The Bears and Giants have had a mercurial inter-conference rivalry of late. Between these two teams representing the two largest cities this side of the Mississippi, there have been plenty of unexpected signature moments in recent seasons.
2006 saw Devin Hester faking out an entire special teams unit—as well as Al Michaels—en route to a record-breaking field goal return touchdown. Who knew an assortment of offensive linemen couldn’t chase down the greatest returner of all time? Devin Hester did.
Four years later, the Giants humiliated the Bears’ offense in front of a national television audience. Jay Cutler hit the turf once and then kept eating the New Jersey field surface: New York sacked the Bears’ passer 10 times (nine in the first half alone). While Chicago would go on to play in that January’s NFC Championship Game, this infamous performance had become emblematic of their season. Or, as then offensive coordinator Mike Martz might put it, “Another day in the office.”
The end of this decade saw both the Bears and Giants begin to look toward the future at quarterback. But first, noted franchise player Chase Daniel and Eli “Definitely Not On His Last Legs” Manning had to duke it out. Despite what some may have thought heading in, it somewhat unexpectedly turned out to be quite entertaining.
After Chicago took an early 14-7 lead, the Giants stormed back to go ahead by 10 behind the efforts of their best quarterback, Odell Beckham Jr. When it seemed the Bears were dead in the water, they would score 10 points in the last 1:13 after recovering an onside kick, all the while seeing Tarik Cohen put on a historic performance only matched by noted nobody, Jerry Rice. Chicago would eventually fall, but not without one of the more surprising comeback bids in franchise history.
What this builds to is a battle between Mitchell Trubisky and Daniel Jones. Jones, a rookie, is 29th in the NFL in adjusted net yards per pass attempt at 5.1. Trubisky, in his third year, is 33rd (only above the Panthers’ Kyle Allen) at 4.72. On paper, this isn’t the most scintillating game on this year’s professional football calendar. A more frank way to describe it would be “dud” or “snooze-fest” or “frustrating background noise, turn that crap off, please.”
But Bears-Giants has served up surprises before. Seeing two struggling quarterbacks enter an offensive shootout would be right in line with what their respective teams have managed against one another in previous meetings. Whether those touchdowns are caught by their receivers or by the opposing cornerbacks is a different story.
Here are Windy City Gridiron’s staff picks for Bears-Giants on Sunday.
Robert Zeglinski: Bears 19, Giants 16
The quarterback can’t play. The head coach is out of his element. It’s not even Thanksgiving and the Bears are playing out the string.
Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.: Bears 16, Giants 12
Chicago’s defense does enough to stymie rookie QB Daniel Jones, and somehow the Bears find a way to limp to a win.
Josh Sunderbruch: Giants 20, Bears 12
Why can’t Tarik Cohen try to throw it a few times by the third quarter? After actively scouting college quarterbacks to figure out which one is bad enough, Pace will trade up to take him in 2020.
Robert Schmitz: Bears 45, Giants 24
Chase Daniel throws off his disguise to reveal that he’s secretly been Patrick Mahomes all along and leads the Bears to the grandest offensive performance they’ve seen in years. Though Daniel Jones plays well, the Giants offense is not enough to overpower Catrick Mahomiel and Bears fans go home happy.
WhiskeyRanger: Bears 14, Giants 10
The Bears suck right now, but the Giants suck worse. The Bears’ defense gives the offense enough short fields through turnovers for them to eke out a victory, despite two Eddy Pineiro misses.
Bill Zimmerman: Bears 21, Giants 0
In an epic game featuring two titans, a score reflecting the 1985 playoff game seems fitting.
Jacob Infante: Giants 23, Bears 13
Bring me Jake Fromm.
Erik Duerrwaechter: Bears 17, Giants 10
Because, like Ken would say, Bears.
Sam Householder: Bears 45, Giants 10
In a fever dream, Matt Nagy misses the bus and is left behind. With no head coach, Mark Helfrich turns to an all-option offense led by Tarik Cohen. He throws three touchdowns; two to Allen Robinson and one to Anthony Miller. David Montgomery adds another score. Eddie Jackson pick-sixes Daniel Jones and Khalil Mack strip sacks him and returns it for a touchdown as a light snow begins to fall over an electric Soldier Field. The exclamation point is an Eddy Pineiro 55-yard field goal. The fever breaks. It was all a dream.
Bears 12, Giants 9
Ken Mitchell: Bears 24 Giants 10
Because, like ECD would say that I would say, Bears.
Robert is of the optimistic belief this is one elaborate prank the Bears have been pulling for years. He’ll hold his breath. That’s how confident he is.
WCG Contributors: Jeff Berckes; Patti Curl; Eric Christopher Duerrwaechter; Kev H; Sam Householder; Jacob Infante; Aaron Lemming; Ken Mitchell; Steven Schweickert; Jack Silverstein; EJ Snyder; Lester Wiltfong, Jr.; Whiskey Ranger; Robert Schmitz; Robert Zeglinski; Bill Zimmerman; Like us on Facebook.