After a come from behind victory Monday against the Cincinnati Bengals, the now 6-3 New York Giants a favorable matchup against the struggling 2-7 Chicago Bears. There are a number of things to watch for this week, but perhaps none are bigger than if Odell Beckham Jr. can continue his great play against a rather underrated Chicago secondary. The windy city defense is ranked 12th in pass defense in the NFL, having only given up 13 passing touchdowns all season and putting them in a tie for 11th with both the Los Angeles Rams and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Beckham has been on a roll as of late, having scored all six of his touchdowns in the past five weeks and racking up 414 receiving yards, more than half of his season total of 773 yards. Another thing to watch that could possibly have major implications for the Giant offense is whether or not the Bears can take advantage of a weak New York offensive line and put pressure on Eli Manning.
Chicago has sacked opposing quarterbacks 24 times, good for 8th best in the league, while they’re only giving up around 98 yards per game from the ground. If Chicago can control the line of scrimmage, Manning should be under a constant barrage of pressure all afternoon and that could very well lead to a few hurried throws and interceptions. One of the more intriguing aspects of Sunday’s game to watch for is whether or not the Giants defense can keep playing at a high level. This is a unit that has made tremendous progress from just a year ago, and it is safe to say that general manager Jerry Reese has saved himself from a potential firing.
Chicago, like the Giants, have an awful ground game, averaging just under 100 yards per game and having only scored four touchdowns. However, Bears running back Jordan Howard has been great as of late, rushing for over 100 yards in his past two starts and a touchdown in a Halloween matchup against Minnesota. He’s averaging 5.3 yards per carry, second-most in the NFL behind Miami’s Jay Ajayi, and ranks second among all rookie running backs with 605 total yards this season. With Howard’s recent success and the brilliant play of New York’s defense that allows 93.9 rushing yards per game, this is a matchup worth keeping an eye on come Sunday in New York.