BEARS at GIANTS : Week 13 Preview - December 2, 2018

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BEARS at GIANTS : Week 13 Preview – December 2, 2018

Chicago Bears

The words of Admiral Ackbar have been bouncing inside my head since Monday.

“It’s a trap.”

The Bears are coming off a mini-bye after their Thanksgiving win and everything is wonderful, save for the fact that their starting quarterback is still on the mend. And while it’s easy to overlook this Giants team with a primetime contest against the Rams coming up in Week 14, you should know better than to do that.

On the other side of the field, the Giants (3-8) are led by a first-year head coach who is dealing with the typical problems that New York coaches leading losing teams face. Outspoken stars? Check. A legendary figure who is probably past his prime but is still being trotted out to start at a premier position every game? Certainly. Trying to find a balance with winning now and developing for the future?  You bet. New York’s football team appears to be a mess, but they are too talented to be taken lightly.

The Giants have superstars at skill-position players and are a home team coming of an infuriating loss to a division rival. Yuck. This has trap game disappointment written all over it, doesn’t it?

Never Tell Me The Odds:”

Vegas wasn’t sure what to do with the Bears-Giants game earlier in the week, but the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas settled on Chicago being a 3.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 44.5. The Bears have been favored in all but two games this year and are 8-1 in those games.

Series History:

The Bears are 28-20-2 all-time against the Giants in a series that dates back to 1925. New York has won three of the last four head-to-head matchups, including each of the last two at home.

Game Time, Broadcast Info, Officiating Crew:

Location: MetLife Stadium

Broadcast Info: Sunday, December 2 at noon on FOX (Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis, Pam Oliver), WBBM-AM 780, WCFS-FM 105.9

Referee: Clay Martin

Expected Starters and Lineups:

Bears Offense Expected Starters:

  • QB Chase Daniel
  • RB Jordan Howard
  • RB Tarik Cohen
  • WR Allen Robinson
  • WR Taylor Gabriel
  • TE Trey Burton
  • LT Charles Leno Jr.
  • LG James Daniels
  • C Cody Whitehair
  • RG Bryan Witzmann
  • RT Bobby Massie

Bears Defense Expected Starters:

  • DT Akiem Hicks
  • NT Eddie Goldman
  • OLB Khalil Mack
  • ILB Danny Trevathan
  • ILB Roquan Smith
  • OLB Leonard Floyd
  • CB Kyle Fuller
  • CB Prince Amukamara
  • CB Bryce Callahan
  • FS Eddie Jackson
  • SS Adrian Amos

Bears Specialists: 

  • Cody Parkey (kicker), Pat O’Donnell (punter, holder), Patrick Scales (long snapper), Taquan Mizzell Sr. (kick returner), Tarik Cohen (punt returner)

Giants Offense Expected Starters:

  • QB Eli Manning
  • RB Saquon Barkley
  • FB Eljhaa Penny
  • WR Odell Beckham Jr.
  • WR Sterling Shepard
  • TE Rhett Ellison
  • LT Nate Solder
  • LG Will Hernandez
  • C Spencer Pulley
  • RG Jamon Brown
  • RT Chad Wheeler

Giants Defense Expected Starters:

  • LDE B.J. Hill
  • NT Dalvin TOmlinson
  • RDE Kerry Wynn
  • OLB Kareem Martin
  • ILB Alec Ogletree
  • ILB Tae Davis
  • ROLB Olivier Vernon
  • CB Janoris Jenkins
  • CB B.W. Webb
  • FS Curtis Riley
  • SS Landon Collins

Giants Specialists:

  • Aldrick Rosas (kicker), Riley Dixon (punter, holder), Zak DeOssie (long snapper), Jawill Davis, Odell Beckham Jr. (punt returners), Corey Coleman, Saquon Barkley (kick returners)

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Chicago Bears – Offense

Jordan Howard is due to come up with his first 100-yard rushing game of the season. The Giants have allowed 100-yard rushing games to Alvin Kamara, Adrian Peterson, Matt Breida, and Peyton Barber, so it’s not unreasonable to think Howard can join them. New York has allowed rushing touchdowns in six consecutive games and RB1s are averaging  20 carries, 110 yards, and a touchdown in their last four games against the Giants. I could live with 5.5 yards per pop from No. 24 on Sunday.

Chicago Bears – Defense

Kyle Fuller has already set a new career high for interceptions (5) and could be positioned to grab another on Sunday. He’ll likely draw the assignment of guarding Odell Beckham Jr. (more on him in a moment) if two trends remain true – Beckham continues to line up on the right side of the offensive formation (as has been the case on 41% of his snaps) and Fuller stays on the left side of the defensive formation (100% of defensive snaps). Fuller owns Pro Football Focus’ fifth-highest coverage grade (84.1) and Beckham is PFF’s sixth-highest-graded receiver. It doesn’t get much better than this.

New York Giants – Offense

Odell Beckham Jr. is a menace. He has a pair of the strongest hands in football, makes some of the most ridiculous and acrobatic catches, and has a flair for making big plays in big moments. Nothing says “big game” like the first-place Bears coming to town and your team coming off a loss to a hated divisional opponent. The Bears need to shade coverage on Beckham to help ensure he doesn’t go off for a big game.

New York Giants – Defense

B.W. Webb had a short-lived stint with the Bears and is now a starting cornerback for the Giants. Pro Football Focus’ data doesn’t love Webb, whose 59.8 grade ranks 75th among 114 qualifying cornerbacks. Webb splits his snaps between the left side (50%) and in the slot (40%), so there is a good chance he’ll be at a disadvantage when going up against whichever receiver is lining up opposite of him. Allen Robinson (38% slot, 34% right side of the offensive formation) could be in line for a showcase game.


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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.