Skip to main content
New York Giants homepage

Giants News | New York Giants –


Presented by

Giants vs. Bears: Week 4 storylines to follow


The Giants hope to bounce back from their first loss of the season when they take on the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium in Week 4.

On the other sideline, Matt Eberflus and the Bears took on the Houston Texans at home and emerged with the 23-20 victory.

Sunday's meeting between the Giants and Bears, two of the oldest franchises in the National Football League, will mark the fifth consecutive year the two teams meet in the regular season.

The meeting against Chicago represents the first of two "Legacy Games" for the Giants this season where the team will wear their classic blue uniforms from the '80s and '90s.

Here are five storylines to follow in the Week 4 matchup.

1. Rebounding from MNF

After picking up victories in the first two games of the season, the Giants lost their first game of the season in Week 3. Despite suffering the first loss of his head coaching career, Brian Daboll reiterated the same message to his team after the loss as he did following their two victories to start the year.

"Be consistent," Daboll told the media Tuesday when asked what he said to his players. "It's never as good as you think, never as bad as you think. There's certain things from week to week that we need to improve on. Win with class, and lose with class. When you lose, you even lose with more class. Own it, accept responsibility, fix the things we need to fix and move on. You're going to have these; this is fortunately a short week. The coaches are upstairs; they're not going to get much sleep this week, but you move on pretty quickly in this league whether you win or lose.

"Again, the way they prepared, the things that they did during the week, the effort that they gave – that's what we're looking for. Now, there's certain things that we all can fix to be better. From week to week, I'd say that changes. There's a consistency in how we want to do things, but something might show up this week that didn't show up last week. And now you got to place an emphasis on that, and go out there and be consistent in your preparation. Be consistent in how you practice and get ready to play a game."

Once again, the New York Giants are bringing back their classic blue uniforms from the '80s and '90s this Sunday as part of two Legacy Games presented by Quest.

2. Protecting DJ

The Giants struggled in pass protection against the Cowboys. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Daniel Jones was pressured 24 times Monday night. This was the most any quarterback has been pressured this season, the second-most in the last two seasons and the most by any Giants quarterback since they began tracking the stat in 2009. Next Gen Stats has Jones getting pressured on a league-high 46.7 percent of his dropbacks this year. He's been sacked 13 times through three weeks, the third-most in the NFL, and on 12.4 percent of the time he attempts a pass, the second-highest percentage in the league. Credit to the Cowboys' defense, as they lead the NFL in sacks (13) and percentage of times sacked when attempting a pass (11.5 percent), and did a great job of shutting down Tom Brady and Joe Burrow in the first two games of the season.

"Yesterday wasn't just the line," Daboll said Tuesday. "Were there some plays that we got beat? Yeah. There were. I think everybody can do better. All of us, altogether. There was some stuff inside, like I said some games, some edge stuff. We can chip better. We can stay on a little bit longer. I think (offensive coordinator) Mike (Kafka) was trying to – we were going quick at times, trying to throw it quick, use seven-man protection. We used jams on I don't know how many snaps. It was a lot. We can help in that area too and be better in those areas – whether it be tight end with the backs. Again, it was a good front. They got the best of us, and we're going to have to continue to keep working to get better."

If there is one positive to take out of the O-line's performance, it's the continued strong play of Andrew Thomas. The left tackle has made a significant jump in Year 3, and even on a night when the line struggled as a unit, Thomas earned the highest PFF grade on the team with his 79.3 overall mark, including a 78.2 run block grade and 77.4 pass block grade (he allowed just two total pressures on 54 pass block plays). His 90.1 overall grade on the season is once again the highest mark among all offensive linemen.

3. Keep on trucking in the run game

One area in which the Giants' offense has shined through the first three games is the ground attack. They head into Week 4 averaging 169.3 rushing yards per game, the fourth-highest mark in the league. The team's 5.6 yards per attempt is the second-best in the NFL, trailing only Detroit (5.9). Against the Cowboys, the Giants rushed for 167 yards on 25 attempts, good for an average of 6.7 yards per carry, and a touchdown.

