Haugh: Bears-Giants Preview

The Bears can change the subject from losing as they host the struggling Giants.

670 The Score Staff
November 24, 2019 - 11:14 am
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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Bears (4-6) host the Giants (2-8) on Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field. Kickoff comes at noon CT, and the game can be heard on WBBM Newsradio 780.

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Here's a breakdown. 

Bears 100:

It won't get any easier to win a football game then it will be Sunday for the Bears. The Giants arrive 2-8 with an erratic young quarterback, a defense that can’t stop anybody and a head coach on the hot seat in just his second season. Even as bad as the Bears offense has been, no excuse exists for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and the offense under these circumstances. Produce. Six games remain for Trubisky to regain confidence, internally and externally, that could affect the overall evaluation of his disappointing season and the arc of his career. It's easy, Bears: Score some points, stop the run so Saquon Barkley doesn’t beat you single-handedly and change the subject around Chicago, where losing has become redundant.

Most intriguing matchup: Bears edge rusher Khalil Mack vs. Giants left tackle Nate Solder 

Solder spent the week in concussion protocol and, if he misses the game, it creates not only an opportunity for Mack to bounce back but a mandate. Mack’s absence from the stat sheet against the Rams last Sunday created as much consternation as conversation, and the Giants have given up 34 sacks in 10 games.

Most intriguing matchup II: Giants running back Saquon Barkley vs. Bears tacklers

An ankle injury has limited Barkley this season, but the Bears learned from experience last year how a couple broken tackles can change a game. It will require a group effort to prevent Barkley from breaking a big play.

Most intriguing matchup III: Giants wide receiver Golden Tate vs. Bears secondary

The last time Tate was at Soldier Field, he ruined the Bears season with a two-yard touchdown catch on fourth down for the Eagles in their a 16-15 victory in the NFC wild-card round. The Bears struggled against Rams receiver Cooper Kupp, who's in the same mold as Tate. The onus falls mostly on nickel back Buster Skrine, but Kupp challenges everyone.

Most intriguing matchup IV:  Bears kicker Eddy Pineiro vs. Soldier Field, Chicago weather and Bears fans

Only Trubisky enters the game facing more pressure than the kicker who has lost the confidence of coach Matt Nagy enough for the Bears to go for it on fourth-and-9 rather than try a 48-yard field goal.

Quoting:

"I’m going to do as much as I can and as much as they allow me to do, day by day. They have a plan in place to where we’re not overdoing it, but we’re getting enough to where I’ll have a good idea if I’ll be able to play on Sunday."

--Mitch Trubisky on his hip injury
 
Quoting II:

"He’s as competitive as hell. He wants to make that. He’s mad at himself. We know that. We want him to know that we’ve got confidence in him."

-- Nagy on Pineiro, who has missed four of his last seven field-goal attempts

Stat of the week: 

Daniel Jones has 17 turnovers in a little more than eight games since replacing Eli Manning – eight interceptions and nine lost fumbles. "Danny Dimes" has been referred to as "Danny The ATM" by the New York Post for that tendency to give. For the Bears defense, it’s an opportunity.

Stat of the week II 

Bears running back David Montgomery has 14 carries or more in four straight games, consistent usage that was lacking earlier in the season. Montgomery hasn't necessarily taken advantage of those opportunities and, as analyst Tom Thayer told the Mully & Haugh Show on Monday, the rookie has been leaving some yards on the field. The Giants arrive with the 23rd-ranked run defense, giving up an average of 122.7 yards per game.

The difference: 

The Bears defense can’t let a rookie quarterback who’s a turnover machine beat them. If that happens, somebody should lose a job somewhere in the organization. The Giants have some weapons, but Mack and the Bears pass rush needs to control this football game. In this matchup of former ACC quarterbacks, Duke’s Jones can’t outplay North Carolina’s Trubisky. The Giants are bad. The Bears are desperate. The difference should be obvious or else it will be a long Thanksgiving week around town.

Prediction: Bears 24, Giants 10.

David Haugh is the co-host of the Mully & Haugh Show on 670 The Score weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Listen to the show here. You can follow him on Twitter @DavidHaugh and email him at david.haugh@entercom.com.