Everyone knows that the ‘Thursday Night Football’ game is a nice link between Monday and Sunday games, but produces cringe-worthy television. Chicago and New York are fortunate enough to get their mandatory mid-week game out of the way early.
Both teams head into their night tilt looking at was has gone wrong more than what has gone right. The Bears have lost two straight games to high-powered offenses, while the Giants have yet to post a ‘W.’ Mistakes have plagued the signal callers for both teams, as well. Jay Cutler and Eli Manning have combined for 24 turnovers (18 interceptions, 6 fumbles) and have been sacked 24 times (15 for Manning, 9 for Cutler).
It is easy to point fingers at the guys handling the football more than any other player, but placing blame on the offensive lines for both teams is necessary.
Chicago and New York have also played less than stellar defense. The Giants are ranked 28th in the NFL in total defense, and Chicago 22nd. The Bears have held opposing running backs to fewer than 100 yards per game, and the Giants are giving up a modest 269 pass yards each week. The bad defensive numbers are linked to each team’s inability to sustain drives on offense.
Injuries have mounted leading up to Thursday night. The Bears have lost two three-technique defensive tackles in as many weeks. Nate Collins joins Henry Melton on injured reserve, and fellow DT Stephen Paea missed Sunday’s loss to New Orleans. The defensive line has already been bad at best, and losing two interior linemen has made getting pressure on the quarterback an insurmountable task.
The Giants have injuries to starters on both sides of the ball. Feature running back David Wilson left Sunday’s tilt against Philadelphia with a neck injury. No Wilson means the Giants will depend on veteran Brandon Jacobs to carry the rock. Center David Baas missed Sunday’s game with a neck injury. The defense lost cornerback Aaron Ross for the season (again), and appear to be without the services of corner Corey Webster for Thursday.
Reading the above makes it all but sure that Thursday night’s game is bound to be a dud.
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