Daniel Jones, Corey Ballentine
ESNY Graphic, AP Photo

How Daniel Jones will fare in the New York Giants second preseason game against the Chicago Bears will be one of many things to watch. 

Jason Leach

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—The New York Giants will take on the Chicago Bears in their second preseason game Friday night at MetLife Stadium.

The starters are expecting to play longer than they did last week against the Jets, but since the Giants and Bears play one another in Week 12 of the regular season, expect the offensive and defensive game plan to be vanilla.

Although we shouldn’t expect to see any exotic play-calling, there will be several things to keep an eye on when these teams take the field Friday night.

What will Daniel Jones do for an encore?

Daniel Jones’s preseason debut against the Jets last Thursday night couldn’t have gone any better. He completed all five of his passes for 67 yards and a touchdown. While he wasn’t facing the Jets first-team defense, Jones showed poise in the pocket and was accurate.

Now, the question is, “What will he do for an encore?”

Jones won’t likely face the Bears first-team defense, but he’ll certainly play more than one series as he did a week ago. It will be interesting to see if Jones can have similar success in an extended amount of playing time and if he gets a chance to operate a two-minute offense.

How will Corey Ballentine fare while playing with the first-team defense?

With DeAndre Baker nursing a sprained left knee, Corey Ballentine is expected to see significant playing time with the first-team defense. Ballentine has been one of the stars at training camp and last week in his first NFL action he intercepted Davis Webb.

Baker is listed as day to day but if his injury lingers, Ballentine could be in a position to be the starter opposite of Janoris Jenkins in Week 1. Friday night will be a good test for the rookie Ballentine as he will go up against first-string wide receivers.

Will the Giants be able to establish their ground game?

Shurmur may elect to sit out Saquon Barkley again on Friday night. But he expects his ground game to do better than the 40 yards they gained on 18 carries against the Jets.

The Bears have a solid front seven that includes All-Pro Khalil Mack and Pro Bowl lineman Akiem Hicks. The Giants feel confident about their offensive line this season with the additions of right guard Kevin Zeitler and right tackle Mike Remmers. The starting offensive line should play a few series on Friday night and it will be interesting to see if they can open holes for Giants running backs against the tough front seven of the Bears.

Will the Giants improve on their tackling?

Something that was an area of concern against the Jets was the number of miss tackles they had. Shurmur spoke about this in his postgame press conference.

“We missed a couple of open-field tackles. There were a couple of times we missed a tackle, but we were running through the football, so the second responders got the guys down. But low blocks, low tackles, and tackles in general—those are the three things you don’t get to practice on the practice field. You have to get them in the games. We probably could tackle better, but I thought, for the most part, it was a good start.”

With one preseason game under their belt, Shurmur and defensive coordinator James Bettcher expect a better performance from their defense on Friday night.

New York Giants

Can the Giants get some heat on Bears quarterbacks?

If the Giants are going to have success this season, it’s imperative that their pass rush comes to life and disrupts opposing quarterbacks. Last week against the Jets first-team offense, they couldn’t muster any pass rush against Sam Darnold.

This week they’ll have to do a better job of getting to Mitchell Trubisky and the rest of the Bears quarterbacks. If they can’t generate sacks, they at least need to show they can get some pressure and force errant throws.

Will the Giants receivers continue to shine?

Many outside the Giants organization questioned if the Giants receivers of making explosive plays without Odell Beckham Jr. However, throughout training camp and last week against the Jets, the Giants receivers have silenced their critics.

Now, they get to face a talented Bears secondary that consist of Pro Bowlers Kyle Fuller and Eddie Jackson. Will Golden Tate, Cody Latimer, Russell Shepard and the rest of the talented receiving corps continue to shine on Friday night?

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