Leading the way for the Giants in Week 3 and all season is Saquon Barkley. The talented fifth-year running back took 14 carries for 81 yards (5.8 avg.) and a score on Monday night and added four receptions for 45 yards. Barkley currently ranks second in the league in rushing yards with 317 (Browns RB Nick Chubb leads with 341), while his 408 total yards from scrimmage is the most in the NFL. Jones added a season-high 79 yards on nine carries (8.8 avg), bringing his season total to 125 yards on the ground (5.0 avg.).

The O-line earned solid run block marks against the Cowboys. Thomas received the top mark with his 78.2, but C Jon Feliciano was not far behind with a 77.0. RT Evan Neal (76.4 run block) and RG Mark Glowinski (75.1 run block) also graded well in the run game.

Chicago enters this matchup allowing 157.0 rushing yards per game, tied with the Seahawks for the second-most in the NFL. While they kept Houston to just 92 yards on the ground last week, the 49ers (176 yards) and Packers (203 yards) had a lot of success running against the Bears defense. Linebacker Roquan Smith is currently tied with Texans S Jonathan Owens for the league-lead with 36 total tackles. Smith has also added an interception, two tackles for loss and 0.5 sacks this season.

4. Rookies stepping up

The Giants entered the season with one of the youngest rosters in the league, so it's no surprise that through the first few games, the team has leaned on several rookies on both sides of the ball.

After going without a target in the season opener, tight end Daniel Bellinger caught his first NFL reception against the Panthers in Week 2 and took it 16 yards for a touchdown. He followed it up by catching four passes for 40 yards against the Cowboys. Heading into Week 4, his 70.1 overall grade ranks No. 7 among all tight ends and is the top mark among rookie tight ends.

On the other side of the ball, Kayvon Thibodeaux finally made his long-awaited NFL debut on Monday. Although he didn't blow up the box score, the rookie outside linebacker put together a solid overall performance. He finished with one solo tackle, a pressure and a pass breakup, but received the third-highest overall mark on the Giants defense with his 73.2 overall grade. Limited to just 37 snaps in his debut, Thibodeaux's overall grade is the highest among rookie edge rushers going into Week 4.

A few other rookies also graded well in Week 3. CB Cor'Dale Flott picked up a 73.2 run defense grade, the third-highest on the defense, while ILB Micah McFadden's 68.4 pass rush grade was the second-best mark, trailing only Thibodeaux (71.6). S Dane Belton also received the third-highest tackling grade at 78.5.

5. Slowing down Bears' rushing attack

There are only three teams who have averaged more rushing yards per game than the Giants, with one of them being this week's opponent. The Bears come into this game as one of the most run-heavy teams in the NFL. Their 104 rushing attempts and 560 yards on the ground both rank second in the league behind the Cleveland Browns.

Bears starting running back David Montgomery suffered knee and ankle injuries early in last week's game and did not return. Bears HC Matt Eberflus called Montgomery "day-to-day" on Wednesday, so it remains to be seen if the running back will be able to suit up on Sunday. Montgomery has averaged 4.5 yards per carry this season, taking 35 carries for 159 yards.

Whether or not Montgomery is able to go, running back Khalil Herbert figures to have a role in this week's game. Stepping in for Montgomery last week, Herbert ran the ball 20 times for an impressive 157 yards (7.9 avg.) and two touchdowns against the Texans. He has 240 yards on 33 carries (7.3 avg.) and three touchdowns.

Another aspect of Chicago's run game that cannot be overlooked is the rushing ability of quarterback Justin Fields. Fields has run the ball 27 times through three games, gaining 95 yards (3.5 avg.) and scoring one touchdown. He finished his rookie season last year with 72 carries for 420 yards (5.8 avg.) and two touchdowns.

View rare photos of the all-time history between the New York Giants and Chicago Bears.

_1920x1080 (14)

Limited tickets available for Giants vs. Bears on October 2

Related Content