4th & Goal(s): Bears Looking To Avoid New Lows Against Losing Giants

By Ryan Bukowiecki (@ryanbski)

Slowly, but surely, the month of November is wrapping up. Unfortunately, the Chicago Bears’ season wrapped up sooner than the NFL season’s third month.

Certainly, 2019 has been a total struggle for the Bears, but there are still games to be played and this Sunday against the Giants might be the last time the Bears will be favored this season.

Last week, another winnable game deteriorated into another source of controversy, namely the questionable benching of quarterback Mitchell Trubisky late in the loss to the Rams. Against many odds, Trubisky will be the starter Sunday, the hip that hampered him seeming to be a non-issue as he has been a full participant in practice all week.

As for this Giants team, they’ve slunk through a disappointing season of their own but some hope has been given to fans with flashes of exciting play from the expected backfield duo of the future in running back Saquon Barkley and rookie quarterback Daniel “Danny Dimes” Jones.

A season ago these two teams met up in New York, the two backup QBs today — the Bears’ Chase Daniel and New York’s Eli Manning — were the starters in a game that ended disappointingly for the Bears and had a negative impact on their attempt to secure a first-round playoff bye.

This year both teams are bad and nothing related to the playoffs is involved in this year’s clash, but a lot of pride remains on the line. Here are the goals for a Bears pick-me-up victory on Sunday. 

1st Goal

Strength on Strength — If you are wondering what the best match-up of the game is this week its quite obviously the Bears run defense against Barkley. This Bears defense has essentially crumbled since the departure of defensive tackle Akiem Hicks due to injury, but they still stop the run well. Question is can they stop the best young runner in the League?

Without Hicks, the Bears run defense bends a lot more than it’d like and last year Barkley was a huge part in the Giants victory. The same will be true this year if the Giants win.

Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference

Barkley is such a huge part of the Giants offense and is basically the head of its snake, meaning the Bears have to contain him as much as possible in order to put itself in a position to win. Make the erstwhile “Danny Dimes” beat you because Barkley can definitely take this game over and the Bears offense already struggles with ceding ball control against good rushing teams.

This game could end up poorly for the Bears either way but if they don’t shut down Barkley then it will be very unlikely the Bears could win. The game’s number one goal is to limit Barkley to a bad or mediocre game. 

2nd Goal

Go Get the Ball — Danny Dimes has been a very interesting quarterback since his pro career began. Much like the opposing QB he’s facing Sunday, he was seen as the biggest reach in his draft when he was picked No. 6 overall by the Giants.

Fans were not happy with Jones at first, but he has definitely shown some big play potential since taking over at starting quarterback from Manning in September. At the same time Jones has shown a propensity to turn the ball over both in the air and on the ground. This is another week in a row where the Bears defense should be able to take the ball away from the Giants. Their offensive line is not strong and pressure on Jones should equal some opportunities for turnovers.

Of course this Bears team better respect Jones’ big play potential because he can definitely catch fire and turn this game on its ear — they don’t call him Danny Dimes for nothing. The goal here is to make Jones look like a rookie quarterback going up against one of the League’s most imposing defensive units. 

3rd Goal

Need Something from Our Guy — Trubisky had a real rough week last time out against the Rams. Not only did he not play well but there is credible evidence that his injury wasn’t the only reason he was taken out of the game.

Regardless if it was a straight benching or not, he is just a few minutes away from midnight on the doomsday clock. Things can’t get much worse for Trubisky because his play has eroded to occasional flashes of competent play. This Giants defense is not good and the Bears defense should be far better as a unit. Could there be a more dire or damning look for Mitch than Jones being the better quarterback on Sunday?

Opportunities and excuses are running in short supply for the Bears signal caller. It has been said here before and much like other Chicago sports media, Trubisky just has to play better no matter what.

Whether its him having a good game because of his arms or legs, he just has to have a good one on Sunday. Goal here is get Trubisky through a game and have a full game of solid quarterback play. Boy has the bar been lowered.  

4th Goal

Take Pride in Your Work — The loss to the Rams eliminated the Bears in every way except mathematically. Until the Bears become officially eliminated, this team is trying to win with the players that expected to win with. Before some of the rookies and practice squad guys can get more reps developing this team is going down with the ship.

There is nothing worse for a veteran player who once had championship hopes having to watch no name rookies playing because the team is eliminated. That means these veteran players have to win the games they need to win like this Sunday. A prideful mentality has to come down from the team leaders and veterans to leave it all on the line Sunday.

What this roster of players need to realize is that trying hard isn’t good enough, players need to win games and there are no participation trophies. People’s livelihoods are at stake and this team has yet to show any real desperation. Overall, the goal for this Sunday is take some pride and show a terrible roster like the Giants that they simply aren’t as good as the Bears.

Ryan Bukowiecki covers the Chicago Bears and professional football for WARR

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