NFL Picks & Preview — Giants’ OL May Have ‘Bear’ of a Problem Sunday

The Chicago Bears came away satisfied with their big fourth-quarter comeback which beat the Detroit Lions. But the New York Giants came up kind of empty against the Pittsburgh Steelers. These teams will clash on Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field (1 PM ET kickoff). FOX will televise, and BetAnySports customers can get reduced juice for better value and the ability to wager in real-time through Sports Betting Prime.

The Bears were behind 23-6 in the fourth period and then finally started to get something out of Mitchell Trubisky, who threw three touchdown passes to pull out the 27-23 victory. What the Bears did on either side of the ball was nothing to necessarily celebrate.

What can they do against the Giants, who aren’t horrible up front but unproven and relatively inexperienced in the secondary? Don’t expect an aerial circus, and frankly, we’re not sure we can draw any conclusions about Trubisky, who has had good numbers against the Lions in every game since Matt Patricia became the coach.

Our focus is a little more on the matchup between the Giants’ offense and the Bears’ stop unit, which is more intriguing.

In the NFL odds posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, the Bears are the home favorites:

Chicago Bears      -5.5
New York Giants +5.5

Over 42 points -110
Under 42 points -110

Everyone would agree that Daniel Jones is a work in progress as the Giants’ quarterback. But if he is going to make a leap forward, he’s got to get some support. It is indeed good news that he will have a full complement of weapons, with receivers Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, Golden Tate and Evan Engram all healthy enough to play at the same time.

The bad news is that the New York offensive line isn’t yet up to the task. They started three first-timers last week, and that included a rookie on the left side (Andrew Thomas). They had a very rough time of it last Monday night against the Steelers. Jones was pressured 22 times, which was more than any other quarterback in Week 1. Saquon Barkley was hit behind the line of scrimmage on an incredible eleven of 15 carries, and was held to six yards rushing.

Tiki Barber, a former Giant running back who is always starved for attention, got some this past week when he came out publicly criticizing Barkley’s pass blocking, and he is probably right. Engram is generally known as the league’s worst-blocking tight end, or close to it.

And all of this is not a good setup for the Giants, as they have to face a pretty formidable defensive front. This includes pass rushers like Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn, who the likes of Engram and Barkley will have to deal with. Strip sacks are a concern as well; Jones led all quarterbacks in fumbles last season.

We don’t know if this has anything to do with the “short week,” but this is not the place where the New York O-line is going to “get well.” Chicago can take advantage of this and perhaps make things easier for Trubisky, who may have gone through those growing pains Jones is experiencing right now. We’re going to lay the points with the Bears here.

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