The New York Giants must play mistake-free football on Sunday against the Chicago Bears if they’re going to end a six-game skid.
The New York Giants and Chicago Bears will meet for the 52nd time on Sunday at Soldier Field. The Bears hold a 28-21-2 series lead.
Both of these teams have struggled mightily over the last month and a half, as the Giants have lost six straight and the Bears have lost five of their last six games.
For fans, the 2019 season feels like a lost cause. Sunday could cement the feeling as the Giants can be officially eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday with a loss and a Dallas Cowboys victory over the New England Patriots.
Nonetheless, Pat Shurmur expects his team to play hard and finish the season strong.
Here’s what the Giants must do in order to defeat the Chicago Bears:
Keep Daniel Jones upright
Over the last four games, Daniel Jones has been sacked 22 times. On Sunday, Giants offensive tackles Nate Solder and Mike Remmers will have to deal with one of the best pass rushers in the league, Khalil Mack.
Earlier this week, Shurmur stressed the importance of blocking Mack and Leonard Floyd.
“Obviously, they’re tough matchups on the edges for whoever is blocking,” Shurmur said. “I think Floyd and Mack, they get special attention. Now, there are times when the guys are going to have to block them one on one. We’ve watched the tape and we’ve seen all along that teams have a plan to try to negate the impact of those players, who are very, very good players. That’s just the tactics that are involved with playing the game.”
If the Giants can’t keep Jones upright, it will be another long day.
This has been an ongoing issue for the Giants all season, especially for their quarterback. Jones has fumbled the ball 13 times this season (losing nine) and he’s also thrown eight interceptions on the season. In each of the last three games, Jones has had three fumbles returned for a touchdown.
It will be difficult enough to score against a Bears defense that’s allowing just 17.4 points per game. So the Giants can’t make life more difficult for themselves by turning the ball over. The Giants have had at least one turnover in every game this season. They need to break this trend on Sunday.
Get Saquon Barkley going
Over the last two games, Saquon Barkley has rushed the ball 27 times for a mere 29 yards. But thanks to the bye week, he’s had time to rest his high ankle sprain that has been lingering.
It will be tough to run against a Bears defense that’s allowing 95.6 yards a game, but the offensive line will need to create holes for Barkley and give him a chance to be productive. The Giants will also need to feature Barkley in the passing game, especially with Evan Engram inactive.
Don’t get beat by Allen Robinson
The Giants defense has struggled to defend the pass all season. Fortunately for them, the Bears come into this game with the 30th-ranked passing offense. But the Bears do have one productive receiver in Allen Robinson II who leads the team in receptions (57) and receiving yards (633).
Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky will look for Robinson often on Sunday, especially if he’s matched up against DeAndre Baker. It might behoove the Giants to ask James Bettcher to matchup Janoris Jenkins with Robinson, the Bears’ best-receiving threat.
The Bears defense will pose too many problems for the Giants offense, as they will win a low-scoring contest.