The New York Giants (0-1) will hit the road for the first time in 2020 to face the 1-0 Chicago Bears. The Bears are one of three non-divisional opponents from last season that the Giants will face again this season.
In their 2019 clash, the Giants lost 19-14 due to two missed 40+ yard field goals from Aldrick Rosas and going 1-of-12 on third down.
Chicago is currently a 5.5-point favorite, according to Caesars Sports Book.
The Giants look to avoid their fourth-consecutive 0-2 start, and to do so, will need to execute better in aspects in which they’d failed in Week 1.
SAQUON BARKLEY VS. CHICAGO FRONT-SEVEN
Saquon Barkley ran for six yards on 15 attempts against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1. He was given, basically, no support from his O-line and struggled to get out of the backfield on most attempts.
The Giants will need better blocking, and must establish a ground attack. The Chicago defense won’t be much of a reprieve from the pursuit they faced from Pittsburgh.
Khalil Mack is the biggest threat on the Bears defense, coming off his fifth-consecutive Pro Bowl season. The Bears also added to this unit that gave up the fourth-fewest points per game last season, by signing Robert Quinn to a five-year, $70 million deal.
Quinn is questionable for this Sunday and was out in Week 1, in which the Detroit Lions totaled 138 yards on the ground. Although their availability is uncertain, veterans Danny Trevathan and Akiem Hicks are good to go and had a great start to 2020.
I titled this matchup Saquon Barkley vs. Chicago Front Seven because, if it is just Saquon against Chicago’s defense with the same support from Monday, it will be problematic for Big Blue.
CHICAGO RUNNING BACKS VS. GIANTS SECONDARY
Although they got off to a late start, Chicago put up 27 points in a Week 1 comeback win over Detroit. The Bears have solid wideouts in Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller and added TE Jimmy Graham this offseason with a two-year, $16 million deal.
(Editor’s Note: At press time, Tarik Cohen has just signed a three-year extension worth $17.25 million in new money, with the potential to increase to $18.25 million if conditions are met.)
All three are dangerous as runners, but also threats in the passing game. Chicago displays plenty of different looks that can include Cohen and Montgomery in the backfield together, as well as Patterson as a traditional back, placed in motion, or lined up as a wideout.
The Giants run primarily a 3-4 defensive scheme, but expect some looks with five DBs to counter the receiving threats that may come from the backfield. This means safety Jabrill Peppers and cornerbacks Logan Ryan and Darnay Holmes will have to identify activity behind the line of scrimmage more often.
Of course, the pass rush is the main way to stop an aerial attack, but eventually, the secondary needs to make plays.