3. NY Giants’ secondary vs. Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller
The NY Giants need better play from their secondary this week. Corey Ballentine struggled in coverage Week 1, to the tune of four catches in five attempts for 50 yards. Several of these catches allowed came on 3rd down, which is unacceptable.
He needs a big bounce-back week in Chicago.
After playing an elite receiver in JuJu Smith-Schuster, the challenge remains the same this week with Allen Robinson. Robinson is an elite, high-end receiver who has played his entire career with struggling quarterbacks in Trubisky and Blake Bortles.
James Bradberry had a nice Giants debut Monday, letting up only a few catches and making a nice pass breakup on 3rd down, showcasing his ball skills and tenacity.
It would make sense for Bradberry to shadow Robinson all over the field Sunday. He has the length, size, toughness, and ability to go matchup with and compete with Robinson. Whether it’s in the slot or on the boundary outside, Bradberry is the team’s best option at cornerback in terms of shutting down the bears’ top weapon.
Luckily, Roninson does most of his work from the outside so this shouldn’t be an issue like it was against Juju. Look for #24 to follow Robinson around everywhere on Sunday.
Anthony Miller is another weapon to respect and be wary of. Miller, at 5’11, is less physically imposing than Robinson but makes up for his size with impressive speed, hands, and route-running ability. Miller tore up the Lions D last week to the tune of 76 catches and the game-winning touchdown to cap off a 17-point Bears comeback.
Ballentine will likely draw the Miller assignment more often than not after playing 92% of the defensive snaps Week 1. He needs to do a better job of handling his opponent’s routes, staying with his man, and locating the ball to then hopefully make a play on it.
If Ballentine can’t stay with Miller, the Giants D might be looking at a long afternoon with long drives and many third-down conversions. Hopefully, the Big Blue coaching staff will make an adjustment this week should the second-year pro continue to struggle.
This two vs two receiving/defending matchup will go a long way to determine the winner of this game. If the NY cornerbacks can cover the Bears’ receivers long enough, it will make life difficult for Trubisky to find guys open and keep the offense moving.