In a classic case of putting the cart before the horse, Odell Beckham Jr. went on ESPN’s post-game show after Monday night’s victory by the New York Giants over the Cincinnati Bengals and proclaimed “We’re really looking forward to Feb. 5 in Houston.”
That, of course is when and where Super Bowl 51 will be played.
Since Beckham over-exuberantly went there, Giants coach Ben McAdoo was asked Super Bowl questions this week. He turned the focus back to where it needs to be, this week’s game against the Chicago Bears.
“I’m glad he was listening,” McAdoo said of Beckham. “That’s our goal. That’s why we come to work every day. We want to make sure we get here, put our work and our time in. That’s our one goal. We have a lot of work to do until we get to that point. It’s good to have aspirations.”
About the Giants’ playoff chances?
“I know this,” McAdoo said. “I’m sitting here talking to you when we have a lot of preparation to get done for Chicago. That’s what I’m focused on right now. We have to get ready for Chicago.”
As, yes. Da Bears. That’s the team the 6-3 Giants, winners of four straight games, face this Sunday at MetLife Stadium (1 p.m. ET/FOX). Chicago (2-7) is in disarray. Potential replacements for coach John Fox are already being discussed. The Bears are playing a quarterback they can’t wait to get rid of in Jay Cutler. Their two best wide receivers won’t be playing against the Giants.
This is a game the Giants should win. It’s a game they need to win to set themselves up with a little breathing room down the stretch. In other words, it’s a game that should — and probably does — scare Giants’ fans to death.
Can the Giants take advantage of the struggling Bears? Can they make their first five-game winning streak since 2010 a reality?
I think they can. And will.
At times in recent seasons the Giants have appeared to ply to the level of their competition — up against good teams and down against poor ones. Perhaps the reality is that there simply isn’t much to separate good teams from bad on a week-to-week basis, and perhaps that is reflected in the fact that the Giants’ six victories are by a total of 21 points. Their biggest margin of victory all season is seven points, against the Los Angeles Rams.
These are the Giants, and that means things are rarely easy. I don’t expect Sunday to be easy, and neither does quarterback Eli Manning.
“You just have to be careful looking at record. They don’t mean a whole lot. You look at games that they have played, they have played a lot of close games and I look at their defense. You look at their defense and you don’t see that record,” Manning said. “I see a talented front seven that is getting sacks, that has good scheme and a lot of offenses that are not moving the ball well on them, so I am preparing for that type of game where we have to play smart, protect the football and find ways to score points. I am expecting it to be a tough afternoon.”
It would be nice to have a relaxing afternoon during which the Giants won big. On paper, maybe that is what should happen. Yet, it probably won’t. In the end, though, I would expect the Giants to find a way to win the game. That is what good teams do, and while they have some obvious flaws this version of the Giants does appear to be a good team.
Final: Giants 24, Bears 17