By Michael Stewart/@golferbad
Introduction: The New York Giants are coming off a much-needed bye week and will now face the Chicago Bears this Sunday at Soldier Field. The Giants have lost six straight games (2-8) and look to find an answer against a Bears team currently 4-6 and fading fast in the wild card race. ESPN Football Power Index is giving the Bears a 78.2% chance of winning and that could increase closer to game time.
The Giants are currently sitting with the 3rd overall pick in the upcoming 2020 draft (behind Cincinnati and Washington) and will need a full team effort against the Bears to collect their 3rd win of the season. In order for the Giants to win on Sunday, they would need to win at least three of these five categories.
- This is arguably the Giant’s biggest Achilles heel thus far with a plus/minus ratio of -12 with the majority of turnovers coming from rookie quarterback Daniel Jones. The Bears are respectful +3 thus far and that +9 margin between the two teams could be the deciding factor in the outcome.
Offensive Production/Defensive Plays:
- Both teams have struggled offensively, however; the Bears are a much better defensive team and they can make plays defensively that could affect the outcome to the game. The Giants offense might have a better chance at making a big play with Barkley and Slayton on the field. However; the Giant’s defense has been non-existent all season in making a key stop or changing the momentum of the game with a defensive stop/play.
Pass Rush/Pass Protection:
- The Giants and Bears are basically even in sacks with the Giants having 24 and the Bears with 27. However; the difference between sacks allowed is a bit alarming as the Giants have 34 sacks surrendered to the Bears 28. Against the Jets, the Giants gave up 6 sacks to a team that only had 13 coming into the game and the Bears have much better pass rushers than the Jets (Khalil Mack with 5.5 and Nick Williams with 6.0).
Pressuring the Quarterback:
- The Giants currently have 22 sacks on the year (led by Markus Golden with 5.5); which averages to about 2.4 sacks per game. The Jets have only 13 sacks (1.5 per game) thus far and have surrendered 37 sacks compared to the Giants 30 on the year.
- The Giants are currently at 51.85% in the red zone, compared to the Bears at 60.87%. That small difference in percentages might not seem much, but it could be the difference between a touch-down compared to a field goal, resulting in a four-point swing. Not sure how the Giants can improve in this category or even the Bears as well as both teams will more than likely struggle in this category throughout the game.
Final Thoughts: Both teams have struggled over the last 6 weeks with the Giants currently on a six-game losing streak and Bears at 1-5 in that span. The Giants have won the last three meetings against the Bears, but in order to make it four straight; they need to win at least three of the five categories mentioned above.
It’s still unclear if the Giants will have a healthier team once they return from the bye week. Hopefully; they’ll get a few starters back in time to give them a chance. The Bears could be in the midst of switching quarterbacks as Chase Daniels replaced Mitch Trubisky in the 4th quarter against the Rams as it was reported that Tubinsky sustained a hip injury, however; that hasn’t been confirmed.
The Giants defense has allowed 30+ points six times this season with 31 points allowed per game allowed over the last three. Both offenses have also struggled, but given that the Giant’s defense has given up too many big plays and is much more inferior than the Bears defense; the Bears could exploit the Giant’s defense and create more scoring chances than the Giants. The projected weather conditions at game time shouldn’t be a factor at this point as temperatures in the mid-’40s with the wind chill at 34 degrees is being forecasted; most importantly no snow. In the end, the giants will play hard but will falter in the end and lose their seventh straight game to the hands of the Chicago Bears.
Final Score: Bears-24/Giants-13