The Chicago Bears (4-6) will look for a spark – any spark – when they face the struggling New York Giants (2-8) on Sunday.
After starting the season 3-1, the Bears have since dropped five out of their last six games including last week’s 17-7 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. The Bears lost their starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky in that game after he was benched with a hip injury late in the fourth quarter.
While listed as being day-to-day, Trubisky practiced without restrictions on Wednesday and Thursday and is preparing as if he’s the starter. Trubisky missed the week five matchup with the Oakland Raiders because of a left shoulder injury.
The Bears’ offense has struggled to find its identity all season, averaging only 262.7 yards a game (30th in the NFL) and 16.9 points a game (28th in the NFL).
“There’s zero questioning the criticism that’s out there right now. We understand that and we all are very frustrated and know that we can play a lot better,” head coach Matt Nagy said at a press conference Thursday. (Watch his full comments from Thursday’s press conference.)
Whether Trubisky is the long-term answer for the Bears at quarterback has been much debated this season, but Nagy is standing by his quarterback.
“The last two weeks, right, he’s growing in the right direction and so that’s where we’re at. And that’s where we want to put a good week together here. Get him healthy and hopefully we get him out there this weekend to do it again,” Nagy said.
The Bears’ offense could turn things around against a Giants’ defense that’s giving up 381.7 yards a game (27th in the NFL) and 28.9 points a game (30th in the NFL).
Despite the Bears’ offensive struggles, the team’s defense has kept them in games allowing only 17.4 points a game (4th in the NFL). After being held without a sack last week against the Rams, the Bears’ pass rushers face a Giants offense that allowed six sacks in their most recent game.
The offense and defense aren’t the only phases of the Bears’ team that need to step up. Kicker Eddy Pineiro missed two field goals against the Rams. Pineiro has missed five out of 17 attempts this season.
“[Pineiro’s] competitive and he wants another opportunity. And he’s gonna get it,” Nagy said, “so let’s see him come back here and nail it.”
Former Bears offensive lineman and WTTW News football analyst James “Big Cat” Williams gives us three key takes on what the Bears need to do to beat the Giants.
Big Cat Take #1:
Don’t underestimate the two-win Giants. They have been within a touchdown in the second half of their last five games. The Bears must make their field goals and extra points.
Big Cat Take #2:
The defense has to keep Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones and second year running back Saquon Barkley contained. Both are a threat running the ball.
Big Cat Take #3:
Offensively, the Bears must do better than the 3.6 yards per play they averaged last week versus the Rams. Run the ball.
Bold Prediction: Bears 17-13