Coming off the bye week, the Giants will be traveling to Chicago to face the Bears, a team that has lost five of its last six contests. But most of the struggles with this squad is due to its offense sputtering.
Their defense is a different story.
The Bears own the eighth-best defense in the NFL at the moment, with many playmakers on that side of the ball. But there may be no better duo of pass rushers in the league than the ones the Giants will be facing on Sunday in Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd.
Mack, a former Defensive Player of the Year, is as elite as they come. Teams plan to limit Mack on a daily basis, but Floyd is another talented pass rusher who needs to have special attention as well.
Giants head coach Pat Shurmur is well aware of their game-wrecking abilities, and he knows his team needs to pay close attention to them this week. If not, Daniel Jones will be finding himself pressured -- or on the ground -- a lot.
"Obviously they're tough matchups on the edges for whoever's blocking," Shurmur told reporters on Wednesday. "I think Floyd and Mack -- they get special attention. Now there's times when the guys are going to have to block them 1-on-1, but I think we've watched the tape and we've seen all along that teams have a plan to try to negate the impact of those players who are very, very good players."
Here's the problem, though: Who really is going to block these defenders?
Nate Solder is still dealing with his concussion, and if he isn't ready to go, that means Chad Slade will get another start at left tackle. And Shurmur's quote there comes from a question regarding a shift of tight end to that left side to counteract Slade's inexperience against the All-Pro edge rusher.
Well, Evan Engram and Rhett Ellison both might be out of this game as well. Engram is dealing with a mid-foot sprain, and though he said "it's definitely possible" he can play Sunday, his 2-4 week timetable still has two more left. Ellison is also in concussion protocol right now, and was with Engram out of practice.
Looking at their stats, Mack and Floyd account for 8.5 of the team's 25 sacks this season. Mack leads the team with 5.5, while Floyd has collected three. The Giants have allowed the seventh-most sacks this season with 34, and with Jones' ball security issues thus far, these two pass rushers will definitely be licking their chops.
The Giants want to get back to winning, as they've been in a funk like the Bears, dropping six straight. To do so, they'll have to limit Mack, Floyd, and the rest of the Bears pass rush to keep Jones upright, and give him time to get the ball out to his receivers.
It'll be a tough task, but a necessary one. Or this game could get ugly -- quickly.