The New York Giants are coming off a tough loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 26-16. However, this week’s opponent, the Chicago Bears, won a nailbiter against the Detroit Lions, 27-23.
The Giants will be looking for their first win after a tough Week 1 loss, which contained a lot of mistakes that need to be fixed. On the other hand, the Chicago Bears will be looking for their first home win of the season at Soldier Field.
New York Giants
Though the game against the Steelers was close last week, the New York Giants have some improvements to make.
The offensive line gave up three sacks, 16 pressures, and ranked the worst in pass block win rate last week on Monday Night Football. Other than rookie Andrew Thomas, the rest of the Giants’ offensive line was graded below average by Pro Football Focus. Especially in the run game.
Saquon Barkley only accumulated 6 rushing yards on 15 carries last week against the Pittsburgh front seven. His longest play was on a 38-yard screen pass from Daniel Jones to advance the Giants into scoring position. While Jones targeted wide receivers Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard often for chunk yards, Evan Engram was left out of the mix. Engram did not have a good game overall. He dropped a pass, missed another, and was apart of the run game massacre that trapped Barkley in the backfield when it came to blocking. Engram only accumulated two receptions for nine yards.
Though Daniel Jones was a force on offense last week, two of his poor decisions ended up in turnovers. One was a great grab by Pro-Bowl pass-rusher T.J. Watt and the other was throwing while being hit by Bud Dupree. Cameron Heyward intercepted that pass.
Other than the two turnovers, Jones did show that he was a fluid passer. If he can limit the turnovers and if the offensive line can limit the pressure and help get the run game going, the Giants could lead themselves to their first victory in 2020.
Many critics, sportscasters, and journalists have expressed their thoughts and expectations on the New York Giants’ defense in 2020. Many of the expectations not being good. However, the first game was a different feeling for many Giant fans who were expecting the same.
The defense ranked 12th in total yards, 10th in passing yards, 24th in rushing yards, 19th in points, and 8th in pass-rush win rate. Even though only one game has passed, those are not bad rankings coming off against a rebounding Steelers’ offense. Also knowing that there is a new defensive coordinator in town with a new system with no preseason to work it out in.
However late in the game, the Giants’ young defensive backs struggled to tackle against the run and cover the Steelers’ talented wideouts. Jabrill Peppers, Darnay Holmes, Corey Ballentine, Julian Love, and Isaac Yiadom struggled in those situations. Meanwhile, wide receiver Diontae Johnson took advantage and so did running back Benny Snell. Snell, overall, accumulated 113 yards on the Giants’ defense in Week 1.
If the Giants want their young defense to develop and improve, they will need to maintain a good defense in all four quarters. That also goes along with the offense converting in red-zone situations.
The Chicago Bears beat their divisional rivals, the Detroit Lions, in Week 1. However, many would say that the Bears should have lost. If Lions’ rookie running back De’Andre Swift did not drop the pass in the endzone, Chicago would have had to find a way to take the lead again.
Late in the game last week, the Steelers wide receivers gave the Giants secondary some trouble. Not just with Benny Snell running on the ground, but Diontae Johnson beat Corey Ballentine late in the game on a couple of targets to move the chains. Though overall a good game for James Bradberry, he gave up a touchdown late to JuJu Smith-Schuster to seal the game.
If Trubisky can have the type of game he did against the Giants last year, lessening the turnovers and throwing the ball to Allen Robinson more, while accomplishing a quality run game, the Bears’ offense can expose the Giants’ defense Week 1 performance as just a fluke.
The defense performed underwhelmingly last week. Especially for the fact that the Lions were without star wideout Kenny Golladay. The Lions also had two new starters at right guard and right tackle. The pass-rush only got five quarterback hits and one sack. Roy Robertson-Harris led the team in pressures with three and Akiem Hicks got the team’s only sack. Even with Khalil Mack healthy.
Even with an underwhelming pass-rush, the Bears gave up 138 yards on the ground, including 93 yards to Adrian Peterson. The Bears ranked 23rd in the league in rushing yards in Week 1. Two spots in front of the Giants. Chicago also did not fare too well against the pass. The Lions’ offense, led by Matthew Stafford, put up 288 passing yards on the Bears’ defense. The Bears currently rank 25th against the pass.
One of the Bears’ objectives will be pressuring Daniel Jones. The New York Giants’ offensive line ranked last in pass block win rate last week, gave up 16 pressures, and three sacks. It is worthy to note that Robert Quinn (ankle) and Khalil Mack (knee) are questionable for Sunday’s matchup. If the Bears’ can have a healthy rushing core, they should easily give the Giants some problems on offense.
Another one of the Bears’ objectives will be stopping the run. The Pittsburgh defense deadlocked Saquon Barkley last week, as he had his second-worst career game and only rushed for 6 yards on 15 carried (0.4 yards per carry). Against a similar-looking Bears’ front the last time out, Barkley only lodged 59 rushing yards against them last year. This will be the perfect time for the Bears’ front to step up and improve their defensive stats and reputation.
Both teams may start the game on a high note, whether it is on offense or defense given that these teams are similar. However, I have the New York Giants taking their first victory of 2020 against the Bears in Week 2 by a score of 24-20.
Both of these teams came off similar problems in Week 1. If Robert Quinn and Khalil Mack are out, the injuries could pose big problems for a defense looking to improve on their performance from last week. In that same situation, the Giants’ only worry would be Akiem Hicks and Roy Robertson-Harris. Both found their way into the backfield against Detroit last week. So that would help the offensive line gel.
No matter what, if the Bears gave up 93 yards to an aging Adrian Peterson in Week 1 with two new starters on the right side with most of their front seven, they are definitely capable of giving up chunk yards to Saquon Barkley. The Bears nearly lost the first game. If the Bears do not stay focused all four quarters, it is a guaranteed loss.