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Fact or Fiction: Predictions for Sunday

Limiting Khalil Mack is the first priority for the Giants offense vs. Chicago.

John Schmeelk - Fiction: It's a close second, but the most important thing is for Daniel Jones to protect the football. The Bears are not nearly as opportunistic as they were last season when they led the NFL with 36 takeaways, but they do have 14 this year. The Bears mix up their defensive looks and play a lot of zone defenses, which can give younger quarterbacks issues in quickly recognizing what a defense is trying to do. Chicago's defensive backs will try to make plays on the ball and take chances. Jones can't stare down his receivers and has to deliver the ball to the right person depending on the defense. He also has to get rid of the ball before Mack gets to him in the pocket. If the Giants protect the football on Sunday, there's a good chance they win the game.

Lance Medow - Fact: Don't let Khalil Mack's season stats deceive you. He's consistently being double and triple teamed by the opposition to prevent him from completely wrecking games. The Giants need to follow that script. If the Bears' defense is going to do damage, make it be by someone other than Mack. While the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year has just 5.5 sacks, he still has a team-high four forced fumbles and has recorded four passes defensed. Mack is a very active player and the last thing you want to do is give him opportunities to fill up the stat sheet.

Whichever team runs for more yards will win the game

John Schmeelk - Fiction: I can easily go with turnovers here, but I won't. The Bears are the fourth best rush defense in the NFL, allowing only 3.61 yards per play. They are a top five defense stopping the run on first and second downs. If the Giants are going to stay out of third and long and win this game, they are going to have to successfully pass the ball on first and second down. A quick, short passing game is the recipe for success against a team like the Bears, who have allowed the 6th fewest completions of 20 or more yards in the league. The Bears aren't a strong running team, either. Once again, it is going to be about the quarterbacks.

Lance Medow - Fiction: Yes, the run game is important, but I don't think the more successful team on the ground will automatically clinch a victory.  This game will come down to ball security. The Giants are minus-12 in turnover differential, while the Bears are plus-four. Chicago has boasted one of the most opportunistic defenses in the NFL over the last two seasons and while that unit isn't taking away the ball at the same rate it did in 2018, the defense still showcases a wealth of talent that has a knack for making big plays. Whichever team changes field position and capitalizes on takeaways will likely walk away with the win.

Golden Tate will lead the Giants in receiving yards on Sunday.

John Schmeelk - Fact: Golden Tate has been the team's best receiver all season and there's no reason to think it won't continue on Sunday. If you take Tate's six-game numbers, they extrapolate to 88 catches for 1,112 yards and 8 touchdowns over 16 games. Evan Engram is not playing, but Sterling Shepard is back. Former Giant Prince Amukamara is the Bears' best cornerback, but he plays outside. The Giants will be better off attacking slot cornerback Buster Skrine and Kyle Fuller, who plays outside opposite Amukamara.

Lance Medow - Fact: Since Golden Tate returned from his four-game suspension, he's led the Giants in receiving yards in half (3) of the games (6) he's appeared in, including three straight against the Patriots, Cardinals and Lions. The Bears are solid against the pass, ranking 10th in yards allowed through the air per game, so no one in particular has an easy matchup, but since Tate relies on YAC and has the ability to create plays after the catch, I think he has a good chance to lead the team in receiving yards as opposed to those receivers who rely on deep throws down the field. It also bodes well for Tate that in eight of the Bears' 10 games this season, a wide receiver led the opposing team in receiving yards.

Leonard Williams is the key defensive player against the Bears.

John Schmeelk - Fiction: I am going to go with Alec Ogletree. Last season, he made a couple of big interceptions against Chicago, including one that prevented a deep touchdown pass to Tarik Cohen down the seam. Mitch Trubisky (or Chase Daniel) will try to pepper the middle of the field with short passes to get Bears playmakers in space. They will also try to get Cohen down the field on wheel routes. Ogletree will have to deliver a strong performance. 

Lance Medow - Fiction: Leonard Williams' ability to collapse the pocket will certainly be crucial, but this game is more about the productivity of the linebackers and secondary. The Bears rely on numerous versatile players who showcase speed and elusiveness. Tackling at the initial point of contact will be critical in this game as Chicago loves to get its skill positions out in open space.

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