Giants storylines to watch

1 Will the Bears be overconfident?

Everything is going right for the Chicago Bears, who proved to be legitimate contenders with a Monday night win over Green Bay.

The Giants are clearly the more desperate team and need this win to keep pace in the NFC East. They’ll need any edge they can get and it could come from the fans, as the Giants will be honoring 30 men at halftime for their “Ring of Honor.”

“Tell me again … what happened on Monday?,”?joked Chicago coach Lovie Smith. “No, you have to move on. [Monday] was one game.”

2 Can the Giants actually control field position?

The Giants’ special teams coverage has been atrocious. Tom Coughlin said so himself.

Rookie punter Matt Dodge looks as if he’s in over his head and Sunday night won’t be a good time to try to get out of his rut — not with All-Pro return man Devin Hester seemingly getting his groove back.

Dodge, who’s averaging an anemic 33 net yards per punt, will have to play a game of keepaway, as Hester returned a punt 62 yards for a touchdown against the Packers. Hester’s counterpart, Darius Reynaud, is averaging just 5.5 yards per punt return.

3 Will the Giants get lit up like they did in Indy?

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has been on a roll under the tutelage of new offensive coordinator Mike Martz. Cutler is still the same strong-armed gunslinger he’s always been, but he’s playing with much more discipline and control.

The fifth-year pro has amassed 870 yards, six touchdowns and only two interceptions. He’ll be facing a Giants’ secondary that gives up the big play if their front four are stuffed at the line. It’s safe to say the “mad scientist” in Martz likes his chances.

Matchups

Jay Cutler vs. Giants’ secondary

He has done a 180 from the petulant passer who threw as many
interceptions in ’09 (27) as he threw teammates under the bus.
» Edge: Bears

Bears’ O-line vs. Giants’ front four

New O-line coach Mike Tice has turned this patchwork unit into a
functioning outfit. The Bears do a lot of seven-step drops, which is
unheard of in the dink-and-dunk NFL.
» Edge: Bears

Bears’ backs vs. Giants’ front seven

Neither ground game strikes fear into the opposition. Chicago prefers to
get Matt Forte touches on swing passes, as well as rushes. No Giants LB
can hang with him in the open field.
» Edge: Bears

Bear’s special teams vs. Giants’ special teams

This might be the biggest mismatch. The Giants have shown no pop in any
facet, and even a hint of a mental lapse could cost them six with Devin
Hester on returns.
» Edge: Bears


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