Bears chase 2-0 start as Giants reboot Barkley
The Chicago Bears are out to remain unbeaten in their 2020 home opener against the New York Giants on Sunday afternoon.
Chicago (1-0) carries momentum of a fourth-quarter rally in Week 1 to defeat the Detroit Lions on the road. The Bears trailed 23-6 at the end of the third quarter but stormed back with 21 unanswered points in the final 13:43 to secure the win.
They face a hungry team in the Giants (0-1), who are looking to climb back to .500 after losing 26-16 to the Pittsburgh Steelers in front of a national TV audience Monday night. This will be New York’s first road game under new head coach Joe Judge.
Giants running back Saquon Barkley was frustrated by the Steelers’ attacking front seven on Monday. The Bears, while not a 3-4 front, are stout against the run and present a hurdle to a Barkley bounce-back performance. Barkley did provide a spark with six catches for 60 yards, but on the ground he managed only six yards on 15 carries.
Judge said he needed more from his offensive line in order to create running lanes for Barkley. The Giants’ starting offensive line quickly is trying to build chemistry with three new faces in tackles Andrew Thomas and Cam Fleming along with center Nick Gates.
“That’s the biggest thing,” Judge said. “That’s the thing about those bigs, it does not matter how one guy plays. It’s all five have to play in sync, all the time.”
Bears coach Matt Nagy also wants to see improvement from his squad. He is emphasizing the need for a better start to the game so Chicago does not have to rely upon a wild comeback like it did in Week 1.
That goes for everyone, Nagy said, including quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who beat out Nick Foles this preseason for the starting job.
“The biggest thing that we have to get to is the consistency throughout the game,” Nagy said. “We’ve got to be more consistent and we need to help the offense in general do that, and when you asked the question about Mitchell, he needs to do that as well.”
The Bears, who ranked 27th in the NFL in rushing last season, are hoping a reliable running game creates a more dependable Trubisky. The Bears rushed for 149 yards on 28 attempts against the Lions, with David Montgomery leading the way with 64 yards.
“The biggest thing we saw was guys just finishing their blocks, all across the board, from wide receivers to tight ends to us (offensive line),” center Cody Whitehair said.
Trubisky, the Bears’ fourth-year signal-caller, struggled during most of his season debut before igniting the offense late in the contest. He finished 20 of 36 for three touchdowns and no interceptions — good for a 104.2 passer rating. But the Bears were just 2 of 11 on third downs.
On the opposite sideline, Giants quarterback Daniel Jones will try to curtail his mistakes after throwing a pair of interceptions against the Steelers. The second-year player finished 26 of 41 for 279 yards and two touchdowns.
Blake Martinez leads all Giants defenders with 12 tackles, while Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence have one sack apiece.
For Chicago, three players (Danny Trevathan, Roquan Smith and Tashaun Gipson) share the team lead with seven tackles. Akiem Hicks has the Bears’ lone sack while Kyle Fuller leads the way with one interception.
This is the 61st meeting between the iconic NFL franchises. The Bears lead the all-time series 34-24-2, including a 19-14 home victory in the most recent matchup in 2019. One year earlier, the Giants edged the Bears for a 30-27 home victory in overtime.
–Field Level Media