The Chicago Bears and New York Giants both have first-year head coaches who took over down-trodden teams. The 2018 season has gone a whole lot better for Matt Nagy and the Bears than it has for Pat Shurmur and the Giants.
The Bears enter Sunday’s game 8-3, leading the NFC North and having won five straight games. Chicago has had four straight losing seasons and hasn’t made the playoffs since 2010, so this is rarefied air for the Bears. Nagy is the first Bears rookie coach to win five straight games.
The Giants are 3-8 and looking for ways to build a brighter future.
What will happen Sunday when the teams meet at MetLife Stadium? The Bears opened as 4-point favorites.
Numbers to know
1,410 — With 141 scrimmage yards in Week 12, Saquon Barkley increased his total to 1,410 (829 rushing, 581 receiving), setting a new Giants rookie record. Odell Beckham Jr. previously held the mark with 1,340 yards from scrimmage in 2014.
1,000 — With 85 yards receiving in Week 12, Beckham increased his season total to 1,017 yards. He has exceeded 1,000 yards receiving in four of his five seasons, missing only 2017, when injury limited him to four games.
12 — Saquon Barkley has scored 12 touchdowns, tying the Giants’ rookie record set by Bill Paschal in 1943, and matched by Odell Beckham, Jr. in 2014.
3 — The Giants had a total of three 50-yard touchdown runs in the previous 10 seasons combined. Barkley already has three this season, becoming the first rookie since Adrian Peterson (2007) to do so.
55,000 — Eli Manning (54,475) needs 225 passing yards to reach 55,000 yards for his career. He would become the sixth quarterback in NFL history to reach that mark. The others are:
Drew Brees - 73,580, Peyton Manning - 71,940, Brett Favre - 71,838, Tom Brady - 69,190 & Dan Marino - 61,361)
400 — Beckham (387) needs 13 receptions over the next five games to become the fastest player in NFL history to record 400 receptions. The record is 64 games, shared by Jarvis Landry and Julio Jones. Beckham has played in 58 career games.