Written by: Tony “The Prophet” Yantosca
Before I preview this week’s game, let’s take a look at the Giants season so far after coming off the bye week. In my Preseason Manifesto that I finished in mid-August, I said the Giants would win 5-7 games. As it stands now, the Giants will win at most 4. The two teams they beat have a combined record of 4-16. The Giants are on a 6-game losing streak that will be 7 this week.
The Giants have allowed 289 points second only to Miami at 305. Miami has done better since week 5. They gave up 163 points in their first 4 games! The Bettcher defense has been a joke. Seven of the eleven Giants’ 2019 draft picks have been on defense and they have had very little impact. Dexter Lawrence has been good not great with 2.5 sacks. Connelly at inside linebacker was looking very good but he got injured at the beginning of the season. Deandre Baker, GM Gettleman moved back into the first round to get, has been a bust so far. I would have taken any one of these offensive linemen; Taylor, Little or Ford, who were all on the board at the 30th pick. This team desperately needs offensive line depth. Ballentine who was a 6th round pick has been okay. Bethea and Jenkins are getting beat deep. After a good 14-year career, Bethea is done. This team gives up way too many 30- and 40-yard plays. Julian Love was drafted in the 4th round as a nickel corner has only had 3 defensive snaps. They use him on special teams. He must really suck in practice if they won’t even give him a chance in an already beleaguered secondary.
Looking at the offensive line, they were lucky to have all 5 starters play for 9 weeks. Then Halapio, Remmers, and Solder were out week 10. I have been saying for 6 years that based on history, the Giants have lost 3 offensive linemen for at least 5 weeks. It looks like after the bye that most of them will be back. The problem is that “Danny Dimes”, who has been a turnover machine, is more vulnerable behind a worse line. The Giants were just supplanted by the Dolphins as the worst turnover team at -13. The Giants are at 31st at -12. The Giants lead the league in lost fumbles with 14 and Jones has 10 of them. The Gmen were lucky in their last game because Jones fumbled 3 times and the Giants only lost 1 of them. Jones also has fumbled before and they have been recovered in other games or the total would be worse. Jones has 8 interceptions to go with the fumbles.
The run game has also suffered. Barkley got hurt and that wiped out a lot of production. However, Gettleman did not have any real depth at running back! Gallman is just a body and not even a real backup. After that there was Hilliman. He fumbled at a key spot and by the next week he was off the team. At one point both Barkley and Gallman were both out for a game. Barkley who was the consensus number 1 pick in fantasy is ranked 29th in rushing with just 402 yards and 2 rushing touchdowns.
Jones, I think has played better than expected but coming in the expectations were very low. He does well vs the poor teams. He will have to get better. Again, I reiterate since April 25th his ceiling is not as high as who you would expect you would get with the 6th pick. They could have drafted Josh Allen and get a real quarterback in the 2020 class that is the best in years. Cynthia Frelund, NFL Network Analytics Expert, has computer generated the rest of the season and the Giants are drafting 4th. NFL.com has them drafting 3rd. They could have ended up with Herbert or Tua, assuming Burrow goes at 1. Now hopefully they can land supreme DE prospect Chase Young.
Turning to this week’s game. It is a matchup of teams going in the wrong direction. The Bears have lost the last 5 of 6 games and the Giants have lost 6 in a row. The best unit on the field is the Bears defense. They are 4th in points allowed, only 17/game. They are 8th in total defense, 8th vs the run and 10th vs the pass. The Giants if they want to win will have to get yards on first and second down. That means Barkley will have to establish a run game. The Bears only give up 96 yards a game rushing. The Bears have only given up 18 points in the first quarter all year. The Giants on the other hand have been behind early in games many times to the tune of double-digit points. This cannot happen if they expect to win. The Bears will rev up the pass rush and Jones who has been prone to turnovers will be in trouble.
The way the Bears can win is to get turnovers. They are +4 in turnover ratio. They have Mack, of course, Roquan Smith, Trevathan luckily is out, Clinton Dix and Fuller in the secondary, and Leonard Floyd. The Giants wanted to pick him in the 2016 draft. Their other pick they wanted, Jack Conklin, went at 8th. The Bears jumped in front of the Giants at 10th to grab Floyd at 9. Jerry “Reach”, who was a deer in the headlights after that, drafted Eli Apple. Gettleman traded him away after just 2 and a half years to the Saints, taking a dead money cap hit, (Gettleman is the King of Dead Money) and admitting that as a number 10 pick that Apple was pedestrian and another Jerry bust! They will need to get a short field to win. The Bears offense is anemic. They are 30th in the league and only have a 30% third down conversion rate. Trubisky’s game has deteriorated. He is the 28th in passing yards. The Bears can run Montgomery who has been a good rookie runner for the Bears. The wild card is Tarik Cohen. He is their 3rd down and passing down running back. He caught 12 passes for 156 yards in last year’s game vs the Giants. He also threw a touchdown pass on a trick play on the last play of the game last year to send the match to overtime. He will be a factor in this game. Also, the Giants give up chunk plays in the pass game. Trubisky or Daniel if he gets in the game will take some shots down the field to Robinson their #1 wideout, who is targeted 25% of the time and Gabriel who is a speedster. They will be looking to test the Giants get well defense. The Bears have good return men in Cohen on punts and Patterson on kickoffs.
When the Giants have the ball, they need to establish the run and make some big plays off of play action. The Bears do not give up many big plays. They make you drive the whole length of the field. This is bad for Jones who can turn into “Danny Dime a Dozen” when he turns over the ball. The Giants are missing their tight ends, Engram and Ellison, who could be useful in a grind it out game like this. Sheppard, who is back since week 5, Tate and Slayton will have to make some plays down the field if Jones has time.
The Giants have played better on the road than at home the past 2 years. This is expected to be a low scoring game with an over/under of 40 points. I am calling this a win for the Bears with the Bears scoring 24 and the Giants scoring 20 points. I would not be surprised if there are defensive and special team touchdowns in this game. So, the losses continue, as I have said before, I think the only 2 teams left on the schedule that the Giants can beat are the Reskins and Dolphins.