Two teams at the opposite ends of the spectrum will collide Sunday at Met Life Stadium.
The Bears come to New Jersey at 8-3 and high atop the NFC North thanks to winning a three conference games in a span of 12 days. On the other hand the Giants limp into Sunday’s contest with a 3-8 mark.
Even in the mediocre-at-best NFC East that record has the G-Men in the basement of the division standings.
On the injury front, the biggest one looming for Chicago is quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who missed the Thanksgiving Detroit game due to a shoulder injury sustain the previous week against Minnesota.
Bears management is understandably taking a cautious route on the young QB’s return, which may come down to a close to game-time decision.
"We don't (know about Trubisky’s availability against the Giants),” coach Matt Nagy said. "It will be one of those day-to-days for us as we go. We need to know each day where he's at.”
Chase Daniel will be ready to fill the void as he did in the win versus the Lions.
888Sport has the Bears as a 4.5-point favorite. The key question of course will be Trubisky’s availability, but Daniel proved against Detroit he could control the offense in a not flashy but workmanlike manner.
He passed for 230 yards and two touchdowns with zero picks thrown on 27-of-37 completions. If the Bears get out to an early lead they figure to be able to hold it. Chicago and the Kansas City Chiefs are the only two teams to hold a second-half lead in every game in 2018.
The Giants are sputtering on both sides of the ball, although there is some optimism about the offense. Eli Manning will remain the quarterback this week against Chicago.
The veteran threw for 297 yards and a touchdown with an interception while completing 26 of 37 passes in last week’s loss to Philadelphia. Rookie running back Saquon Barkley rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries and has been a bright spot in a so far dismal season.
The story of the resurgent Bears continues to be stellar defense that is allowing just 19.2 points and only 316.1 total yards per game, ranked second and fourth in the NFL.
Linebacker Khalil Mack leads the Bears with 8.0 sacks on the season and is tied for the NFL lead with five forced fumbles. Defensive back Eddie Jackson has been spectacular. He grabbed his fourth interception of the season against Detroit, which was his third career interception returned for a touchdown.
The Trubisky factor will be huge here. With the second-year quarterback at the controls the offense has much more firepower. He has totaled 2,832 yards of total offense (283.2 ypg) and has accounted for 23 TDs this season to go along with three 2-point conversion throws in 10 games played.
Along the way Trubisky has four 300 yard games this season, which ties the franchise record. While Daniel is a capable back up, those kinds of numbers will not be matched. The running game with Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen will play more of a factor in Chicago’s offensive attack.
Chicago's defense has allowed only two 100-yard rushers over the past 29 regular-season games, a stat that doesn’t bode well for even the super-talented Barkley.
The Giants will lean more on Barkley, who inexplicably got the ball only five times in the second half against Philly. Manning will need to get wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. more opportunities for New York to have any shot at winning the game or simply breaking double digits against Chicago’s stellar D.
Even with Trubisky back he’ll no doubt be at least a bit rusty from the layoff and Chicago may employ a more conservative offense scheme. Bet the under at Karamba.
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