The Bears are 7.5 underdogs to the Giants at most sports books heading into Sunday’s game. After last week’s debacle, that line seems almost low, doesn’t it?
There are few Bears fans these days that seem to be able to find a single sliver of hope or optimism surrounding this team, especially after a week that saw Alshon Jeffery get suspended for using a PED and Kyle Long hit the injured reserve list with his ankle injury.
The dark cloud hanging over Halas Hall hasn’t seemed this dark since the waning days of the Marc Trestman era.
The shortest answer for the Bears right now might be to the question what’s going right for them?
The bright spots are few and far between but the NFL slate soldiers on.
Which players have to have a big game for the Bears to pull off an unlikely upset?
Leonard Floyd, OLB - Floyd has registered at least one sack in three straight games. He’s come on strong and validated his draft status and allowed GM Ryan Pace to have something to smile throughout a tumultuous season and questions about his first first round pick. Floyd, Pernell McPhee, Akiem Hicks and Willie Young are the impact players on the front seven, leading the resurgence of the Bears’ pass rush. The Giants have been good at protecting Eli so the Bears will have their work cut out for them but Floyd is the pick because he needs to be a core player moving forward and he’s still got an outside shot at Defensive Rookie of the Year with a strong finish.
Jordan Howard, RB - The Giants may have a very good run defense but with the up and down nature of the Bears’ QB play and the fact that the Bears need to win the time of possession battle in order to win football games, the Bears must effectively run the ball. Howard is the lead back for Chicago and there is no excuse for him to have fewer than 20 touches. There have been two games this season when Howard registered more than 20 touches (26 and 30 to be exact). The Bears won both of those games. Coincidence or trend?
Tracy Porter, CB - Porter is a solid, if unspectacular player. He’s a good veteran and he’s played some good football for the Bears but no one is going to contend that he’s a shutdown corner who is one of the most dominant in the game. That being said, he is the best Bears secondary player at this time and it will be up to him to slow down Odell Beckham Jr., one of the best in the league. Porter will likely get a lot of safety help over the top but Porter has be at his best in order to avoid letting Beckham getting loose, which could swing the game in the Giants’ favor early.
Who are your key players for Sunday?