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Fact or Fiction: LT or MJ more dominant?


Lawrence Taylor's accomplishments are more impressive than Michael Jordan's in the context of their respective sports.

John Schmeelk: Fiction - From a team perspective, Jordan's pair of three-peats is not something Taylor can match. There isn't much disputing that, even though it is far easier for an individual player in the NBA to impact a game than in the NFL. The individual accolades portion of the debate is more debatable. Taylor's MVP award as a defensive player is more impressive than any of Jordan's. Taylor also forced the league to change the way they schemed offenses, which is not something Jordan did. Taylor was more like Wilt Chamberlain in that regard.

Lance Medow: Fiction - Lawrence Taylor may be the greatest defensive player in NFL history, but he mainly contributed to one facet of the team. You can't say that about Michael Jordan, who is one of three players in NBA history and the only guard to win MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. In fairness, LT also accomplished that feat in 1986 but Jordan was just as dominant on the defensive side of the ball as he was on the offensive end. Not only did he claim 10 scoring titles but he also led the NBA in steals three times and was named to the NBA-All-Defensive First Team nine times. On top of that, Jordan helped the Bulls win six titles in the span of eight years, was named Finals MVP for all six of those championship runs, and won regular season MVP five times. In comparison, LT helped the Giants win two Super Bowls in a five-year span, was a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, claimed one MVP and led the NFL in sacks just once. There's a laundry list of players that didn't win a title during the 90s thanks to Jordan. He absolutely dominated the sport from every angle and is synonymous with the word clutch. LT was an elite athlete and player but the Giants didn't rule the NFL during his tenure like Jordan and the Bulls did in the NBA. It may be a fun conversation to have but there's really no debate.

The best photos of Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor, who was named to the NFL 100 All-Time Team

The Giants need to run for more than 100 yards in order to win in Chicago.

John Schmeelk: Fiction - The Bears might very well sell out to stop the run the same way the Steelers did in Week 1. Generally speaking, a defense can slow down an opponent's run game if they dedicate enough resources to it and it will be no different for the Bears this week. But will they? Last week, the Bears were content to play six- and seven-man boxes with both their safeties deep against the Lions. Will that be their approach against the Giants? If it is, then the Giants will need to rush for 100 yards to win the game. But if the Bears do everything they can to stop the running game, a Daniel Jones-led offense dedicated to the passing game would more than capable of leaving Chicago with a victory.

Lance Medow: Fiction - Last Sunday, the Lions ran for 138 yards and averaged nearly five yards per carry against the Bears, yet still lost. That's one indication why I don't think there's a magical number on the ground that dictates a Giants victory. With that being said, I think they need to run the ball effectively and much more efficiently than they did Monday night against the Steelers but, hypothetically speaking, if they finish with 99 rushing yards as opposed to 100, does that lessen their chances of winning? Absolutely not. Beating the Bears won't be determined based on the rushing total but more so based on how effectively they play off the run game and can open things up in the passing game for Daniel Jones.

How the offensive line performs against the Bears' defensive front is the biggest storyline.

John Schmeelk: Fact - The Bears might not use the type of creative blitzes that the Steelers do, but they have some good individual pass rushers up front that can wreck a game. Khalil Mack's reputation speaks for itself. Robert Quinn might play this week after missing Week 1. He had 11.5 sacks last year and would probably line up over Andrew Thomas for most of the game. Mack would play primarily over Cam Fleming, who had to block TJ Watt last week. Those two edge rushers are more than capable of wrecking a game. Akiem Hicks missed most of last season due to injury but he returns as the Bears defensive end in their base 3-4 defense and three-technique tackle in even fronts. He will constantly challenge the Giants interior offensive line.

Lance Medow: Fact - You hear it all the time but there's validity behind it: "The NFL is a copycat league." When the Bears study the film of the Giants' first game, one of their biggest takeaways will be how much pressure the Steelers applied and how effective that group was in stopping New York's run game. The Bears may not have T.J. Watt, Bud Dupree and Cam Heyward, but Khalil Mack, Robert Quinn and Akiem Hicks aren't too shabby. The Giants' offensive line will once again be tested and how that group responds will tell a whole lot as to how the Giants will perform on the offensive side of the ball.

CB James Bradberry vs. WR Allen Robinson is the key one-on-one matchup to watch.

John Schmeelk: Fiction - At the risk of being repetitive, I am going to pick the same positional matchup I did last week. How will Cameron Fleming be able to control Khalil Mack? Mack can wreck a game and if he is constantly in the backfield, the result will be stagnated drives and potential turnovers for the Giants offense. The Robinson-Bradberry matchup is a good one too. If Robinson was in a different offense he might put up similar numbers to some of the best wide receivers in football. His combination of size, catch radius, and ability to create separation is elite. It will be fun watching his physicality match up with Robinson's.

Lance Medow: Fiction - Allen Robinson is the Bears' clear No. 1 wide receiver, but he's not their only offensive weapon. They also have Anthony Miller, who is a vertical threat and hauled in the game-winning touchdown pass from Mitchell Trubisky late in the fourth quarter of Sunday's win over the Lions. Corey Ballentine played 59 defensive snaps (93%) in Monday's loss to the Steelers. More often than not, he was the corner opposite James Bradberry and if he matches up with Miller for the majority of the game, that's a battle to watch as Miller led the team in receiving yards in Week 1.


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