Giants (0-1) Chicago (1-0)
Last Sunday the Bears were trailing the Detroit
Lions 23-6. They managed to come up with 21 points in the fourth quarter to take
a 27-23 lead with less than two minutes left. They held off the Lions final drive,
and came away with the win.
On Monday night the Giants took an early 10-3 lead
over the Pittsburgh Steelers. They couldn't stop Pittsburgh from scoring 13 additional
points by halftime, and 10 more in the fourth quarter. The Giants didn't score
again until near the end of the game, and took a 26-16 loss.
Nagy is the head coach of the Chicago Bears. In his first year, Nagy guided the
team to the NFC North division title, and he was named the 2018 Coach of the Year.
The Bears lost in the wildcard game by just one point to the Philadelphia Eagles,
when a 43 yard field goal attempt bounced off the uprights.
Last year the
team finished 8-8, and out of the playoffs. The biggest downturn on the team was
the offense, which went from scoring 26.3 points a game to 17.5. To that end,
they brought in quarterback Nick Foles, who is not nearly as mobile as Mitchell
Trubisky, but is an accurate passer.
week Mitchell Trubisky, who held off Nick Foles for the starting quarterback job,
was 20 of 36 for 242 yards and 3 touchdowns. Trubisky got off to a slow start
for the first three quarters of the game, but later delivered 3 fourth quarter
touchdowns. That's big considering he threw only 17 in all of last year. It likely
erases any thoughts that the Giants will see Foles on the field, at least for
the start of this game. Trubisky's offensive line gave him enough time in the
pocket against the Lions, and he was sacked just once.
Wide receiver Allen
Robinson led the team last year in receptions and yards, and Anthony Miller was
second. They were the top two last week with Miller catching 1 touchdown, with
Jimmy Graham tight end Jimmy Graham catching the other two. Lead rusher David
Montgomery is tough to bring down. He led the team with 13 rushes for 64 yards.
Tarik Cohen ran 7 times for 41 yards.
Their sack numbers dropped last
year from 50 to 32. Interceptions also trailed off from 27 to 10. Rushing defense
went from 80 yards a game to 102. While none of that sounds good at all, they
gave up just 1 more point a game than the year before. The Bears were 4th in the
NFL, allowing just 18.6 points a game. They know how to get the job done when
it counts the most.
In week 1, Akiem Hicks came up with the Bears only sack
of the game on Matthew Stafford. It was in the fourth quarter, which led to the
Lions trying a long 55 yard field goal attempt which failed. Now with good field
position, the Bears soon scored a touchdown.
Safety Eddie Jackson, and corner
Kyle Fuller stepped up next, when 3 plays later, Jackson knocked Stafford's pass
up in the air and Fuller had an interception at the Detroit 37-yard line. The
Bears secondary knows how to play off each other, and their touchdown put them
ahead for the final score.
It should be noted that pass rusher Khalil Mack,
who usually draws the most attention, will have Robert Quinn playing on the other
side. Quinn had 11.5 sacks for the Cowboys last year. He missed the Lions game,
but should be on the field this Sunday.
The offensive line had it all thrown
at them on Monday night making things tough for their best two players. Daniel
Jones was hit with 22 pass pressures, and Saquon Barkley was hit behind the line
of scrimmage on 11 of his 15 carries against the Steelers. They didn't get much
help from tight end Evan Engram, blocking poorly, and when it was his turn to
catch, he only pulled in 2 of 7 for 9 yards. A starting tight end has to do better.
Barkley's blocking was also criticized, and of course he can't block for himself
when he needs to run with the ball.
Despite the pressure and 3 sacks, the
offensive line did allow Jones some opportunities to be effective. He completed
26 of 41 passes, and threw 2 touchdown passes. Still Jones could have played better.
One of his two interceptions came at a crucial time when he moved the Giants downfield
with an impressive 19 play drive, and then had the ball intercepted while trying
to throw it away in the endzone.
who did do better included Sterling Shepard, who caught every pass and was 6 of
6 for 47 yards, and Darius Slayton, who had 6 catches for 102 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Still, it was the first game of the season
with the Giants fielding many players who had never played for them before. You
can only expect improvement, and they'll have to do that fast. Golden Tate is
listed as questionable for this game as he was the last which he missed.
The Bears struggled on third downs
in Week 1, converting on just 2 of 11. The Giants allowed the Steelers 8 of 15.
They recorded just 2 sacks of Ben Roethlisberger, but had him under pressure most
of the game. Mitch Trubisky is easily more elusive than Roethlisberger when forced
out of the pocket, so they will have to watch that. The Steelers rushed for 141
yards, averaging 4.7 yards per rush, and the defense has to do better in that
area. In the inexperienced secondary, they were confused when the Steelers ran
some of their routes. Their misdirections included having receivers cross and
run close to another, leaving the defenders to guess as to which man to cover.
Vetern cornerback James Bradberry played well on Monday, and he'll be covering
the Bears top receiver, Allen Robinson. The Steelers picked on cornerback Corey
Ballentine many times, and it paid off for them. The Giants have to fix that one
way or another. Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky is not the best at making throws
downfield, so that helps a bit.
Maybe the best thing for the Giants, despite
the loss, was starting their opening game facing off against one of the toughest
teams in the league. There were no preseason games for the Giants to know what
they really have, and this one was like having all four rolled into one, with
hopefully lessons learned.
The Chicago Bears learned a few valuable lessons
as well. They floundered against the Detroit Lions, a 3-12-1 team in 2019, who
basically handed them their win in the fourth quarter by making mistakes. The
Bears offense is suspect after seeing how poorly they played last week against
them. The Giants are underdogs in this game, but could win this one if they just
make less mistakes than the Bears.
Sunday at 1:00pm Giants (0-1)
at Chicago (1-0).
Sunday at 1:00pm Falcons (0-1) at Cowboys (0-1).
at 1:00pm Rams (1-0) at Eagles (0-1).
Sunday at 4:05pm Washington (1-0) at
The Eagles and Cowboys are the NFC East teams favored to
win in these games.
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Jones has thrown at least one touchdown pass in each of his first 13 career starts.
are on a short week, coming off a Monday night game and having to travel.
Sept 27 San Francisco at Giants
4 Giants at Los Angeles