I’m not going to say that this is a must win for the New York Giants because you already know that. In one of the worst seasons for the NFC East since its inception, the Giants are only two games back from first place in the division. With each team having a 2-3 record, the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles are tied for first place. However, if the Giants want to capitalize on a weak division, they must start winning on Thursday night against the Chicago Bears. If they want to pick up their first win of the season, they must follow my keys to the game.
While Eli Manning leads the league with 12 interceptions, Jay Cutler isn’t much better. Cutler ranks seventh in the NFL with six interceptions, and the Giants need to find a way to put pressure on Cutler and force him to make mistakes. This pressure is going to have to come from Spencer Paysinger, Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck. Paysinger leads the squad with 31 solo tackles and Pierre-Paul is only one of three Giants that has registered a sack. As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, Tuck must make an impact, not only because he’s talented, but also, as a captain of this squad, he has a responsibility to lead by example.
The defense also has to keep an eye on former Giant Martellus Bennett. This is a player who becomes a weapon when the spotlight is on him. When the star tight end faces his former club, everyone will be watching Bennett to see if he can strike back against a Giants team that let him go after the best season he’s had in his career. The Bears are going to want to use that spotlight to their advantage and attempt to throw Bennett the ball as much as possible. To limit his game changing plays, Antrel Rolle and Prince Amukamara must be at their best. With Corey Webster officially ruled out of the Thursday night clash, Rolle and Amukamara need to find a way to cover Bennett while also being aware of the other talented Bears receivers.
The final key to the game for the Giants is the offensive line needs to find a way to have their best game of the season. The Bears have one of the most physical defensive lines in the league. They are ranked first in forced fumbles with 13 and are tied for first place in fumbles recovered with eight. The good news for the Giants is that the Bears only have seven sacks on the season. With a talented defense that specializes in forcing fumbles, the Giants’ offensive line must find a way to give Manning and the running backs time to make a play. I don’t know how they are going to do it, but if this offensive line wants to help their team battle back in the division, this is the game that they must show up for.