The Giants appear to be at a tipping point after two straight blowout losses. The heat is on Tom Coughlin more than it’s been in years, and there are questions about whether his players are tuning out his disciplinary approach after their 11-penalty, six-personal-foul disaster against the Titans. Their only hope is that the Bears suffer a big, emotional letdown after their win over the Packers on Monday night.
Keys for the Giants
• The Giants need to stay cool, calm and collected. The Bears saw the game film, and they will be coming for the Giants. But this time, the Giants can’t be provoked into so many retaliatory penalties. They also can’t get sloppy with the football. Turnovers and penalties are often a sign of a team in panic or too tightly wound. They need to loosen up and not blow the chances they get.
• They have to pressure Jay Cutler. The Bears quarterback is certainly prone to mistakes, and the offensive line is vulnerable. The Giants, though, haven’t been able to get much of a pass rush from their front four. If they can do it this time, they should be able to get a few turnovers of their own.
Keys for the Bears
• Run the football with Matt Forté. Their running game has been a disaster through three games, which has turned Cutler into a sitting duck. If they can run the ball even with marginal effectiveness, they will scare the Giants defense into thinking they are two-dimensional. That will ease some of the pressure on Cutler and the passing game.
• Tilt the field with special teams. The Giants’ special teams are a nightmare — especially their coverage teams. That presents a golden opportunity for Devin Hester, Daneal Manning and Johnny Knox. A few big returns could cripple the Giants pretty quickly.
Too many things are going wrong for the Giants right now, especially on special teams, which could be a huge problem in this game. Add in a running game that won’t have any better luck against the Bears top-ranked rushing defense, and the Giants could have trouble sustaining drives. With their composure in question, that’s a big issue for them. Bears 27–21.