By Michael Stewart/@golferbad
Introduction: The New York Giants not only lost the game, but they also lost their star running back Saquon Barkley with a torn ACL; who is likely out for the season. Once again, the Giants displayed a tale of two halves with an embarrassing 1st half performance by being shut-out by the Bears 17-0. In the 2nd half they came out with more energy and shutdown the Bears offense and scored 13 points on offense; which wasn’t enough as the Bears held on with a 17-13 to remain undefeated at 2-0. Let’s take a look with my top 3 reasons why the Giants lost the game:
- Sleep Walkers: Once again, the Giants started out slow to start the game and they failed to extend their early drives on 3rd down and finished with a 3rd down conversion of 23%. This opened the door for the Bears to exploit the Giants defense with excellent field position to start their drives and it seemed the Giants backs were always against the wall as the Bears converted 56% of their 3rd downs.
- Missed Opportunities: Once again the Giants struggled in the red zone, converting only 1 out of 3 for a total of 10 points. This is the 2nd straight game the Giants failed in the red zone and once again was the main reason why they lost this game. The Giants haven’t been good in the red zone for a very long time now and they will not be a legit playoff team until this changes.
- Defensive line falters: The Bears ran for 135 yards on the ground against a Giants defensive line that played well in game 1. It appeared that the Bears offensive linemen were getting good pushes against the Giants for most of the game; which really set the tone as the Bears offense totaled 64 plays with a well balanced attack of pass and run equally distributed with 32 plays each.
Final Thoughts: After two games the Giants find themselves at 0-2 and it will not get any easier as they will now need to regroup and face last year’s NFC Super Bowl representatives the San Francisco 49ers who dismantled the Jets 31-13. Head Coach Joe Judge and GM Dave Gettleman will now be without their best offensive player (Saquan Barkley) for the rest of the season and could be on the lookout for a running back. There are a few free agent running backs still looking for work such as: Devonta Freeman, Isaiah Crowell, Javon Leake (remember him Giant fans), Spencer Ware, CJ Anderson, Jay Ajayi, Orleans Darkwa and Jeremy Hill. It’s unclear which direction the Giants could go? Freeman has NFL experience and success; while Leake knows the offense better than anyone else on this list, but is unproven. Keep an eye out for the Giants-49ers pre-game predictions later this week.