The story for this matchup is very similar to the story of Chicago’s last game versus the Houston Texans – this is a meeting of teams that, at the moment, are both considered very mediocre. The Bears started their season strong with a win in week one, but then were embarrassed on primetime television in week two before netting a win last week, in an albeit very rocky fashion. On the other hand, the New York Giants were one of the few undefeated teams before Monday, suffering a tough loss to the Dallas Cowboys. While the Giants have certainly shown more spunk under their new head coach Brian Daboll, their early success was attributed mostly to an easy schedule. However, a new culture seems to be growing, and given time, this Giants team may just rise to the occasion. Nevertheless, we are here to talk about Sunday. Let’s see what each team has going for them – and what they don’t.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. The Bears are coming off a win from week three, but this win was only achieved because of their run game and defense. The passing game was horrendous. It was so bad that some are even beginning to question quarterback Justin Fields’ job security. However, that is a whole other conversion altogether, and for now Fields still has room to improve and grow. He ended last week’s game with only eight completed passes, 106 yards and a frightening two interceptions. Again, the passing game did not look good. However, all is not lost for the Bears. Despite losing star running back David Montgomery early in the game, the run game continued strong, with RB Khalil Herbert rising to the occasion. He had a stellar game, avergering 7.8 yards per carry with two touchdowns and 157 yards on 20 attempts. Overall, the Bears are ranked 2nd in rushing yards amongst the whole NFL. Guess what aspect of the Giants defense is the weakest? You got it! The run game. Even in their victories, the Giants have gotten smoked in terms of defending the run. This was a key component of the Cowboys victory, who rushed for 176 yards and a touchdown on Monday, So, if the Bears keep up their stellar running, then that’s one avenue to success. Alongside this, the defense had a really solid showing, recording two interceptions. Luckily for the Bears, safety Eddie Jackson seems to have returned to form, and superstars Robert Quinn and Roquan Smith are firing on all cylinders. The biggest question for the Bears, yet again, is the passing game. Here’s the problem – while the Bears want to win games, they also need to let Fields grow. This means allowing him to take risks, which could result in turnovers or questionable plays, and perhaps put games at risk. This thin line has to be tread carefully, as winnable games shouldn’t be thrown away in the name of growth, but Fields can’t be written off without being allowed to garner good experience. In terms of winning the game, Fields needs to stick to shorter, quick passes on Sunday. This seemed to work well for the Cowboys against the Giants, as this strategy was bolstered by a strong run game. Dallas didn’t open up the playbook for long throws until later in the game when they became a necessity. Sadly, to win the game, fans and analysts question if Fields can be trusted to let the ball fly.
The Giants path to success is to secure the run defensively, and keep themselves from turning the ball over. To the detriment of Bears fans, it is honest to say the Giants don’t have to be worried about the Bears passing game. Unless a breakthrough is made on Sunday, there is no need for the Giants to worry about an air-raid offense. That leaves them to step up on offense. For starters, the Bears haven’t been great against the run either, and the Giants have superstar RB Saquan Barkley in their utility belt. If the Bears front can’t figure out how to stop him, then there is sure to be trouble. Past that, Giants QB Daniel Jones hasn’t been bad, but he hasn’t been great either. The tendency to turn the ball over at least once a game, coupled with a very injured wide receiver core and strong Bears defense, could spell trouble. However, the Bears may be absent their best cornerback, Jaylon Johnson, allowing the Giants to target Kyler Gordon and Kindle Vildor, two defensive backs who have been struggling on the Bears.
Where does this leave us? Both teams have a pretty even shot to win this week, it really is anybody’s game. In the end, somebody has to win. In the spirit of this website, we’ll side with the Bears on this one, but you can expect it to be close down the stretch.
24 – 17 Bears