Thursday night’s matchup between the Chicago Bears and the New York Giants will showcase plenty of offensive talent.
The Bears have a solid tandem at running back in Matt Forte and Michael Bush, a couple of talented receivers in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery and a very athletic tight end in Martellus Bennett.
The Giants will be without their starting running back David Wilson, so veteran Brandon Jacobs will draw the start. The trio of wide receivers for the Giants is scary good in Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle.
Both defenses have struggled at times, but the Giants defense is much weaker than the Bears defense that still has plenty of talent all around.
On a short week neither team will be filled with players that are feeling to great. Typically NFL players need most of the week if not the entire week to heal up before a normal Sunday game.
The Giants and Bears players won’t be at 100 percent considering this game comes just four days after each team played.
Here are five Bears players you should keep your eyes on this Thursday night.
The 29-year old power back has carried the ball only 18 times this season for 36 yards and one touchdown. Quite frankly he hasn’t been involved in the offensive gameplan much. He ran twice for 12 yards in last week’s 26-18 loss to New Orleans. He was only in on seven offensive snaps used as a second back while Matt Forte lined up opposite him in the backfield or as a receiver. On a short week, expect plenty of running especially against a weak Giants defense. Bush should get plenty of chances to showcase his skills on Thursday night.
The Bears star wide receiver has been held under 100 yards receiving the past three weeks after topping 100 yards easily in the first two games of the season. He reeled in just four catches for 30 yards last week. However, he caught a touchdown pass which was his first since Week Two. Against a very depleted Giants pass defense Marshall should find himself open more often than not especially with the rise of Alshon Jeffery. B-Marsh should have an impressive outing on Thursday night.
The rookie defensive end out of Missouri Western State suited up for the Bears for the first time this season. With injuries to Henry Melton (torn left ACL) and to Stephen Paea (turf toe), Bass was needed on the roster as Corey Wootton moved inside. Bass played 13 of the 66 defensive snaps making one tackle. He should see more opportunities this week as Julius Peppers could need more breathers than usual. Bass made his presence known last week in his short stint. I’d like to see him get more snaps this week as he works his way into the defensive line rotation.
The 27-year old defensive tackle signed on with the Bears after a Week Three win over the Steelers that saw Henry Melton suffer a torn ACL. Now with Nate Collins out for the season with the same injury and Stephen Paea questionable to play on Thursday, Cohen is expected to play extensively. Cohen was in on 26 defensive snaps last Sunday failing to record a tackle. He will draw the start next to Wootton as rookie Zach Minter is expected to contribute as well. This is a big game for Cohen as he will be called upon plenty as the season progresses.
The crafty veteran has been battling through knee and groin injuries the entire season. He put together a nice game last week compiling seven tackles including four solo tackles. He struggled the two weeks before that racking up just seven tackles and not playing all of the defensive snaps. He was in on every defensive snap last Sunday as well as Lance Briggs, who hasn’t missed a single play all year. Tillman will be asked to cover speedy Victor Cruz and lengthy Hakeem Nicks at times. It won’t be easy, but this Giants offense has been ineffective through five games and the Bears defense knows exactly how to exploit struggling offenses.
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