Key Matchup: Cutler and Co. Must Exploit Giants Weak Defense

Key Matchup: Cutler and Co. Must Exploit Giants Weak Defense

The Chicago Bears (3-2) welcome the New York Giants (0-5) to Soldier Field on a short week. Thursday night's matchup is a big game for both teams.

The Giants are desperate for a win as they amazingly still have a chance at winning the NFC East and the Bears are just looking to get back in the win column after losing two weeks in a row.

The Giants defense through five games this season has allowed a total of 182 points including the most points per game (36.4).

They've given up the 26th most yards on defense (395.2). Opponents have converted 49 percent of third downs against this Giants defense.

If Bears quarterback Jay Cutler can get in a groove in the early going it could be a long night for Justin Tuck and company.

Cutler has a career best 93.0 quarterback rating along with a 65.7 completion percentage. He has tossed 10 touchdowns compared to six interceptions through five weeks.

The Bears' offensive line has done a good job for the most part at keeping Cutler clean allowing just nine sacks this season. However, he has been sacked six times the past two weeks mostly coming in the first half.

Considering Cutler was sacked 38 times in 15 starts a year ago things look a lot better for the Bears' offensive line. The last time these two NFC teams met in 2010, Cutler was sacked nine times and was knocked out of the game with a concussion as the Bears didn't convert a single third-down.

The Giants could be without three of their top four cornerbacks as Prince Amukamara is the only healthy option. Corey Webster (groin), Jayron Hosley (hamstring) are both likely game-time decisions, while Aaron Ross (back) was placed on injured reserve on Saturday.

That could bode well for the Bears' offense as they carry some impressive weapons. Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery already has his career-high in receiving yards (429) after reeling in a franchise record 218 yards last week.

Brandon Marshall is still scary good despite back-to-back quiet weeks and Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte our other athletic guys to watch out for.

I expect Marshall to have a monster game as the Giants likely won't be able to stop the Bears offense for much of the night. The Bears tend to run more early on in games, but with a solid matchup against a weak Giants pass defense they could opt to pass early and often.

The Giants pass rush has generated just five sacks this season with Mathias Kiwanuka leading the way (1.5 sacks).

Nothing is ever easy on a short week for any NFL team. but this is a very favorable matchup for the Bears. Not everyone is healed up for the Bears as Martellus Bennett (knee), Stephen Paea (toe), Jermon Bushrod (calf), Alshon Jeffery (ankle) and Charles Tillman (knee) are all battling injuries.

If the Bears want to improve to 4-2 on the season they have to exploit the Giants defense because quite frankly they haven't been able to stop anybody this season. With injuries taking a toll in their secondary that certainly won't help them come Thursday night in Chicago.

 

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