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The ABCs of Giants-Bears Week 2 matchup

An alphabetic look at Sunday’s game

Chicago Bears v Minnesota Vikings
Khalil Mack
Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Let’s go through the ABCs of Sunday’s matchup between the New York Giants and Chicago Bears to see what interesting things we can uncover.

A is for ... Andrew: It wasn’t an ‘A’ effort, but rookie left tackle Andrew Thomas was the Giants’ best offensive lineman on Monday against Pittsburgh. That’s something, right?

B is for ... Barber: Former Giant star Tiki Barber just had to stir the pot this week, didn’t he?

C is for ... Cordarrelle and Cohen: Kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson and punt returner Tarik Cohen give the Bears a pair of potential game-changing special teams players. The Giants understand the challenge.

D is for ... Dig Route: Mark Schofield explained why that pass route needs to be part of the Giants’ game plan this week.

E is for ... Evan Engram: The Giants need a better version of their talented tight end to show up Sunday. He knows it.

F is for ... Fullback: Giants’ fullback Elijhaa Penny played only three offensive snaps against Pittsburgh. Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett appears to only want to utilize a fullback when the Giants are either backed up against their own goal line or in the opponent’s red zone. Considering their blocking struggles on Monday, getting Penny on the field more often might be a good idea.

G is for ... Gates: The play of Nick Gates in his debut at center wasn’t good enough. Let’s not, though, jump to the conclusion that moving Gates to center is a failure, or was a bad idea. One game is nowhere near a big enough sample size to draw any type of conclusion. Gates, though, needs to be better. One interesting note if you are wondering about Gates and offensive line calls. Daniel Jones said during the week that protection calls are ultimately his responsibility.

H is for ... Hernandez: Giants’ guard Will Hernandez was fired up talking to media this week. Here he is when asked about the high level of competition the Giants are facing early in the season:

“Give us the best, give us the best. We want to play against the best, we want to be challenged. We didn’t come out here to pick and choose our teams. We want to play the best guys. Go out there, match up and kill it as an offensive line all together. We’re not ducking from anybody. We’re not watching who we’re playing this week and not next week. Bring it on, whoever it is, it doesn’t matter.”

I is for ... Interception: Daniel Jones threw two of them on Monday. The most egregious, a goal line one that ended a 19-play drive without getting any points, was caused by another “I” word — indecision. If Jones can limit those types of plays, there are signs he could become the elite quarterback the Giants need him to be.

J is for ... Jackson: Bears’ safety Eddie Jackson has gone to two Pro Bowls in his first three season and was selected as an All-Pro in 2018. He’s a player the Giants need to be aware of.

K is for ... Khalil: Khalil Mack is still a monster rushing off the edge. On a Chicago defense with a number of good players, he is still clearly the best.

L is for ... Leonard: Complain all you want about the decision to trade for him and the money the Giants are paying him, but Leonard Williams was really good Monday against Pittsburgh. If he can continue to play like that — and that’s a big if — someone will be paying him a lot more money next offseason.

M is for ... Martinez: Inside linebacker Blake Martinez was really good for the Giants on Monday. Eleven tackles, all for stops — meaning tackles that caused failed offensive plays. Hard to do better than that.

N is for ... Nagy: Matt Nagy, and Andy Reid disciple, is in his third season as Bears’ head coach. He had one great year and one bad one. In which direction are he and the Bears heading?

O is for ... Offensive line: The rebuilt Giants’ offensive line was overmatched by the Steelers on Monday. That group, on paper, should be improved from last season. The Giants need that to show up on the field. soon.

P is for ... Pass Protection: Saquon Barkley’s wasn’t very good in Week 1. Evan Engram’s wasn’t very good. The pass protection from the entire Giants’ offensive line left a lot to be desired. Which is why the Pittsburgh Steelers have the best Pass Rush Win Rate in the league after one game. It has to get better.

Q is ... Questionable: Wide receiver Golden Tate is questionable with his hamstring injury after missing the season opener. The Giants could use him on Sunday.

R is for ... Robinson: The Giants know they need to control Chicago wide receiver Allen Robinson. Question is, will they have No. 1 cornerback James Bradberry shadow him throughout the game?

S is for ... Saquon: Let’s hope the Giants’ offensive line gives the real Saquon Barkley a chance to show up Sunday afternoon.

T is for ... Trubisky: Mitchell Trubisky isn’t a great quarterback. Far from it. He is a dangerous one, though, because he can use his legs to make plays and he does have some talented playmakers he can get the ball to.

U is for ... Underdog: I think this is going to be a standard one in this post. The Giants are 5.5-point underdogs vs. Chicago.

V is for Vildor: Kindle Vildor is a Bears’ rookie cornerback from Georgia Southern. Cool name. Other than that, I know nothing about the kid.

W is for ... Whitehair: I really didn’t think about Bears’ center Cody Whitehair when I chose the player not named Khalil Mack I would like to take off the Chicago roster and add to the Giants. I should have. Whitehair at center and Nick Gates at right tackle might be a better combo that Gates at center and Cameron Fleming at right tackle.

X is for ... X-Factor: Who or what will be the X-Factor in Sunday’s game? I’m going back to Cohen and Patterson and thinking that it could be the Giants’ kickoff and punt coverage.

Y is for ... Yiadom: Cornerback Isaac Yiadom played only five snaps in his Giants’ debut. He gave up a touchdown pass on one of them. Not good

Z is for ... Zeitler: Is anyone else worried about Kevin Zeitler after the way the veteran guard played vs. the Steelers?