Eli Manning has been tossing interceptions by the bucket full. He can be pressured into making mistakes. The Bears defensive line has struggled to generate pressure, so it will be up to Mel Tucker to dial up some blitzes to put Eli and the Giants offense off balance.
On the other side of the ball, the Bears have to keep Jay clean. The offensive line has been improved this season, but they’ve shown some vulnerabilities in the last couple of weeks. Jordan Mills has not graded out well according to PFF over the last couple of weeks while Jermon Bushrod may or may not have gotten rattled last week as Rob Ryan sent some unfamiliar blitzes his way.
The Giants don’t have slouches on their defensive line, so they’re fully capable of getting to Cutler just as they did a few years ago when they tagged him for 9 sacks in a half and knocked him out of the game. I say whichever team manages the other’s pressure best wins the game.
The Trend is your Friend
These Thursday night games don’t afford teams the luxury of big sweeping changes. Teams are half preparing for the TNF game at the tail end of the week before. Most guys won’t be fully recovered from the bumps and bruises of the prior week before they have to suit up again. Such a short turnaround means that the trend is your friend.
The Giants are giving the ball away at a record clip. The Bears love taking the ball away. It sounds like a match made in heaven. The only thing that stinks is that renowned fumbler Davis Wilson has already been ruled out for the game. The Giants have the worst rushing offense in the league and allow the most points per game.
Beware of Dog
The Giants are a wounded dog. That means they have nothing to lose. There are a lot of talented guys on the opposite sideline, guys with Super Bowl rings and guys with All-Pro credentials. Those guys and a two-time winning Super Bowl head coach aren’t just going to roll over and let the Bears have their way with them. The worst thing the Bears could do would be to take the Giants lightly.
What do you think? What are your keys to a Chicago Bears victory?