New York Giants (4-11, 6-9 ATS) at Chicago Bears (5-10, 5-10), 1 p.m.
Brolley’s Giants Stats and Trends
New York has lost and failed to cover in four straight contests.
The Giants have failed to cover in four consecutive road games.
New York is 10-1 toward unders in its last 11 games against teams with losing records.
Daniel Jones was hardly lighting it up through 11 games, but this offense has gotten dramatically worse since he left the keys to Mike Glennon and Jake Fromm. The two quarterbacks combined to throw for 118 yards on 44 attempts for a miserable 2.7 YPA last week. The Giants somehow failed to reach 200+ yards despite running 73 plays against the Eagles — they averaged 2.6 yards per play.
Evan Engram has four catches in three of his last four games. He scored his first touchdown since Week 9 on his way to posting 4/17/1 receiving on five targets against the Eagles. Gerald Everett went for 4/68/1 receiving on five targets in this matchup last week.
Kadarius Toney is the closest thing to a relevant WR in this offense after seeing nine targets last week, which he turned into just 4/28 receiving. Toney has reached double-digit FP just once since Week 5 because of injuries and poor QB play, and both Toney and Kenny Golladay have failed to score a touchdown this season. The Bears limited D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett to a combined 5/71/1 receiving on 11 targets last week.
Saquon Barkley has seen 16+ touches in five straight games, but it doesn’t matter much with his poor play in an inept offensive environment. He at least had 3+ catches in five straight games before posting one catch for -4 yards last week. Devontae Booker has been the better option in recent weeks, averaging 6.3 yards per touch (50/313 scrimmage) in the last six games compared to Barkley’s 3.8 yards per touch average (100/380) in that same span since he returned to the lineup in Week 11. Rashad Penny posted 17/135/1 rushing in this matchup last week.
Brolley’s Bears Stats and Trends
The Bears snapped a five-game ATS losing streak last week.
Chicago is 6-1 toward unders in its last seven games as a home favorite.
David Montgomery hasn’t been terribly effective in Chicago’s sputtering offense, but he’s seen 16+ touches in seven straight games since he returned to the lineup off of his knee injury in Week 9. He compiled another 28 touches against the Seahawks last week, turning 21 carries into 45/1 rushing while adding 7/61 receiving on nine targets on a 78% snap share in Chicago’s comeback victory. Montgomery’s involvement as a receiver has taken off in recent weeks with 5+ catches in four straight games after he fell below four catches in seven consecutive contests to open the season. Montgomery is surging in the final weeks of the season for the second straight season, and he has a great chance to keep it going this week against a Giants’ defense that’s allowing the ninth-most FPG (25.9) to RBs this season.
Nick Foles got the start last week and he delivered 250/1 passing and a victory over the Seahawks with both Justin Fields (ankle) and Andy Dalton (hand) unable to play. Fields has scored a combined 39.3 FP in his last two games in Weeks 14-15 against the Packers and Vikings before sitting out last week. New York is giving up the 13th-most FPG (18.3) to QBs this season.
Darnell Mooney has posted 5+ catches in five of his last six games after finishing with 5/57 receiving on nine targets against the Seahawks last week. Allen Robinson should return to the lineup this week after missing the last two games with COVID, but he could still be limited as he said he lost 10 pounds from the virus. Mooney should once again be the top option and DeVonta Smith went for 5/80/1 receiving in this matchup last week.
Cole Kmet has 3+ catches in nine of his last 10 games, but he’s yet to find the end zone this season, which has capped his upside. He finished with 4/49 receiving on five targets playing with Foles in a Week 16 loss to the Seahawks, and Jimmy Graham vultured his third touchdown in the last five weeks. The Giants limited Dallas Goedert to 2/28 receiving on four targets after Dalton Schultz went for 8/67/1 receiving against them in Week 15.
Barfield’s Pace and Tendencies
Pace (seconds in between plays): 25.7 (12th)
Plays per game: 61.3 (26th)
Pass: 63.5% (9th) | Run: 36.5% (24th)
Pace: 25.3 (8th)
Plays per game: 64.6 (10th)
Pass: 61.4% (14th) | Run: 38.6% (19th)
All pace / play data is from the last eight weeks.
The Giants are the worst offense in football right now, which really is saying something when the Jaguars and Jets exist. With Daniel Jones sidelined over the last four weeks, the Giants have scored just 4 TDs on their 47 possessions (worst in span) and have had the ball for just 2:23 of game clock per possession (second-worst).
Regardless of whether or not we see Justin Fields or Nick Foles under center, one thing is for sure – this matchup is setting up perfectly for David Montgomery. In the Bears four wins, Montgomery is averaging 21 carries per game while he slips down to just 14.4 carries per game in their losses. This is only the fourth time the Bears have been favored in a game this season, and two of the 3 games where they were favored were against the Lions.
Huber’s Key Matchup Notes
The Giants have been one of the most generous run defenses all season. They are supplying opposing RBs with 26.3 FPG (eighth-most), 2.0 GTG carries/game (11th-most), and 5.13 RZ touches/game (fifth-most). And their GTG carry/game (3.5) and RZ touch/game (7.5) allowances shoot up to the most over the last four weeks. David Montgomery is going to be fed with another 70+% carry share and his significant spike in receiving work is nothing short of the cherry on the investment. The analysis is far from complicated, and the same goes for the decision.
