Three keys and prediction: Bears vs. Giants

Three keys and prediction: Bears vs. Giants

1. Don’t turn the ball over.
Chase Daniel was particularly adept at not only taking care of the football against the Detroit Lions, but also not only not really throwing any dangerous passes. The only turnover was a Trey Burton lost fumble; the Bears can probably afford one mistake against the Giants, but not two. The Giants took the ball away at least twice in all three of their wins, and hit that mark in a two-point loss to the Carolina Panthers, too. The Giants average 30.8 points per game when they force two or more turnovers; when they don’t, they average 16 points per game. 

2. Go to mass…and trust your defense.
Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio quipped the best way to stop wide receiver Odell Beckham was by “going to mass on Saturday night.” As for running back Saquon Barkley: “It's gonna take all 11 people to stop him,” Fangio said. Interestingly, though, Beckham and Barkley have gone over 100 yards in their respective categories in the same game once this year — Week 1, a 20-15 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. For an offense with two of the league’s best weapons, and a good left tackle, this isn’t a particularly impressive group on the whole. Eli Manning struggles under pressure (38 sacks in 153 drop backs, with four touchdowns and four interceptions), so trusting the defense to get after him and force some poor decisions is probably the best tactic for Fangio on Sunday. 

3. Be yourself.
The Bears’ worst game of 2018 came after an off week, when they went to Miami and played uncharacteristically poorly against the Dolphins in that 31-28 overtime loss. As coach Matt Nagy put it: “we weren't ourselves” in that game. The Bears will play the Giants coming off a “mini” off week, with nine full days between games. Luckily, it won’t be 95 with extreme humidity on an early December afternoon in New Jersey, but the Bears are better than the Giants, and as long as they don’t do anything out of character, they should emerge from Sunday with their ninth win of the year. 

Prediction: Bears 25, Giants 17.
Each of the Giants’ last five games have been decided by seven points or fewer, and only two of their games this year — home losses to New Orleans (by 15) and Philadelphia (by 21) have been decided by more than one score. New York, on the surface, resembles the 2017 Bears, then: A team that can keep games close, but probably doesn’t have enough to turn those close games into wins unless the opposition is bad (like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Francisco 49ers). The Bears have an immense trust in Daniel to get the job done, and a well-rested defense should be able to mute Barkley and Beckham to a point where this game may appear close, but won’t feel it. 

Bears-Rams Inactives: David Montgomery WILL play after all

USA Today

Bears-Rams Inactives: David Montgomery WILL play after all

The Bears and Rams are set to kick off in about 90 minutes, and the teams have released their inactive players list. 

The good news for the Bears? David Montgomery will play: 

Montgomery missed time in practice this week after he "lightly rolled" it, according to Matt Nagy. His status was considered a gametime decision. 

Otherwise, not much else new here. The fact that Trevathan, while inactive, continues to avoid IR is something worth monitoring as we go forward. 

Former Bears DC Vic Fangio off to rough start as Broncos coach

Former Bears DC Vic Fangio off to rough start as Broncos coach

Former Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio was one of the few head-coaching candidates last offseason whose reputation in the league was based on defense. With most teams looking for the next young offensive guru, Fangio's stature as a veteran defensive coach made the Denver Broncos' decision to name him their head coach a pretty bold move.

After a 3-6 start and a change from Joe Flacco to Brandon Allen at quarterback, Denver's lacking offense has sparked internal frustration, according to CBS Sports' Jason LaCanfora.

The real source of the difficulty, however, appears to be Fangio.

Fangio has had issues with offensive assistants, the sources said, and at one point top receiver Emmanuel Sanders in essence walked out on the team, leading to his eventual trade. Lines of communication have been strained, and Fangio has been quick to dispute play calls and come across as overbearing on the headsets, sources said, which has created issues in-game and otherwise.

Fangio's time in Chicago was highlighted by the dominant performance of the Bears' defense in 2018, one that led the team to an NFC North championship and its first playoff berth since 2010.

But he was never able to establish himself as the kind of coach who could handle the media or other responsibilities that come along with being atop the coaching food chain. His to-the-point and sometimes brutally honest style worked well for a grizzled defensive coordinator, but head coaches are held to a different standard.

It would be unfair to expect Fangio to change who he is at this point in his coaching career, which began with the New Orleans Saints 33 seasons ago. 

Maybe we're just starting to see why it took so long for him to actually land a head coaching position.