Press Release from the Chicago Bears. Two Chicago Bears Wide Receivers at the pro bowl? Think Satan may well be skating to work tomorrow :) BEARS WR ALSHON JEFFERY NAMED...
Chicago Bears Game Preview: 2012 Preseason Week 3 - at New York Giants - Friday 24th August @ 19:00 CT
Or, according to my rough calculations, that’s 01:00 on Saturday morning, if you are looking for a translation into the centre of the world’s timezones and trying to make the judgement call on whether it’s worth being woken by the kids, neighbours, pets, postman or an urge to watch bad daytime television after around three hours sleep after the game (not including overtime). Either way, welcome to the latest installment of the Beardown Chicago Bears Game Previews.
The Chicago Bears finished their two game preseason homestand with the an even split in the win/loss columns. Next up before the season proper is the first of a two game road trip, at the MetLife Stadium in Noo Yoik, potentially home to up to 82,500 screaming Noo Yoikahs, and hopefully a few Bears fans hoping that Jay Cutler doesn’t get killed this time around, but unfortunately, if I can take the pain of reminding myself what happened, there might be more on that later.
Chicago Bears vs New York Giants Preseason History
The Bears comfortably have the upper hand in the history of preseason contests with the Giants, with a 15-7 lead in the 22 games played up to this point, but it’s not all plain sailing for the navy and orange. This is the second straight year the teams have gone head to head in August, with the G-Men dishing out a hard lesson last time out, 41-13. And if you were wondering how the Bears are looking overall in preseason, their record after the late comeback win vs the Redskins stands at 226-164-8. The Bears close out their preseason with a road trip to Cleveland on Thursday 30th of August.
Bears who were Giants and Giants who were Bears
Unlike last week, when there were a pair of backup quarterbacks lining up against their former teams and creating several headlines in the process, there are no current Bears who have played for the Giants. As for Giants who were Bears, NYG defensive coordinator Perry Fewell was formerly defensive backs coach in Chicago. And that’s your lot.
Not satisfied? Okay, there are a whole host of connections between the two rosters and coaching staff, mostly as a result of college. For example, when Devin Hester was pretending to be a defensive back in Florida, he was in the same defensive backfield as current Giants safeties Kenny Phillips and Antrel Rolle. Notably, Giants franchise QB, Eli Manning was under centre at Ole Miss behind current Bears G/C Chris Spencer, who made his way to Chicago via Seattle, while Manning made his way to NY by refusing to sign for San Diego. Bears FB-on-the-bubble Tyler Clutts was on the Fresno State roster with Giants TE Bear (great name) Pascoe, while also-on-the-bubble Bears DE Thaddeus Gibson and WR Dane Sanzenbacher were on the Ohio State team with Giants C Jim Cordle. Bears CB Kelvin Hayden was on the Illinois roster with Giants P Steve Weatherford, although it’s unclear if Weatherford was involved in any further incidents of little defenceless defensive backs getting thrown into cold plunge baths while he was there. Speaking of which, Giants CB Prince Amukamara was a teammate of Bears G Ricky Henry at Nebraska. Another Bears G, Edwin Williams, opened holes for Giants RB Da’Rel Scott in their days together at Maryland, while fellow Giants RB D.J. Ware played alongside Bears CB Tim Jennings at Georgia.
As for Bears hailing from NY/NJ, there’s a much longer list than Bears who hail from Illinois, with OC Mike Tice, ST coach Dave Toub, TE Evan Rodriguez, LB Blake Costanzo, DE Corey Wootton (although he went to college at Northwestern), S Tevor Colston, DT Nate Collins and P Adam Podlesh making up the list. The list of Giants from Illinois is a bit easier to rattle off; OT David Diehl and TE Christian Hopkins, while we’ve already touched on P Steve Weatherford attending Illinois.
Bears vs Giants Plotlines and Keys to the Game
There will likely be several uncomfortable reminders for Bears fans of the last few times the teams matched up.
First up might be the aforementioned 41-13 preseason shafting, which could have been even uglier after Khalil Bell ran in a late score with 24 seconds remaining to prevent the game from ending 41-6. The game was already tumbling out of reach at 20-6 by halftime after the Bears surrendered points on special teams, courtesy of a kickoff return for a TD and a blocked punt deep in their own territory. After the Bears special teams have struggled thus far in preseason, hopefully this isn’t another sign of things to come.
But most likely, given the question marks still remaining on the Bears OL, much of the focus will be on the last time the Bears played in New York in the regular season, in 2010, when the OL tried their best to kill their starting quarterback by surrendering 10 sacks, three each to Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck. The game ended in a 17-3 defeat and images of Jay Cutler doubled up in pain on the turf.
Game 3 of preseason is generally the last opportunity for starters to get significant playing time before the regular season starts, with game 4 typically reserved for depth, bubble and long shot players to have one final chance to make the 53, grab a place on the practice squad or put themselves in the shop window for cuts or waivers. Mike Tice has already gone on record or saying this is J’Marcus Webb and Chris Williams’ time to cement the starting left tackle berth, so there is no better test than versus the many weapons on the Giants DL.
Finally, we are still looking for depth players to step up and fill the voids. Last week it was the likes of Hayes and Thomas at LB with Urlacher out. This week that is still the case, but after injuries to starting free safety Chris Conte and third round pick and backup free safety Brandon Hardin, the pressure is on Craig Steltz and Major Wright to step up and show they can shine. No better test than against Eli Manning and his Superbowl winning receivers. The same goes for the bubble players at safety now that their chances of making the roster have been eased by the misfortune of others.
Thanks for reading this Beardown Chicago Bears game preview. Enjoy the game!
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