After a come-from-way-behind victory against Detroit, the Bears now face the New York Giants in the home opener on Sunday.
Will a Bears defense that struggled against the Lions be able to step-up to contain the Giants star running back Saquon Barkley?
Former Bears player James “Big Cat” Williams shares his three keys to winning for the Bears.
Big Cat Take #1
Run the ball. Last week against the Lions, the Bears running backs looked like they were doing something that seemed to be missing last season. They were running down hill and hitting the designated holes. As an offensive lineman, the run called in the huddle or at the line of scrimmage is designed to hit a certain area and that’s how you determine head placement and steps for your block. If the backs are making moves in the backfield before they get into the line of scrimmage, it can throw everything off as we saw quite a bit last season.
Big Cat Take #2
Offensively, the Bears need to start fast. The Giants defense isn’t that good, but if you allow them to stay in the game they will make plays. So early on not getting themselves in third-and-long situations. Keeping third downs manageable where they have the option of running the ball for a first down should pay off.
Big Cat Take #3
Defensively, Danny Trevathan and Roquan Smith are going to need to do a better job on Sunday of hitting their gap responsibility against the run. The Giants Saquon Barkley had 15 carries for a total of six yards and, even though their offensive line is a work in progress, you would have to imagine that the Giants are going to make a real effort to improve on that this week.
Bold Prediction: Bears 24-17