When Monday night rolls around and the Bears make their trip to New Meadowlands Stadium in New York it is important to expect the obvious. Last week the Bears offensive line looked abysmal when placed against a bottom ranked Bills pass rush. The main question in this game is what tactic will the Bears employ on offence? It’s hard to imagine an offence orchestrated by Mike Martz putting the ball on the ground for any length of time but it seems like the more attractive option.
The bears offensive line will have its work cut out for it against a Giants pass rush that tore them apart just one season ago for an NFL record ten sacks. Repeating that performance would be unlikely but definitely expect Cutler to spend some time on his back early. There’s no doubt that the Bears will be looking to erase the memory of last years loss but in order to do so they will have to give Cutler and eventually Hanie some breathing room in the backfield.
Expect Marion Barber to have a big night as the bears should put more focus into their ground game. Both Eli Manning and Jay Cutler stand to see more than just a taste of tonight’s game but the bulk of the game should be kept between David Carr and Caleb Hanie. Carr has seen limited action since playing in a few games for the Giants in 2009. He has the ability to be a great back-up option for Eli but tonight’s game will test his composure in what should be an emotional tilt for both sides.
Although this is just week two of the pre-season, this game offers a phenomenal defensive match-up with big hits, tremendous storylines and two teams looking to make a statement at the expense of the other.
The line for this game is a modest 4.5 leaning in favor of the Giants. Taking the Giants is the easy pick to make here and it’s the one I suggest you make. This line would be of great value at 6.5 which is where I thought it was going to land. Tonight’s game offers an audition of Caleb Hanie to the rest of the league as it is no secret they have invested their future in Jay Cutler. Hanie has tonight’s game and a handful of outside chances to raise his value but will not be able to repeat his surprising playoff effort from less than a year ago. Pick the Giants to take this one away tonight and remember; Bowes knows football.
Marion Barber: With limited action being given to Matt Forte in the pre-season, look for Barber to have a productive night. Chances are he will see the bulk of the carries and for obvious reasons the Bears won’t be looking to drop back in the pocket very often
Julius Peppers: Eli Manning might have been the least sacked quarterback of last season but this year he has a new look infront of him. Will Beatty has just 6 starts underneath him and will face Peppers tonight. I expect Julius to introduce himself early.
New York Giants:
Danny Ware: The 5th year veteran out of Georgia is an off the wall pick for production based on his career to date but in a deep line-up he seems to profit the most from opportunity. Ware will no doubt get looks in the backfield as well as in a receiving role so look for him to make a difference tonight
Justin Tuck: This is the obvious pick as he single handedly dropped Cutler three times and forced a fumble in the last meeting. But add to that who he faces off against tonight and its a home-run pick for defensive production. Tuck will face rookie Gabe Carimi, the rookie offensive lineman out of Wisconsin. Tuck should prove too much for the youngster Carimi to handle.