Chicago Bears In New York To Meet Giants
By: Michael Robinson
Thursday, August 23, 2012
The Chicago Bears will be showing off their new offensive weapons when they meet the Super Bowl champion New York Giants in Week 3 of the NFL preseason on Friday night.
The Don Best odds screen opened with New York as 4-point home favorites, but it’s now down to three. The total has increased two points from 39 to 41. CBS will have the national broadcast from MetLife Stadium at 8:00 p.m. (ET).
The Bears are 1-1 straight up and against the spread this preseason, both at home. They started with a 31-3 loss to Denver and rebounded with a 33-31 victory over Washington last Saturday. The Bears led 30-10 in the fourth quarter, but let up the lead and needed a late 57-yard field goal by Robbie Gould for the win and cover of the 1-point spread.
Quarterback Jay Cutler missed the Denver game because of his son’s birth, but was 7-of-13 for 122 yards against the 'Skins last week. The offense has been infused with receiver talent with Cutler’s former Broncos teammate Brandon Marshall aboard in addition to second-round pick Alshon Jeffery. They had 61 and 62 receiving yards respectively last week.
The running back position also added bruiser Michael Bush from Oakland, who is very good in the red-zone. He had two rushing TDs last week, one less than the newly-extended Matt Forte had in the entire regular season last year.
There are some questions with the offensive line, especially at left guard and tackle, but there’s a lot of to be excited about under new offensive coordinator Mike Tice.
Defensively last week, the Bears did well against Robert Griffin III (5-of-8, 49 yards) in the first half before the backups got carved up by fellow rookie Kirk Cousins (18-of-23, 264 yards, three TDs), mostly in the fourth quarter. Linebacker Brian Urlacher (knee injury) hasn’t played in the preseason and is hoping to be back for opening week.
The Giants are technically playing their first home game this season, but they beat the Jets (26-3) last Saturday at MetLife as the ‘away’ team. It was the G-Men’s latest show of dominance over their shared tenant and hated rival, coming on the heels of a huge regular season win last December.
Tom Coughlin’s guys are now 2-0 ATS this preseason after an opening 32-31 loss at Jacksonville as 2½-point underdogs.
The Giants had seven sacks last week going against the not-so-impressive duo of Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow, plus a severely injured Jets receiving core. Cutler and company will be a far bigger challenge on Friday, especially with Jason Pierre-Paul (two sacks last week) expected to sit out with a back injury.
The Giants didn’t light it up offensively last week behind either Eli Manning (62 passing yards) or backup David Carr (83 passing yards). One of the touchdowns came on an interception return. It doesn’t help that receiver Hakeem Nicks (foot) was out and is doubtful again for Friday.
The running back position is also banged up with Ahmad Bradshaw (hand) questionable. Rookie first-round pick David Wilson could start, and the duo could split carries once the real action begins on September 5 vs. Dallas.