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Giants vs. Bears: 5 Players to watch in Week 2


The Giants are looking to bounce back from their season opening loss to the Steelers this weekend when they travel to Chicago to take on the Bears at Soldier Field.

The Giants played Pittsburgh tough on Monday night, as it was a one-possession game heading into the fourth quarter. Now following a short week, Joe Judge is preparing his team for their first away game of 2020.

The Bears are coming off a late comeback win against the Lions in Week 1. Chicago scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, getting three touchdown passes from Mitchell Trubisky, to take home the 27-23 victory.

Here are five players to watch in the Giants' Week 2 matchup against the Chicago Bears.

QB Daniel Jones

The Giants had high hopes for their sophomore quarterback heading into the season, and on Monday night, we saw exactly why. It was far from a perfect performance for Jones, but the 23-year-old showed poise and toughness in the pocket while delivering some strikes to his receivers.

Jones completed 63.4 percent of his passes for 279 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1. These are impressive numbers against one of the league's top defenses, especially when considering he was under pressure on 26 of his 48 drop-backs (six more than any other NFL QB last week). However, he also threw two interceptions, including a turnover on the goal line toward the end of the third quarter. While the end zone interception proved costly, it can't be forgotten that it came at the end of an impressive 19-play, nearly 9-minute drive.

Things won't get much easier for Jones this week as the Bears present yet another tough matchup. Lions QB Matthew Stafford completed 57 percent of his passes last week, finishing with a Passer Rating of 77.2. Chicago has a talented pass rushing duo of Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn, not to mention Akiem Hicks in the middle, as well as a few ballhawks in the secondary in Kyle Fuller and Eddie Jackson.

View photos of the Chicago Bears' starters ahead of the Week 2 matchup against the Giants.

RB Saquon Barkley

Monday night's game was just about the toughest outing you'll ever see for Saquon Barkley. The explosive running back was limited by Pittsburgh's elite front to six yards on 15 carries.

This will be the third consecutive year that Barkley faces the Bears, and in the first two contests, the Giants' star has found some success. Barkley has 41 times for 184 yards over his first two meetings, averaging nearly 4.5 yards per carry while catching five passes for 22 yards.

The Bears' defense struggled to keep Adrian Peterson in check last week. The veteran, in his Lions debut, ran for 93 yards on 14 carries (6.6 yards per carry) and caught three passes for 21 yards. Chicago did a better of limiting Kerryon Johnson (2.0 avg. on seven rushes) and rookie D'Andre Swift (2.7 avg. on three carries), but allowed almost 5.0 yards per carry to Detroit on 29 rushes.

LT Andrew Thomas

Andrew Thomas could not have had a more difficult matchup in his NFL debut. The number four overall pick was tasked with slowing down the ultra-talented Bud Dupree, fresh off an 11.5-sack season, along with the rest of one of the NFL's top defensive lines. And Thomas more than held his own.

The rookie left tackle surrendered four total pressures against the Steelers, finishing with an overall grade of 60.8 from Pro Football Focus. This mark fell right in line with fellow first-round picks Jedrick Wills and Tristan Wirfs, and was the highest grade among the Giants' offensive linemen in Week 1.

The rookie tackle faces another challenging opponent this week. Against the Lions, Khalil Mack played 41 snaps from the left side, his usual spot on the line, and 26 snaps on the right. Thomas will likely see plenty of action against both Mack and Robert Quinn, who did not play in Week 1, on Sunday. The duo combined for 20 sacks and seven forced fumbles last season, so no matter who is lining up opposite him, Thomas must be ready for a difficult battle.

DL Leonard Williams

Leonard Williams enjoyed a solid season debut on Monday Night Football. The veteran finished the game with one sack along with five tackles (four solo), two tackles for loss and two quarterback hits. Williams also matched Lorenzo Carter for the team lead with three pressures on Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger.

The Bears surrendered just one sack against the Lions in Week 1, as their offensive line enjoyed solid performances from all of its starters. Cody Whitehair, Germain Ifedi and James Daniels are proven interior offensive linemen, and won't make things easy for Williams up the middle.

LB Blake Martinez

Blake Martinez was one of the team's big free agent acquisitions this off-season, signed to help anchor the middle of the Giants' defense. It's only been one game, but the inside linebacker has already picked up right where he left off in Green Bay.

Martinez led all players in Monday's game with 13 total tackles (eight solo) to go with one tackle for loss. His strong performance goes well beyond the stat sheet, though. Martinez earned an 83.9 overall grade from PFF, the highest on the team and the second-highest among the league's inside linebackers. His true dominance came in the run game, where he received an elite 90.9 run defense grade from the analytics site.

The Giants will need Martinez to bring his A-game on Sunday, as it is no secret that the Bears love running the ball. As a team, Chicago took 28 carries for 149 yards (5.3 yards per carry) against the Lions. David Montgomery (13 carries for 64 yards), Tarik Cohen (seven carries for 41 yards) and Cordarrelle Patterson (four carries for 19 yards) each averaged at least 4.8 yards per carry in that game.

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


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