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Good morning, friends!
And happy New Year! Hopefully you were able to catch some of that Rose Bowl shootout between Ohio State and Utah.
This game at Soldier Field today? Yeah, it should be the complete opposite of that.
⏰ : Noon
📺 : CBS
🎙️ : Spero Dedes, Jay Feely
💰 : Bears -6, O/U 36.5
Last week: The Bears had a 25-24 comeback victory in Seattle. The Giants lost in Philadelphia, 34-10.
All-time record: Bears lead 35-24-2
Last meeting: The Bears barely held off the Giants for a 17-13 win in Week 2 at Soldier Field last season.
Three things to know
By Brendan Sugrue
It's still odd to me this game isn't the season finale. In years past, week 17 would mark the final regular season game in the NFL, but the new rule change gives fans one more week of football. It's a shame because this Bears-Giants game would be the perfect way to wrap up another disappointing season that has lasted too long.
On the surface, this feels like one boring matchup with Andy Dalton starting in place of Justin Fields, who is still on the sidelines with an ankle injury.
But this game does have a few things going for it. Here are three things to know ahead of Bears vs. Giants.
1. Robert Quinn attempts to make history
The most compelling storyline for this game is easily Robert Quinn's quest to break Hall of Fame defensive end Richard Dent's single-season sack record. Quinn has had an unbelievable season with 17 sacks in 15 games, but he's hit another level over the last two months — 11.5 of his 17 sacks have come in the last seven games.
The Pro Bowl pass rusher needs just one more sack to break Dent's record of 17.5, set back in 1984. I'm betting it happens in front of the home crowd, in part thanks to the quarterback he'll be facing ...
2. Mike Glennon returns to Soldier Field
The Bears just can't seem to get away from Mike Glennon. Or maybe vice versa considering how his career is going. Dating back to 2014, this will be the seventh season in a row where Glennon and the Bears get together, including his four-game stint as the team's starting quarterback in 2017.
Glennon is today's presumed starter for the Giants, though he may share reps with Jake Fromm as well. The last time Glennon started a game in Chicago was his only win as a Bear in 2017. It was a 23-17 overtime thriller against the Pittsburgh Steelers where he completed 15-of-22 passes for 101 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He was benched shortly after for Mitchell Trubisky.
3. This is likely the final home game for a few key veterans
Today is likely the last time Bears fans will see players like Akiem Hicks and Allen Robinson play in the navy and white at Soldier Field. Hicks and Robinson are both free agents this upcoming offseason and the expectation is they're not coming back for the 2022 season. (Andy Dalton and Jimmy Graham are probably taking their last laps, though Bears fans won't miss them as much.)
Hicks has been upfront that he feels this season will be his last with the Bears and wants to say goodbye to the fans in the right way.
"I don’t know what’s gonna happen," Hicks said following their loss to the Minnesota Vikings two weeks ago. "I just know that I’ve got games to play and if I do end up leaving, I’ll miss it here. I truly love my time here."
Robinson has been more silent on the topic, but given his desire for a lucrative extension and his lackluster season, it's easy to assume he won't be back either. Both he and Hicks are returning to the lineup this week after being out on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Perhaps they'll give fans one final show on the lakefront?
Kevin Kaduk — Midway Minute (10-5)
Bears 20, Giants 7
"Put one last home bum slaying on Matt Nagy's tab."
Scott Koral — Midway Minute (13-2)
Bears 23, Giants 16
"Andy Dalton picks up a few pointers from Nick Foles and worsens the Giants’ 1st rounder that they picked up from the Bears for Justin Fields. As Eddie Murphy said in 'Coming to America,” “Merry New Year!'
Brendan Sugrue — Midway Minute (13-2)
Bears 26, Giants 10
"Robert Quinn and the entire defense are licking their chops as they face a depleted Giants offense. This might be the only truly convincing victory of the year for the Bears."
David Brown — Midway Minute (9-6)
Bears 20, Giants 6
"Does George McCaskey have a plan ready to replace Ryan Pace, Ted Phillips and himself?"
Maggie Hendricks — Bally Sports (12-3)
Bears 13, Giants 10
"I feel like Akiem Hicks being back means that the Bears pass rush is going to do good things and the Giants aren't great and David Montgomery will get a touchdown and this game will be AWFUL to watch. Bear Down."
Alyssa Barbieri — BearsWire (13-2)
Bears 24, Giants 13
"The good news for the Bears is that the Giants are one of the few teams that’s worse than them, so at least the home crowd at Soldier Field will get to celebrate the New Year with a victory."
Chris Maltby — Beared Down (11-4)
Bears 24, Giants 17
"It’s time for revenge. Mike Glennon can’t do enough and Chicago prevails."
Usayd Koshul — Fireside Bears (10-5)
Bears 24, Giants 10
"In a game that means something to both teams, the Giants for draft position, the Bears for pride, the Bears come out on top."
Greg Braggs Jr. — Braggs in the Stands (12-3)
Bears 28, Giants 10
"Bear weather vs. Glennon = Bear weather wins!"
Three interesting prop bets
David Montgomery OVER 22.5 receiving yards (-113)
Monty had nine targets for 61 yards with Nick Foles last week and nine targets for 51 in Dalton's start against Arizona. Going to keep returning to this well as long as it's still wet.
Saquon Barkley OVER 52.5 rushing yards (-113)
The lead back has gone well over this total in each of the Bears' last five games. While Barkley has been a huge disappointment, he'll get more than enough carries from either Glennon or Fromm to hit the over.
Jimmy Graham first TD scorer (+1800)
Graham has scored a TD in each of the last three games started by either Dalton or Nick Foles and he's an obvious safety blanket for the veterans in the red zone. Grab anytime at +490 if you don't want to roll the dice on first TD.
Fresh IIPA by Hubbard's Cave
Do you have a brewery that you've never had a bad beer from? Hop Butcher fills that role for me, but Hubbard's Cave up in Niles is probably on the list, too. Though I haven't gone completely down their roster, everything I've ever had from them has been super fresh as well as complex and tasty. The Fresh IIPA is a good entry point. It smells great and is as drinkable as they come.
The worst celebrity Giants fan
Teams owned by her families have won six Super Bowl titles in her lifetime. No one should be that lucky.
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