to help tie the game in a 30-27 overtime loss on Sunday.
The 12 receptions, 150-plus yards and the TD throw allowed him to join Jerry Rice as the only players in NFL history with 150 yards receiving, 12 catches and a TD pass in a game.
Despite the performance, Cohen wasn’t happy. Understandably so given the final score.
“It’s a hurtful feeling, being that close,” the second-year pro said. “But it all falls on us. We put ourselves in that position. As a team, we dug that hole. It does hurt, still, to almost climb out of it, but not get there.”
The play everyone will remember is the tying touchdown pass to Anthony Miller. It came after B.W. Webb of the Giants was called for pass interference in the end zone with :03 to play.
Daniel handed off to tight end Trey Burton, who lateraled to Cohen, who had lined up in the slot on the left side. The play called for Daniel to circle out and be the primary receiver — like the Eagles’ Philly special in the Super Bowl that Burton threw — but the veteran backup quarterback who was starting for Mitchell Trubisky (shoulder) got picked and wasn’t an option.
Running to his right, Cohen looked around and found a wide-open Miller for the touchdown.
“That’s a play that we’ve had for a long time,” said Cohen, who also had a 23-yard catch on the tying drive to get the ball to the New York 9 with 11 seconds to go. “I think we put it in (the playbook) in camp or the beginning of the season. It’s designed to go to the quarterback, and there’s a second read on there. They had covered Chase (Daniel), so. in practice, I actually had to throw it this week, even though Chase wasn’t covered (in practice), so it worked out.”
Cohen showed a sense of humor after the game. When asked what the play was called he said:
“I made that up,” he quickly admitted.
Bears coach Matt Nagy said he was not tempted to go for the win after the touchdown.
“You can look back after all this stuff happened and say, man, ‘I wish we would have gone for two,'” said Nagy, who added the decision to go for one points was made at the start of the drive.
The trick play with Cohen wasn’t the only one the Bears ran. They also used nose tackle Akiem Hicks on a fourth-down 1-yard dive for a touchdown that was reminiscent of William “The Fridge” Perry in the mid-1980s. It was called “freezer left.”
“We have had that play in for weeks, and we’ve been practicing it,” Nagy said. “The rain was coming down. There was times where — I don’t know if you guys could tell — but there were some times out there on the field where the ball was slick, and so in that situation, that was the time where we felt like, ‘Hey, No. 1, let’s get this snap under center. Let’s give (Hicks) a chance,’ and he is hard to stop down there with getting that ball full-steam ahead.”
Hicks said he was “super excited” after getting the call.
“Super excited to get behind our big fellas, our other big guys, and let them get me to the end zone,” Hicks said of his first career run. “It was pretty cool, man. It was a fun play and it was exciting.”
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL