Week 4 Preview: Bears at Giants - October 2, 2022

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Week 4 Preview: Bears at Giants – October 2, 2022

Chicago Bears

If last week was “the battle of stinks a little bit less,” then this week shall be dubbed “the battle of two most deceiving 2-1 teams in the NFL.”

Between both teams having zero semblance of a passing game (Bears rank 32nd and the Giants rank 29th), and both teams racking up rushing yardage at pretty alarming rates (Giants rank 2nd with 5.6 yards per carry and the Bears rank 5th with 5.4), we’re in for an old school ground-and-pound matchup this Sunday.

Whether they deserve it or not, one of these teams will be 3-1 come Monday morning, shattering all of the projection machines’ math.

Game Info

Chicago Bears (2-1, T-1st NFC North) at New York Giants (2-1, T-2nd NFC East) – FOX (Joe Davis, Daryl Johnston, Pam Oliver); WBBM 780 AM, 105.9 FM (Jeff Joniak, Tom Thayer, Mark Grote)

Kickoff Time: Noon CT
Site:
MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
Referee: Carl Cheffers
Odds: NYG -3, O/U 39.5 (via DraftKings Sports Book)

We Got $5 On It

Note: Patrick’s listed bets were placed on Draft Kings Sportsbook, while Luis’ were made at BetMGM.

Lu’s Plays (Season Record & Net Winnings: 1-3, $-3.75)

  • Straight Bet: How many field goals will Cairo Santos record? OVER 1.5 (+140) — It feels good to be back in the win column. No, it wasn’t pretty. But hitting an eight-leg parlay comes with a particular thrill that is unmatched. I’ll probably go down a similar rabbit hole this week, but I don’t necessarily want to go after a parlay with that many different things needing to happen. Instead, the play that interests me the most this week is the OVER 1.5 in Cairo Santos field goals. The Giants have allowed at least two field goals to each of their first three opponents. And while the Bears have scored touchdowns on 71.4% of their red zone trips, they’re getting there only 2.3 times per game. Sounds like a recipe for some field goals. At +140, a $5 bet has a $12 payout. That money can go into the Halloween candy fund.

Patrick’s Plays (Season Record & Winnings: 1-5, $-6.50)

  • Same-Game Parlay: Bears Moneyline, Total UNDER 39.5 (+320) — I have royally sucked the last two weeks (but for what it’s worth, David Montgomery going out in the first quarter with an injury screwed me on my fairly certain Montgomery anytime TD scorer and OVER 74.5 rushing yards), so I’m going to try to snap out of it here with a simple Bears Moneyline and the under. Spoiler, I will never bet against the Bears winning a game, so don’t expect it. Anywho, $5 wins $21 on this play, which would get us back into the green and then some.

You can get in on this action at DraftKings:

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But there are a number of other official gambling apps you can use (with some juicy promos) right here.

Starting QBs and Projected Game Stats

Giants: Daniel Jones: 20/33, 226 passing yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 6 carries, 33 rushing yards

vs.

Bears: Justin Fields: 14/23, 159 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 8 carries, 43 rushing yards

Week 4 projected stats via ESPN projections

Bears Projected Starters

Offense
•   QB Justin Fields
•   RB Khalil Herbert
•   WRs Darnell Mooney, Equanimeous St. Brown, Velus Jones Jr. (he was a full go for Friday’s practice)
•   TE Cole Kmet
•   LT Braxton Jones, LG Cody Whitehair, C Sam Mustipher, RG Lucas Patrick, RT Larry Borom

Defense
•   LDE Al-Quadin Muhammad, LDT Angelo Blackson, RDT Justin Jones, RDE Robert Quinn
•   SAM Nicholas Morrow, MIKE Joe Thomas, WILL Roquan Smith
•   LCB Kindle Vildor, RCB Kyler Gordon
•   FS Eddie Jackson, SS Jaquan Brisker

Specialists
•   Cairo Santos (kicker), Trenton Gill (punter, holder), Patrick Scales (long snapper), Trestan Ebner (kick returns), Dante Pettis (punt returns)

Giants Projected Starters

Offense

•   QB Daniel Jones
•   RB Saquon Barkley
•   WRs Richie James, Wan’Dale Robinson, David Sills V
•   TE Daniel Bellinger
•   LT Andrew Thomas, LG Ben Bredeson, C Jon Feliciano, RG Mark Glowinski, RT Evan Neal

Defense

•   LDE Azeez Ojulari, NT Dexter Lawrence, RDE Leonard Williams (ruled OUT on the injury report, per PFT)
•   WLB Kayvon Thibodeaux, LILB Micah McFadden, RILB Tae Crowder, SLB Oshane Ximines
•   LCB Adoree’ Jackson, RCB Aaron Robinson (Q)
•   FS Xavier McKinney, SS Julian Love

Specialists
•   Graham Gano (kicker), Jamie Gillan (punter, holder), Casey Kreiter (long snapper), Gary Brightwell, Richie James (kick and punt returns)

Three Bears

Equanimeous St. Brown has been sneaky good every week for the Bears this season (for as good as any receiver on this team can look), and I’m really starting to dig his well-rounded game. So, instead of naming another receiver like Darnell Mooney or a tight end like Cole Kmet who I want to break out, I’m going to circle ESB as one of my Bears to watch this week.

ESB leads the receiver’s room in catches, yards, and touchdowns and has 43 yards on the ground. He also plays a big role off the ball, consistently making blocks and being where he needs to be. He could also have another 100-ish receiving yards and two touchdowns in the last two weeks if Justin Fields could make it through his progressions, and that’s just the two plays I can remember off the top of my head.

ESB isn’t going to be a legitimate No. 1 guy, but he’s a competent No. 3/4 that I wouldn’t mind seeing stick around.


Justin Fields is getting dunked on by every national pundit under the sun, including ESPN‘s fantasy football projections, which has Fields at 159 yards and 14-of-23 passes this week.

Still, Fields will appear in this ‘Three Bears’ section every week because, as I’ve said before, there’s nothing more important this season than Fields’ development.

Here’s what New York’s pass defense has looked like through three games this season (vs. Tennessee, Carolina, and Dallas):

  • Completion Percentage: 59.1 (6th NFL, 3rd NFC)
  • Passing Yards: 610 (10th NFL, 7th NFC)
  • Passing TDs: 4 (3rd fewest in NFL)
  • Interceptions: 0 (one of three teams without an INT)
  • Sacks: 3 (2nd fewest in NFL, only AZ and LV have less)

Those are the numbers of a team with a pass rush that can’t get home and a secondary that can’t take the ball away, yet they still have decent counting stats because they’ve faced Ryan Tannehill, Baker Mayfield, and Cooper Rush this season.

I’m going to save myself the trouble of telling you that this is an excellent defense to test through the air (which it is) and hope that whatever Matt Eberflus and Luke Getsy do play-calling-wise this week gives Justin Fields a chance to succeed. Of course, he has to execute, which he didn’t do well last week.


Roquan Smith “hasn’t had the explosive start that I’m sure he wished he would have after the training camp hold-in drama, but this is as good a time as any for his revenge tour to start.”

My bets were both duds, Mooney didn’t finally show up to the party, and Justin Fields was bad. But my prediction that Roquan Smith would play a significant role in last Sunday’s game couldn’t have worked out any better.

Smith logged 16 tackles, two tackles for loss, a pass deflection, and one very significant interception when it mattered the most.

Saquon Barkley is three weeks into a season of rejuvenation, logging 164, 72, and 81 yards on the ground in each of the first three games for the Giants. Barkley has re-established himself as one of the most dangerous backs in football with 317 yards and touchdowns on 53 carries (5.98 yards per carry) on the ground and 91 yards on 13 catches (7 yards per catch) through the air.

Barkley is averaging roughly 18 carries and five pass targets per game, so 23 touches is enough to gash the Bears into oblivion if they play to their season averages when it comes to yardage allowed to opposing running backs.

The Bears have allowed opposing running backs 471 yards on 75 carries (6.28 yards per carry), an average of 157 rushing yards per contest. The Bears have also allowed opposing running backs to hurt them in the passing game, allowing 94 yards and a touchdown on 12 receptions (7.83 yards per reception), an average of 31.3 receiving yards per game out of the backfield. The Bears have also allowed a rushing touchdown in their first three games.

It’s important to note that in Roquan’s big performance last week, the Bears held the Texans under 100 yards (92), marking the first time an opposing team hasn’t rushed for over 175 yards against them this season. Coincidence? I think not.

The Bears will need another enormous performance out of Roquan this week if they hope to slow down Saquon.


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Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is a Staff Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.