Key stat: Mitchell Trubisky completed just 9-of-21 passes for 110 yards on Chicago’s first eight drives in Week 1, before leading three touchdown drives in their final four chances.
In Week 2, we have a single data point on each team, so there are situations we can identify where Week 1 results provide some value. And that’s what we have with the Giants and the Bears.
The Steelers were the better team than the Giants Monday night, but New York moved the ball pretty well in their 26-16 loss considering the Pittsburgh defense figures to be among the league’s best. An ill-advised Daniel Jones pass under pressure late in the third quarter resulted in an interception at the goal line that cost New York points.
Meanwhile, Chicago found themselves in a 23-6 hole after three quarters in Detroit, but overcame it with three fourth-quarter touchdowns, two of which came on short fields. After the Bears had cut the lead to 23-13, Detroit tried a 55-yard field goal with about four minutes left. The missed kick set up Chicago around midfield, and Chicago was able to score quickly.
A few plays after Chicago had cut the game to 23-20, Matthew Stafford threw a pass into traffic that was tipped into the air for an interception that set Chicago up on the Lions’ side of the field at the 37-yard line. Once again, Chicago converted a short field, this time to take the lead. Detroit still had a shot to win at the end, but rookie D’Andre Swift dropped a sure touchdown on the game’s penultimate play.
So as we head into Week 2, we have a Giants team that played better than their scoreline, particularly when considering superstar running back Saquon Barkley couldn’t find any room against Pittsburgh’s fearsome front seven, rushing for just 6 yards on 15 carries. He should have more luck against a Chicago front that surrendered 93 yards on 14 carries to 35-year-old Adrian Peterson. On the other side, we have Chicago off a come-from-behind 27-23 victory that was helped along by Detroit miscues.
I’m not thrilled about backing Daniel Jones on the road, but the value here is on the Giants +5.5. And I’d be even less thrilled about backing Mitchell Trubisky. Neither quarterback in this game gives you much confidence, and either can make the types of bone-headed decisions that lead to game-changing turnovers. Trubisky definitely got away with some errant throws in Week 1, and his big fourth quarter masked an otherwise poor performance. I thought Jones showed more flashes of positive play, and he’ll face a more attackable defense in Chicago than he did in Week 1. Take New York and the points.