The Giants finally entered the loss column this past Monday. And of course, the defeat was at the hands of the Cowboys, who have beaten New York 10 times in their last 11 meetings.
But head coach Brian Daboll and Co. have a great opportunity for a get-right game this Sunday afternoon against the Bears. While Chicago is 2-1 (just like the Giants), the Bears’ offense is incredibly weak. Second-year quarterback Justin Fields has also yet to make a case for why he’s the franchise’s future. The Bears are dead last in both total yards per game (265) and passing yards per game (78.3).
Although this Giants offense fields an inconsistent quarterback in Daniel Jones with various issues on the offensive line and injuries at receiver, the defense has been better than expected. If coordinator Wink Martindale’s group can prevent the putrid Bears offense from making any sort of impact, the Giants should come out of Week 4 with another victory.
Giants vs. Bears
When: Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022
Where: MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Radio: WFAN 101.9 FM
Giants’ keys to victory
Pressure. If there’s any time to pressure the quarterback constantly, it’ll be on Sunday. Martindale has outside linebackers Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari back for a second straight game. By consistently utilizing these pass-rushing weapons, the Giants should disrupt Fields’ timing and force the young signal-caller into making his usual mistakes (he’s thrown four picks through three games).
Run-heavy. This Bears secondary is an outlier for Chicago’s mainly poor roster and is only allowing 201 passing yards per game (ninth in the NFL). But the run defense is tied for 30th with 157 rushing yards allowed per game. The Giants won’t be able to defeat Chicago through the air all day, but if they can find a spark with running backs Saquon Barkley and Matt Breida, Jones should be able to execute the play-action.
Stop the run. The Giants dearly missed defensive lineman Leonard Williams (knee) against the Cowboys. Big Blue allowed Dallas to rack up 176 yards on the ground.
The veteran will be sidelined again on Sunday. It will be a tough task without Williams, but this defense still must limit the impact of Chicago’s run game. A productive Bears rushing attack would take pressure off Fields, which is not what the Giants want.
Defensive linemen Dexter Lawrence and Nick Williams will need to have big games.
This week’s X-factor might just need to be wide receiver Darius Slayton.
The Giants must play him at some point, right? Due to injuries to Sterling Shepard (torn ACL, out for the year), Kadarius Toney (hamstring injury, out for Sunday), and rookie Wan’Dale Robinson (knee injury, out for Sunday), as well as the disaster that has been Kenny Golladay’s Giants tenure, the coaching staff may look to temporarily elevate Slayton’s role.
This passing attack can’t do it all with receivers David Sills and Richie James. There’s a chance Daboll and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka ask a lot from Slayton against the Bears.
Did you know?
The Giants have a chance to start 3-1 for the first time since 2011. They lost the opener to Washington that year before rattling off three straight victories over the Rams, Eagles, and Cardinals.
Of course, the Giants won Super Bowl 46 just a few months after that 3-1 start (don’t expect another title run this year, though).
This is going to be another low-scoring affair for Big Blue. Neither the Giants nor Bears offense is led by a prominent quarterback who can overcome various issues throughout his respective unit. And the Giants’ offense is decimated by injuries at receiver and the offensive line is coming off a horrendous Week 3 performance.
Thus, the better defense will likely take the W, so I have to go with the Giants. Fields shouldn’t be a daunting task for a Martindale squad that impressed during Weeks 1-2. And Thibodeaux and Ojulari should further acclimate themselves in this defense in their second game back from injury. Giants 17, Bears 10.