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10 things to watch: Daniel Jones' big road numbers

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Everything you need to know about the Week 2 matchup between the Giants and Bears:

Series History

The New York Giants travel to Chicago to play the Bears in Week 2 on Sept. 20. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET at Soldier Field. The Giants and Bears will face each other for the third consecutive season and the second year in a row in Chicago. Last Nov. 24, the Giants led at halftime, 7-3, but allowed 16 unanswered points in the third quarter and lost, 19-14. On Dec. 2, 2018, the Giants earned a 30-27 overtime triumph in MetLife Stadium. Saquon Barkley's 29-yard run on the first play of overtime set up a game-winning 44- yard field goal. These teams first played each other in 1925, making this the Giants' oldest active series (the Giants' first-ever road victory was in Chicago on Dec. 13, 1925).

Last Time Out

The Giants allowed 23 unanswered points in their 26-16 loss to the Steelers on Monday Night Football. A day earlier, the Bears turned a 23-6 deficit into a 27-23 victory in Week 1. Mitchell Trubisky threw three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, tied for the most in Bears history since 1991.

Inactive List

Giants:

  • RB Wayne Gallman
  • DB Adrian Colbert
  • LB TJ Brunson
  • LB Carter Coughlin
  • OT Jackson Barton
  • TE Eric Tomlinson
  • DL RJ McIntosh

Bears:

  • ILB Josh Woods
  • WR Ted Ginn
  • CB Duke Shelley
  • G Arlington Hambright
  • WR Riley Ridley
  • OLB Trevis Gipson

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

Road Warrior

As a rookie, Daniel Jones threw 18 touchdowns to just three interceptions in six road games as a starter. He averaged 271.5 yards per game as the away opponent with a 105.1 passer rating. Only NFL MVP Lamar Jackson threw more touchdowns on the road (20), but did so in eight games.

Meanwhile, Jones has thrown at least one touchdown pass in each of his first 13 career starts, the fourth-longest streak among quarterbacks who started their careers since the 1970 merger:

  • Kurt Warner, St. Louis (23 starts) 1999-2000
  • Baker Mayfield, Cleveland (17) 2018-19
  • Brad Johnson, Minnesota (15) 1996-97
  • Daniel Jones, Giants (13) 2019-20

The Windy City

This will be the Giants' inaugural road game of the Joe Judge era in addition to the franchise's first travel experience with the protocols put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic. By now, Judge said the plans don't feel too unusual, but as a head coach, he always has his eyes on the details.

"I think our guys are used to just traveling for football games, whether it be college or previous years in the NFL," Judge said. "Right now, it's really kind of the early part of the trip. Bussing, planes, how you get your food on the plane, little things like that that people don't always calculate. We feed these guys on the plane, we're always hydrating on the plane. One of the factors that I'm going to have to talk to the team about is, hey listen, we're obviously wearing masks on the plane. Anytime you have a mask on, it slows down your hydration. Also when you're on the plane, you naturally dehydrate from the air pressure and the way it affects the cells and the moisture in your cells. We need to make sure we do a really good job traveling with hydrating on the plane, even though we have masks on. We have to be conscious of that."

Darius Keeps Slaying

Darius Slayton has 10 receiving touchdowns since Week 5 of 2019, the most in the NFL in that span. Mark Andrews and Jared Cook are tied for second with nine.

Scouting Report

Coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace have stocked the Bears' roster with a lot of explosive players on offense. They have multiple weapons and use them in "very inventive ways," according to Judge. They will mix their personnel groups, along with tempo and quick substitutions.

"We need to make sure we're very attentive and in-tune to the game to match the speed that they're going to present," Judge said. "They present opponents with a lot of issues with their fast motions going across the formations, changing the strength, and then also looking to find ways to get favorable matchups for their skill guys."

You may have heard a lot about rub routes coming off Monday night's game, and it will continue into Sunday. The Bears, like the Steelers, will use them to create contact on the defenders to free up their playmakers. During his Thursday press conference, assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Patrick Graham took responsibility for the issues against Pittsburgh, saying he needs to coach it better. It is no doubt a focus this week.

"This team is going to be a team that has a lot of rub routes, a lot of misdirection trying to get you crossed over between linebackers, corners and safeties and who's covering who," Judge said. "We have to do a good job communicating pre-snap and then adjust post snap."

The NFL today released a breakdown of Kickoff Weekend rosters and one notable tidbit is the Giants began the season with a league-high 15 players who weigh 300 or more pounds.

Challenge Accepted

As Michael Eisen wrote, Saquon Barkley and offensive coordinator Jason Garrett delivered figurative stiff arms in response to what has become the media's issue of the week regarding the Giants: the third-year running back's pass protection skills. The tempest was ignited when Tiki Barber – the Giants' career rushing leader- criticized Barkley for his pass protection.

Barkley, who rushed for six yards and caught six passes in the Giants' 26-16 season-opening loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers Monday night, has received criticism for his blocking in the past and he's not losing sleep after hearing it again.

"Obviously, Tiki is a legend," Barkley said. "He has done a lot of great things for this franchise. I'm not going to look at it as disrespect, I'm going to look at it as a challenge. Same thing with him, like everyone else, I really don't care about outside opinions. I'm really focused about the opinions in this building. Try to come to work every single day and get better."

Barkley said pass protection is just one point of emphasis in practice, because he continually works to elevate all facets of his game.

"I come to work every single day with the mindset, try to improve in everything," he said. "Focus on the little things. Whatever the drill is, focus on that. If it's the pass game, focus on catching the ball, if it's pass pro, if it's run game, focus on making the run cuts and the right reads. When I'm in the open field work on my moves and work on finishing scoring touchdowns.

"I know this is going to be the question or the kind of the theme of this media session about my pass pro. I understand that I probably made some mistakes in pass pro and I put it on film. I know it's going to keep coming, people are going to keep challenging me. It's a good way to keep me in and stop me from getting to open space and making plays there too also. I just have to keep working at it, keep getting better and that's going to be my same answer for the rest of the pass pro questions."

Feeling the Rush?

Linebacker Markus Golden, who had a tackle for loss in Week 1, has seven sacks in his past seven games on road and aims for his fifth in a row with at least one. Meanwhile, defensive linemen Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence each had a sack last week.

Stats to Impress Your Friends with…

The NFL today released a breakdown of Kickoff Weekend rosters and one notable tidbit is the Giants began the season with a league-high 15 players who weigh 300 or more pounds.

According to the league, these are the averages of the players on the Giants opening day roster:

Height: 6.20 (NFL average, 6.17)

Weight: 247.95 (NFL average, 244.74)

Age: 25.78 (NFL average, 26.03)

Experience: 3.91 years (NFL average, 4.17)

Rookies and first-year players: 9 (NFL average, 9.69)

Players age 30 and over: 6 (NFL average, 8.34)

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