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Coming off their win over the Bengals, the Giants look to keep their winning streak alive and notch another victory against the Chicago Bears at Metlife Stadium. Though the two teams are going in opposite directions the Bears are not going to hand the Giants a win. Below are two keys that should help lead the Giants to their fifth straight win.
Contain Jordan Howard :
While the Bears are 2-7, one of the highlights of their season is the play of rookie running back Jordan Howard. He leads their rushing attack with 605 yards on 114 carries for an average of 5.3 yards per carry. Only Miami’s Jay Ajayi has a higher average per carry at 5.7 yards. If not for the play of Ezekiel Elliott, there would be more discussion about how the 4th round pick out of Indiana has become the Bears running back of today and tomorrow. With the injury to Jeremy Langford earlier in the season, Howard was forced to step into the role of the featured back and he’s done more than play the part. The Giants 7th ranked rushing defense has been one of their strengths all season long. They’ve not allowed a single running back this season to rush for 100 yards against them. They will be put to the test on Sunday as they’re forced to contend with a running back who’s shown himself to a viable threat. If the Giants are able to limit his production it will certainly make a difference in the Bears offense being able to consistently move the ball.
The play of the Giants offensive line :
Last week the offensive line played well despite the absence of guard Justin Pugh due to injury and the loss of his replacement Brett Jones after their first possession. Eli Manning was sacked once and the Bengals defense tallied six quarterback hits over the course of the game, but for the most part he was able to stay upright and comfortable in the pocket. The rushing attack allowed for balance to become a part of the offense for the first time since their week 3 loss to the Washington Redskins, where they rushed for 120 yards and passed for 337 yards. Both Justin Pugh and Brett Jones have been ruled out of the game due to leg injuries which means that Marshall Newhouse will probably have to play at left guard again as he did frequently against the Bengals. In addition to the loss of Pugh and Jones this week, Adam Gettis who platooned with Newhouse in the Bengals game, is now listed as questionable for the Bears. For that reason the Giants have signed C/G Shane McDermott to their active roster as insurance. The Giants will have to contend with Leonard Floyd, Pernell McPhee, Akiem Hicks and Willie Young, who are the impact players of the Bears front seven. Their pass rush has resulted in 24 sacks which means the offensive line will have their work cut out for them. If they can prevent the Bears defensive line from getting consistent pressure on Manning then the Giants offense has a good chance at getting into a rhythm where they can execute their game plan.
Prediction : Giants keep rolling and win 24-17
Dan Evans is a contributing writer for PureSportsNY You can follow him on Twitter @DanEvansPSNY