The New York Giants are heading into a rainy and otherwise disgusting afternoon at MetLife Stadium against the Chicago Bears. Having enjoyed a weather-free game against Dallas Cowboys last Monday, Big Blue will be looking to bounce back by establishing the run and maintaining time of possession against a stingy Chicago defense.
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Three keys for the New York Giants to beat the Bears:
1.) Establish the run
Given the forecast and expected rain, the Giants will have to lean on Saquon Barkley to get the job done on the ground. Barkley has had a solid start to the 2022 season, totaling 317 rushing yards and two touchdowns over three weeks. He’s also recorded 91 receiving yards on 13 receptions.
However, with a slick football and the Giants trying to mitigate any mistake from Daniel Jones due to the weather, Barkley should be handling a big workload.
The bears rank 11th in points allowed per game, just one spot ahead of the Giants. However, they rank 30th in the league in rushing yards allowed per game with 157. The Giants are a bit better, but this is a clear indication that Barkley could have himself a big game.
2.) Stop the run
The Giants are allowing 138.3 yards per game on the ground, but the real variable to consider is Leonard Williams missing another week.
Williams is the Giants’ best interior defender and arguably the best defender on the team. Losing him has immediate consequences, as we saw last week against Dallas, who rushed for 176 yards.
Unfortunately, Dexter Lawrence can’t handle the load by himself, but the Giants expect Williams to suit up next week against the Green Bay Packers in London.
In the meantime, they need far more efficiency from their linebackers, who have struggled to open the year. Recently, the Giants signed Jaylon Smith to the practice squad, being elevated for the game today against the Bears.
Expect to see plenty of Tae Crowder and Smith, but the Giants have tried to get their safeties involved as de-facto linebackers to help cover up the weakness. Unfortunately, a significant size difference between safeties and linebackers does have an impact against the run, which has hurt the Giants recently.
3.) Put pressure on Justin Fields
The Giants walked away healthy on the defensive line last week after finally getting Azeez Ojulari and Kayvon Thibodeaux on the football field. Both made an impact in their own way, but the first game of the season for them certainly had a polarizing nature.
The Giants are expecting more from their top two pass rushers in Week 4, especially against a below-average Bears offensive line. In fact, both of their tackles are rather disappointing, giving the Giants a significant advantage. Their interior is even worse, so expect defensive coordinator wink Martindale to dial up his vintage creative blitz concepts.
Putting pressure on Justin Fields and forcing the Bears to beat the Giants using his arm should be the primary strategy, which might spark a few turnovers and flip the field in the Giants’ favor.