How is it that the Giants’ offense seems to be tagging along with the Jaguars’ for most pitiful in the league when NYG clearly possesses superior talent on their roster? It’s the type of question that should have led the front office toward ending the relationship with Joe Judge. How they managed to conclude Judge deserved another season is beyond my understanding.
Dolan’s Vantage Points
The Giants are complete trash.
The Giants' 73 plays run with fewer than 200 yards of offense in Week 16 were the most in a game since November of 1991 -- more than 30 years.— Joe Dolan (@FG_Dolan) December 29, 2021
Don’t worry, though! They’re going to rotate their QBs this week.
Judge said both QBs could play Sunday. I expect Mike Glennon to start and I have a hard time envisioning a scenario where Jake Fromm plays unless it’s to relieve an ineffective Glennon (which is obviously possible). Think it’s more likely they get creative — Toney in wildcat?— Dan Duggan (@DDuggan21) December 29, 2021
Yeah… about that point about Kadarius Toney potentially playing some Wildcat QB (which Giant fans have been clamoring for)…
Giants WR Kadarius Toney listed with a shoulder injury and did not practice today.— Pat Leonard (@PLeonardNYDN) December 29, 2021
His updated list of injuries that caused him to miss practice or game time in his rookie season:
- COVID (2x)
I don’t know how you can feel confident in playing anyone here, and that includes Saquon Barkley, who has been less effective than Devontae Booker in recent weeks. And he’s clearly frustrated with his injuries and ineffectiveness for this dead-end franchise.
Just got off a Zoom call with #Giants @saquon and I don’t think I’ve ever heard him sound so unhappy as he answered questions about his struggles and his future. He sounded like he’s absolutely had it.— NYPost_Cannizzaro (@MarkCannizzaro) December 29, 2021
At this point, I wonder if Barkley’s best course forward is to find a new team and hope for a Leonard Fournette-like revival.
The Bears’ best offensive player, by far, and the one guy we feel good about starting from this entire game is RB David Montgomery. Since returning from injury in Week 9, Monty has played on 81% of the Bears snaps. The only RB with a higher snap rate over that span is Najee Harris (84%).
Montgomery isn’t scoring many TDs because the Bears are atrocious, but he’s been highly involved in the passing game. Over the last four weeks, Montgomery is averaging 7.8 targets per game and has at least five catches in each game. He’s averaging 43.5 YPG as a receiver. I a low-scoring environment, he should be on the RB1 radar.
We don’t know who the Bears’ QB will be this week, but if Justin Fields (ankle) can play, you have to imagine he will start over Nick Foles and Andy Dalton. If Fields can’t go, I guess it will be Dalton, who is practicing in full as he returns from his groin injury.
UPDATE: Dalton will start.
Andy Dalton is the Bears' starting QB for Sunday vs. the New York Giants. Nick Foles is QB2.— Dan Wiederer (@danwiederer) December 31, 2021
Justin Fields was limited in all three practices this week and is listed as questionable for this weekend.
Here’s Jake Tribbey from Streamers on Fields:
“Fields is questionable to play in Week 17, so be sure to keep an eye on the injury report before plugging him in. But if he does play, he’s the clear No. 2 streaming option at QB to Taysom Hill in a week largely devoid of waiver wire fantasy talent.
In his last 4 full games, Fields has averaged 20.7 FPG – a mark that would tie with Matthew Stafford for QB9 this season. Similar to Hill, that success is mostly the result of a stellar rushing floor, as Fields has averaged 7.9 rushing FPG over that 4 game stretch. Impressively, since 1975, 7.9 rushing FPG would actually rank 13th among all QBs. So if Fields’ rushing production can remain consistent, he would have to be considered one of the best running QBs (for fantasy purposes) of the last 46 seasons.
And when streaming QBs, especially this late in the season with so little talent remaining on the waiver wire, rushing production needs to be a significant consideration as it helps secure a QB’s floor and often prevents the worst-case scenario of a single-digit fantasy score.
Assuming Fields starts, he’s a high-end QB2 in a largely neutral matchup with NYG this week.”
Wow. Allen Robinson said he lost 10 pounds when he got the coronavirus and is still trying to feel normal.— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) December 28, 2021
With Robinson being useless for fantasy most of this season anyway, I think I’d still consider TE Cole Kmet the Bears’ most reliable receiver in this matchup.
Here’s Jake again, this time on Kmet:
“Kmet has been the definition of a high-end TE2 down the stretch, averaging 9.3 FPG over his last 7 games. Over the full season, 9.3 FPG would rank 16th among all TEs.
More importantly, Kmet has clearly emerged as the Bears No. 2 pass catcher over that stretch, ranking 2nd on the team in targets (41, 19 more than the next closest player), routes (197), yards (293), and red zone targets (10).
For Sunday, Kmet is slated to see a neutral matchup facing the Giants, but this game does offer an incredibly low total of 37.5, so the obvious knock on Kmet would be the brutal scoring environment. Still, he’s seen at least 5 targets in every game since Week 12, and consistency like that can be tough to find on the waiver wire.”