CHICAGO (CBS) — The Bears play host to the New York Giants at Soldier Field on CBS 2 Sunday at noon. It’s third straight year these two NFC teams have clashed. The last two games were decided by no more than five points.
Here are three things to watch for Sunday.
Can Bears Get Consistent Play From Mitchell Trubisky?
Yes, he carried the Bears to a stunning comeback win in the opener, but he was also a big reason they were down 17. His footwork, decision-making, and pocket presence looked as bad as we’ve ever seen it for three quarters. And we’ve seen these flashes of greatness before. After the last time Mitchell Trubisky threw three touchdown passes in a quarter–that was week 3 against Washington last year–he had just two touchdowns total the next four games. When it comes to Mitch, I’ll continue to be skeptical. Let’s see if he shows us something this week against what looks like a weak Giants defense.
Will The Referees Not Hold Onto Their Flags This Week?
NFL officials only threw 18 flags for offensive holding in week 1. That’s a 78% dip from last season. That info caught the attention of Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks on Twitter, and linebacker Khalil Mack, as well. Mack gets held a lot, and if the refs aren’t calling it, that eliminates a lot of his impact. Let’s see whether the refs call it a little closer in week two. If so, that’s a big help to the Bears, who should have a much better pass rush than the Giants.
Will The Bears Run Defense Improve?
It better be. Even though Giants running back Saquon Barkley was held in check in week one against the Steelers, he’s still one of the most dynamic backs in the league. And the Bears got gashed by 35-year-old Adrian Peterson for 93 yards on just 14 carries last week. As Bears nose tackle John Jenkins put it this week, “We’ve gotta play better.” The Lions got consistent push in the middle, and the Bears seemed to miss Eddie Goldman, who opted out before the season. Watch to see wheter Jenkins, Bilal Nichols and others can hold their ground better this week, and the Bears can grind out a second-straight win.