Giants vs. Bears: 3 things to watch
Things are very bleak right now for Big Blue and it might not get much better as they take on the Bears — co-leaders of the NFC North.
The Giants (0-5) are on an historical pace — and not in a good way — as they have started the season on their longest losing streak since the strike-shortened 1987 season. The 0-5 start to the 1979 campaign would qualify as the worst start to a season that wasn’t interrupted for any reason.
Losing six in a row to start a season is a real possibility, as the Bears (3-2) present problems for the Giants in every facet of the game.
Three things to watch for …
1. Getting full off turnovers
Giants quarterback Eli Manning is leading the league in interceptions (12), while the offense as a whole has committed 20 turnovers. The Bears have long been a defense that prides itself on getting to the football and causing turnovers and they’ve already forced 11 fumbles and recovered three this season. The Giants have lost seven fumbles already, which ranks them 31st in the league. Big Blue has been getting blown out in their losses, which adds to their plight, since they seem to press even more once the game starts to get out of hand and the games is near expiring. The Giants have lost seven fumbles this season, including one last week in which running back Brandon Jacobs lost the ball without being touched, so it’s safe to say that Manning and Co. are the perfect opponent to pad the Bears’ defensive stats.
2. Deuce is wild
The Bears have finally unearthed a solid No. 2 receiving option alongside franchise wideout Brandon Marshall (31 receptions, 378 yards and three scores) in the name of Alshon Jeffery.The former South Carolina star has hit his stride after going through an up-and-down rookie campaign last season. Jeffery, who has 325 yards receiving in his last two games, including 218 yards last week, is arguably the hottest wideout in the league. That might not bode well for a Giants secondary that has four defensive backs on the injury list this week, including Corey Webster, who is listed as out, Terrell Thomas and Jayron Hosley. Cornerback Aaron Ross was recently placed on the season-ending injured reserve list, furthering depleting an already shaky unit.
3. Pick your poison
Marshall and Jeffrey aren’t the only offensive weapons Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has at his disposal, as running back Matt Forte also presents a serious problem for the Giants. Forte is one of the most dangerous dual-threat running backs in the league. He’s tallied 375 yards on the ground and three rushing touchdowns, but also has 27 catches for 200 yards. Former Giants tight end Martellus Bennett (25 catches, 281 yards and three scores) will also factor into the equation should he suit up and play. The enigmatic tight end is listed as questionable with a knee injury. But if he’s cleared to play, he’ll definitely want to show his former employers what they’re missing — regardless of the amicable departure. The Giants have been gashed by air (22nd ranked) and ground (27th ranked) this season, so it’s likely they’ll have to simply choose the floodgates they’d prefer to allow open.
Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.