The Giants (3-8) vs. the Chicago Bears (8-3) at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Sunday, Dec. 2, at 1 p.m.
First the good news: It’ll be warm. Like in the low 60s. Now the bad news: It’ll be wet. There’s a chance for a lot of rain.
WHAT IT MEANS
The Giants are virtually out of playoff contention, but not mathematically out of playoff contention. They’re only 3 1/2 games out of first place in the NFC East with five games to go. So if they win and they get some help from … Yeah, I’m not buying it either. This game basically means nothing at all. Pat Shurmur would like to build some momentum. Eli Manning is trying to prove he should be the starter in 2019. A lot of guys are fighting for future jobs. But mostly the only thing to watch now is where the Giants get to pick in the 2019 NFL draft.
PLAYER TO WATCH: RT Chad Wheeler
The Giants are going offensive line shopping again in the offseason, and it’s a good bet center and right tackle will be high on their list. You know what Wheeler can do to get the Giants’ attention and make them think twice about replacing him? He can do well against Bears pass rusher Khalil Mack. OK, nobody really does well against Mack; he’s one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. Wheeler is going to have his hands full and so is LT Nate Solder when Mack switches to the other side. But any decent performance by Wheeler against Mack will open a lot of eyes. Wheeler hasn’t shown a lot of improvement over the last few weeks. This is an enormous step up in class.
It’s probably a very big deal for the Giants that Chase Daniel is going to start at quarterback in this game over Mitchell Trubisky. Daniel played pretty well last week in a win over the Lions, but the Bears’ offense had become something of an unstoppable force behind Trubisky. They get a little help from their defense in this, but the Bears are fifth in scoring at 28.8 points per game. They have strong weapons out of the backfield in Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen. They don’t have a lot of great receivers, but they do a terrific job of spreading the ball around. And that’s just the offensive issues they create.
On defense, they have 34 sacks and they’re fourth in total defense, second in scoring (only allowing 19.2 points per game). This team is a real Super Bowl contender. The Giants? Their defense was run over by the Eagles last week, and their offense is showing signs of life, but not against a defense anything like this. The Giants are just not in the Bears’ class this year – even with Daniel at Chicago’s helm. … Bears 30, Giants 20.
MY RECORD: 5-6
MY RECORD WHEN PICKING GIANTS TO WIN: 0-3
MY RECORD WHEN PICKING GIANTS TO LOSE: 5-3