The New York Giants and Bears have more in common than their dismal 4-11 and 5-10 records.
Daniel Jones finished off the Giants team of the year and Justin Fields came out with a sprained ankle.
Will the Giants’ play be affected by the reality that if the Bears win, the selection of the first-round draft that belongs to New York from Trade Up to Draft Fields will become a little less valuable?
There is also the specter of the Bears winning the second week 17-13 last season in which Saquon Barkley suffered a ruptured ACL at the end of the season.
Head coaches Joe Judge and Matt Nagy enter the bout for some of the hottest seats in the NFL — though Judge is likely to get at least one extra season with the Giants.
Bears are preferred by 6 points and over/under is 37.
Matches to watch
OLT Giants Andrew Thomas vs. Robert Quinn; Bears Defense Against Titans QB Mike Glennon
Robert Quinn needs one sack to break Richard Dent’s singles season record of 17°C.
Giants left-footing Andrew Thomas was the fourth overall pick in the 2020 draft and he and Quinn will go head-to-head for a bit.
Glennon has had a star-studded season with the Bears, and while the judge noted that both Jake Froome will likely get shots, Bears fans will be excited to see the defense take it to Glennon.
Does Matt Nagy play the role of children?
While all the promising youngsters clocked up playing time in Seattle last Sunday, Nagy got into the heat of Jermain Evidei’s start to the right tackle on Larry Borum, creating more anxiety as he struggled to explain why.
We have to assume Allen Robinson will reclaim his place initially, but how many shots will he take from Dazz Newsome and other untested passers?
players to watch
Giants Barkley, TE Evan Ingram, WR’s Tony Cadarius, Kenny Guluday, Dee Leonard Williams and D.T. Dexter Lawrence.
Barkley has been a shadow of his old self since returning from ACL surgery, Ingram is a high ceiling or moving with a tight end that has never reached that ceiling, and Tony and Goodday are serious threats but never played either in the first round and at high marks for the free agent’s price.
Williams and Lawrence are previous first-round picks supporting the Giants’ defense at the front.
Giants RB Defonte Poker, Elbe Benardrick McKinney, CB Adore Jackson; Dalton Bears
Booker was the most productive for the Giants as Barkley struggled to get back in shape. The Giants’ defense has struggled since free-lance agents McKinney and Jackson fell to injuries, and New York was unable to fill in the gaps.
As Dalton starts, perhaps Follis should.
Wild Card Players
TE Giants Kyle Rudolph, LP’s Reggie Ragland, Ty Crowder
Rudolph was quiet most of the season in his decade with the Vikings but still managed if Glennon or Froome needed a safety cap.
Unknown Crowder but a seventh-round pick for the Giants last year outside of Georgia leads the team in maneuvers and big plays, and Ragland is an aging veteran but still able to flash in the crucial moments.
Giants 30 in total attack, 31 in points scored (16.5,), 21 in points allowed (24.3)
Holds ninth place in overall defense, 24th in points allowed (24.9), and 28th in points (17.7).
Bears 23, Giants 13
Pointless matches at the end of the season in favor of the home team. That Bears Challenge last week in Seattle proves they can still play. The weather forecast called for snow on Saturday and near-freezing temperatures on Sunday. With the superior ground game, all arrows point to bears in this game.
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