Chicago Bears vs. New York Giants
Two of the NFL’s most storied franchises meet to wrap up week two of the 2011 NFL preseason as the New York Giants host the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football. The Giants are -4.5 point favorites over the Bears with an over/under point total set at 35.
The New York Giants are making more noise off the field of late than they are on the field but eventually it will have to swing in the other direction as the NFL regular season grows nearer by the day. First the news has been about Osi Umenyiora’s discontent and now it’s about Eli Manning and him comparing himself to Tom Brady. On the field in their first game at Carolina the Giants looked like anything but contenders as Manning played five series, completed four passes and none of them led to a score. Sage Rosenfels went to bulk of the way and was basically the same Sage we have seen for years around the league: solid, steady, unspectacular. Like most teams the Giants went with a big committee of running backs as Ahamd Bradshaw carried five times for 21 yards, Brandon Jacobs for 16 yards and I was a little surprised the Da’rel Scott got just a carry. With Steve Smith gone and Ramses Barden on the PUP, Hakeem Nicks caught one ball while Domenik Hixson led all New York receivers. The highlights were provided by Michael Boley and the defense as Boley returned an interception to the house for the only Giants touchdown and last year’s first round pick Jason Pierre-Paul had two sacks. While at most positions it’s tough to find too much that is tangible the Giants had a real problem in the kicking game as Lawrence Tynes was horrible and now blames a quad injury that happened during the game when he had a field goal blocked. New York signed Rhys Lloyd this week who has never attempted a field goal in the NFL and is known as a kick off specialist.
The Chicago Bears made some changes over the off season to their offense and their system and what we saw in game one against the Bills was a lot of the same. Chicago played their newly upsized offensive line for a good portion of the first half but the Bears spent a lot of time running for their lives as they were sacked nine times. Jay Cutler completed his only pass attempt and gave way to Caleb Hanie who didn’t look as good as we remember from last year’s NFC Championship game and from there it was the free agent from Idaho Nate Endele who seemed serviceable. Matt Forte didn’t play but the Bears showed a plethora of options at running back as Kahlil Bell, Marion Barber, and Harvey Unga all got a decent amount of carries. Johnny Knox caught a pass but he was more impressive in the return game and Bell was effective out of the backfield catching two passes for 46 yards. The Bears defense was solid with Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, and Julius Peppers getting their name called while they were in and Amobi Okoye showing he fits the system in Chicago getting two sacks and three tackles. While the Bears offense is said to have changed, this looks like a lot more of the same we have seen from the Bears with the offense scoring just 10 points and the defense allowing three.
With the Bears being sacked nine times last week, it won’t get any easier this week in New York where the Giants attacked the Bears in the regular season last year. Take the Giants minus the 4.5.
New York Giants -4.5 Chicago Bears