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Week 2 Game Preview: Bears-Giants

The Bears come home and face an 0-1 Giants team on a short week

Pittsburgh Steelers v New York Giants Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

You take wins however they come in the NFL and you don’t apologize for them. The Bears can certainly do that after last week’s come from behind win against the Detroit Lions.

Now they come home (which seems hollow since Soldier Field will be sadly empty Sunday) and face a Giants squad that is seen as one of the lower tier teams in the NFL. I don’t want to say “one of the worst” because I’m not entirely sure you can say that, but they’re rebuilding and while they have some young talent, no one is expecting them to compete for a division title.

The Giants come in on a short week and the Bears need to stack some wins and this is a great opportunity to do it. The Bears’ defense will have to bring a better effort than they did last week and the offense will need more than one good quarter and late push to move to 2-0.

New York Giants

SB Nation site: Big Blue View

Record: 0-1

Last week: 26-16 loss to the Steelers on Monday night

Game day, time, TV: Sunday, noon CT, CBS

Bears all-time record against: 34-24-2 (including playoffs; 29-21-2 regular season, 5-3 postseason)

Historical meetings: The Bears and Giants have loads of history, meeting several times in NFL Championship games. All those pre-merger postseason meetings were late in the year, given that the Bears played in the Western Division way back when.

In fact, the Bears didn’t face the Giants in September until 1970.

In Week 1, 1970, the Bears traveled to Yankee Stadium to face Fran Tarkenton and Big Blue.

The Bears were down 13-7 after two Pete Gogolak field goals and a Tarkenton to Ron Johnson TD pass. The Bears got on the board with a Cecil Turner 95 yard kickoff return.

In the third quarter Mac Percival hit a field goal and Jack Concannon rushed for a TD.

The Giants answered back and Gogolak hit another 45 yard field goal and held a 17-16 lead until Concannon hit Dick Gordon for a 19-yard TD to give the Bears a 24-16 win.

Of note, Doug Buffone and Dick Butkus both intercepted Tarkenton in the game.

Last meeting: The Bears hosted the Giants at Soldier Field in Week 12 last season.

The Bears trailed 7-3 at halftime but came right out in the third quarter and Mitch Trubisky hit Allen Robinson for a 32 yard touchdown and followed that up with a field goal.

On the Giants’ next possession, Khalil Mack forced a Daniel Jones sack-fumble and Trubisky ran in for a two yard touchdown.

The Bears held off a late Giants rally and held on for the 19-14 win.

Injury report: The Giants listed only three players on their injury report Wednesday:

Did not participate: LB Carter Coughlin (hamstring)

Limited: WR Golden Tate (hamstring)

Full: LB Tae Crowder (hamstring)

Offense: After only one game, the Giants rank 26th in points and 24th in yards. Their passing offense ranks seventh and their rushing offense ranks 32nd.

Now, that’s not to say that it’s going to stay there because Saquon Barkley is a beast (217 car./1,003 yds./6 TD in 2019). He was held to just six yards last week on 15 carries.

Daniel Jones (63.4 pct. cmp./279 yds./2 TD/2 INT last week; 61.9/3,027/24/12 in 2019) may be the biggest reach of a quarterback pick since Trubisky himself, but isn’t terrible, at least not yet. He does turn the ball over but was solid-yet-unspectacular last year.

The weapons Jones has at his disposal, beyond Barkley, are Darius Slayton (6 rec./102 yds./2 TDs), Sterling Shepard (6/47/0), TE Evan Engram (2/9/0) and Golden Tate (49/676/6 in 2019).

Spelling Barkley is Dion Lewis (1/1/0 last week).

Defense: The Giants defense comes in ranked 20 in points and 18th in yards following week one.

Their passing defense ranks 16th and their rushing defense ranks 25th.

Last season they were 30th in points and 25th in yards.

Their big playmakers on defense include free agent prize LB Blake Martinez (12 tkls/1 TFL), DE Leonard Williams (1 sack/2 TFL/2 QB hits), LB Markus Golden (10 sacks in 2019), Dexter Lawrence (1 sk/1 TFL/1 QB hit) and Jabrill Peppers (1 INT/3 FF/5 PD/5 TFL in 2019).

Key match ups:

  • For the defense, it has to be the defensive line. They need to step up their play after last week. They really didn’t pressure Matt Stafford enough, even though the right side of their line was back ups. They were also gashed by Adrian Peterson.
  • So the defensive line has to play disciplined in the run game and not allow running lanes to open up. If Saquon gets going it would be the Giants’ offense’s best chances to score.
  • Daniel Jones is mistake prone and with pressure he will give the ball away.
  • For the offense, it’s about continuing how they finished last week. Continuing to stick with the run paid off and it helped establish play action. Utilizing those things will help take pressure off of Trubisky.
  • Clearly, the offense must be better on third down if they want to have any chance of staying in the game.

Key stats:

  • After only one game the Giants rank 29th in red zone efficiency, scoring on just one of their redzone trips Monday.
  • The last four meetings between the Bears and Giants have been decided by six or fewer points.
  • Barkley’s six yards was the second-lowest output of his career following a 13 carry 1 yard effort against the Jets last November.
  • Allen Robinson had six catches for 131 yards and a touchdown against the Giants last season, his season-high for yards.
  • Anthony Miller also had six catches against the Giants last season, for 77 yards
  • The Giants allowed 4.7 yards per carry to the Steelers, the Bears averaged 5.3 against Detroit.
  • Daniel Jones was the highest drafted player from Duke since 1987 and Mitch Trubisky was the highest drafted player from UNC since 2002. Both are the only QBs from their college’s taken in the first round since 1970.

What do the Bears need to do to beat the Giants?