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Chicago Bears vs. New York Giants Prediction: Young Teams With Rookie Head Coaches Set to Face Off

Winner improves to 3-1 on the season.

Among the early games in Week 4 of the 2022 NFL season, is a matchup between two teams who've formed a rivalry in recent seasons. It'll be the fifth meeting in the last seven seasons when the Chicago Bears (2-1) head east to play the New York Giants (2-1).

Related: NFL Predictions for Every Game in Week 4

The Bears needed a last-second field goal to defeat the Texans and avoid overtime last week. Meanwhile, the Giants lost a crucial division game to the Cowboys on "Monday Night Football," removing them from the ranks of the unbeaten. Now New York must deal with a short turnaround as it looks to get back into the win column.

Chicago (2-1) at New York (2-1)

Kickoff: Sunday, Oct. 2 at 1 p.m. ET
Live Stream: fuboTV (Start your free trial)
Spread: Giants -3
Tickets: As low as $71 on*

Three Things to Watch

1. Offenses looking to improve
Both teams are still trying to sort out issues on this side of the ball. The Bears are dead last in total offense (265.0 ypg) and passing offense (78.3 ypg), but they're second in rushing offense (186.7 ypg), and 17th in scoring offense (17.3 ppg). Second-year quarterback Justin Fields has taken most of the blame for that, especially since he ranks 32nd in passing yards (297), completed passes (23), and pass attempts (45). And while Fields said he "played like trash" against Houston last week, offensive coordinator Luke Getsy must also shoulder some of the blame.

The Bears have run the ball 104 times, compared to the 45 times Fields has thrown the ball. Getsy must adjust some of his play calling. Especially since Fields has only completed 51.1 percent of his passes. And while it would help Fields to call more pass plays, his receivers must also step up. Tight end Cole Kmet finally caught his first two balls of the season last week (for 40 receiving yards), but the Bears are still waiting for Darnell Mooney to have his breakout game of the '22 campaign (just four catches for 27 yards).

Equanimeous St. Brown (4 rec., 77 yds., TD) and running back David Montgomery (5, 38) are essentially this team's leading receivers right now. Dante Pettis has only has the 51-yard touchdown catch from Week 1 on his résumé, while Byron Pringle, tight end Ryan Griffin, and running back Khalil Herbert have combined to catch eight passes for 64 yards. Throwing the ball more could help, but an offensive line that has allowed the fifth-most sacks in the league (10) needs to show improvement as well.

The good thing, however, is that the guys up front have been able to clear a path for the ground game. Montgomery, Herbert, and Fields have combined to rush for 494 yards on 95 carries. Herbert posted a single-game career-high in both rushing yards (157) and touchdown runs (2) against the Texans last Sunday. The Bears rank second leaguewide in total rushing yards (560) and fourth in yards per attempt (5.4).

The Giants also have question marks on their offense, especially late in games as they've only posted single-digit scoring outputs in the fourth quarter of every game this season. The G-Men rank 21st in total offense (331.7 ypg) and 30th in passing offense (162.3 ypg), although and they're 18th in scoring offense (18.7 ppg). Quarterback Daniel Jones, who's in the final year of his rookie deal, is 28th in passing yards (560) and has only thrown three touchdown passes. The 13 sacks he's taken are the third-most in the league heading into Week 4. Sterling Sheppard has been the team's best receiver (13 rec., 154 yds., TD), but he's out for the season with a torn ACL.

The Giants will need to find a new go-to receiver for Sunday, and they'll also be dealing with a banged-up Wan'Dale Robinson (knee) and Kadarius Toney (hamstring). Thankfully, fellow receiver Richie James Jr. (13, 146) and running back Saquon Barkley (13, 91) have already lent a hand to the air attack. Barkley has been a force for this offense, as he's the league's second-leading rusher (317 yards) and ranks sixth at 6.0 yards per attempt.

The Bears have their own injury concerns, as Pringle landed on injured reserve this week. He'll miss at least the next four games with a calf injury. Even worse is the ankle injury that Montgomery suffered last week, which will keep him out of at least this game — although he hasn't landed on the IR yet. Griffin continues to deal with an Achilles injury, while rookie wideout Velus Jones Jr. has yet to take the field because of a hamstring ailment. The Bears will need to patch those holes in the lineup.

2. Defenses need to step up
While both teams' offenses have struggled to move the ball and score points, the defenses have had issues stopping teams at times. The Bears are 20th in total defense (358.0 ypg), and they're tied for the second-worst run defense (157.0 ypg). But they have been able to hold their own against the pass (201.0 ypg, 9th), and they don't give up a ton of points (19.0 ppg, 9th). Still, stopping the run could be a major issue against the Giants, with Barkley looking like his old, dominant self.

This Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde defense definitely has some things to clean up after giving up 329 total yards and 5.8 yards per play to the Texans last week. They only sacked Davis Mills once, but they did intercept him twice. But it's not all bad in Chicago. Linebacker Roquan Smith is tied for the league lead in tackles (36), safety Eddie Jackson is one of just nine players across the league who have multiple interceptions (2), and defensive lineman Justin Jones leads this team in tackles for loss (3). The Bears need to find a way to put it all together. 

The Giants are also looking to fix holes on their defensive unit and must improve. They sit 16th in total defense (341.7 ypg) and are right behind the Bears in both pass defense (203.3 ypg) and scoring defense (19.7 ppg), although they too struggle against the run (138.3 ypg, 23rd). Safety Julian Love is tied for seventh in the NFL in tackles (27), but the Giants only have three sacks and three takeaways to their credit. 

Both teams have multiple injuries on this side of the ball heading into Sunday. Smith played through a hip injury last week, and this week he's been practicing through a quad issue. Safety Dane Cruikshank (hamstring) and Jaylon Johnson (quad) will not suit up, and linebacker Matt Adams is doubtful with his own hamstring issue. Defensive end Robert Quinn (unspecified illness) and linebacker Sterling Weatherford (ankle) are both questionable.

On the Giants' end, defensive backs Cor'Dale Fiott (calf) and Nick McCloud (hamstring), along with defensive lineman Leonard Williams (knee), have all been ruled out. Linebackers Jihad Ward (knee) and DBs Aaron Robinson (appendix) and Justin Layne (concussion protocol) are expected to play. 

3. A chess match between first-time head coaches
The Bears' Matt Eberflus and the Giants' Brian Daboll certainly have their work cut out for them, despite the fact that their respective teams have winning records at the moment. The injuries, inconsistent play, and losses to divisional rivals have garnered heat. Still, it's too early in the season to draw any major conclusions. But it'll be interesting to see how they match up against one another and try to out-coach each other, considering their different styles of coaching. Eberflus came up through the ranks as a defensive coordinator, while Daboll earned his stripes as an offensive coordinator.

Final Analysis

The Bears lead this all-time series 36-24-2, and this will be the sixth meeting between these teams since 2016. The Bears are 3-2 in the last five games of this rivalry and have outscored the Giants 108-82 during that stretch. The Giants haven't beaten the Bears since winning in both 2016 and '18. The Bears are 5-1 in their last six games against the NFC East division, while the Giants have a six-game losing streak going against the NFC North. This will be a close game where the running backs get most of the attention, but I see the Bears leaving the Big Apple with a win.

Prediction: Bears 16, Giants 13

— Written by Gabe Salgado, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. He's also written for NBC, Fox, The Sporting News, The Sports Journal, The Undefeated and Complex. He can also be heard on WGN Radio. Follow him on Twitter @GabeSalgado82.

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